Early Beaded Jaguar Head, Huichol People
Early Beaded Jaguar Head, Huichol People
Early Beaded Jaguar Head, Huichol People
Tribal Bod Mod

Early Beaded Jaguar Head, Huichol People

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Item details

Vintage from before 2000

An early example of Huichol bead work, measuring about 5 x 5 x 5 inches. Iconography shows marked differences in comparison to contemporary Huichol representations. The jaguar is archetypal in Central and South American shamanic practice, with powerful legendary sorcerers able to shift shape into their jaguar forms when they travel in the spirit worlds. The Huicholi shaman must become a jaguar in order to find his spirit guide who moves in other worlds in the form of a deer.

Here is a quote clipped from Wikipedia that might prove instructional to those interested in shamanism and power animals:

"The representation of jaguars in Mesoamerican cultures has a long history, with iconographic examples dating back to at least the mid-Formative period of Mesoamerican chronology. The jaguar (Panthera onca) is an animal with a prominent association and appearance in the cultures and belief systems of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican societies. Quick, agile, and powerful enough to take down the largest prey in the jungle, the jaguar is the largest of the big cats in the Americas, and one of the most efficient and aggressive predators. Endowed with a spotted coat and well adapted for the jungle, hunting either in the trees or water, making it one of the few felines tolerant of water, the jaguar was, and remains, revered among the indigenous Americans who live closely with the jaguar.

All major Mesoamerican civilizations prominently featured a jaguar god, and for many, such as the Olmec, the jaguar was an important part of shamanism.

The jaguar also is important for shamans who often associate the jaguar as a spirit companion or nagual, which will protect the shamans from evil spirits and while they move between the earth and the spirit realm. In order for the shamans to combat whatever evil forces may be threatening, or for those who rely on the shamans for protection, it is necessary for the shamans to transform and cross over to the spirit realm. The jaguar is often as a nagual because of its strength, for it is necessary that the shamans "dominate the spirits, in the same way as a predator dominates its prey" The jaguar is said to possess the transient ability of moving between worlds because of its comfort both in the trees and the water, the ability to hunt as well in the nighttime as in the daytime, and the habit of sleeping in caves, places often associated with the deceased ancestors. The concept of the transformation of the shaman is well documented in Mesoamerica and South America and is in particular demonstrated in the various Olmec jaguar transformation figures"