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Jaguar nahual

Figure of man with jaguar nahual from Veracruz

Individual with jaguar ceramic sculpture from Central Veracruz (Río Blanco-Papaloapan culture), c. 600-900 CE, height 0.77 metres, Xalapa Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

This personage with a serene countenance, if somewhat absent-minded, is carrying a feline held on his back by a kind of shawl (‘rebozo’), in the same way as present-day native women transport their babies. The feline is alive, not only because its head is held high but also because its claws are protruding, as if it were about to grasp something. This scene may relate to a person that carries behind him his double or ‘nagual’, his life-long protecting animal.

From Xalapa Museum of Anthropology - a Guided Tour, text by Rubén Morante López, Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz/Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, 2004, p. 166.

Photo by Karel Baresh/Mexicolore.

‘Los Nahuales - Animal Companion Spirits’