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Reclining jaguar

Mexica (Aztec) reclining jaguar stone sculpture

Reclining jaguar, Mexica (Aztec), 1350--1521 CE, basalt, length 28 cms., Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland.

This reclining jaguar is an excellent example of lifelike Aztec animal sculptures. It probably had a symbolic meaning associated with ruling power and the warrior cult. One of the warrior orders was called the ‘Jaguar Warriors’. Jaguar skins were among the most coveted tributes. They decorated the ruler’s palace and the throne of the ruler hueitlatoani.

From Aztecs, eds. Doris Kurella, Martin Berger and Inés de Castro, with INAH, Mexico - catalogue for the exhibition Azteken, Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Hirmer Publishers, Germany, 2019, p. 304.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.