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 Bowl with Jaguar - Old ManFigure

Mayans believed in the existence of an animal spirit companion.  In this carving, there is an old man and on the other a jaguar. shamans (high priests) often had the "king of the jungle" as his animal spirit and was believed to transform into this mighty beast during rituals.

The shaman was powerful and could communicate with natural forces, animal spirits, and negative energies to cure illness and discover the causes of ecological, social, and political problems.

Shown Above: Lidded Bowl with Jaguar - Old Man Transformation Figure . Mesoamerica, Highland Guatemala, Maya, Early Classic Period, A.D. 200 - 550. Ceramic, 7 7/8 x 4 5/8 in. diameter Gift of Laurence C. and Cora W. Witten II.