Icons of Power: Feline Symbolism in the Americas
Icons of Power investigates why the image of the cat has been such a potent symbol in the art, religion and mythology of indigenous American cultures for three thousand years.
The jaguar and the puma epitomize ideas of sacrifice, cannibalism, war, and status in a startling array of graphic and enduring images. Natural and supernatural felines inhabit a shape-shifting world of sorcery and spiritual power, revealing the shamanic nature of Amerindian world views. This pioneering collection offers a unique pan-American assessment of the feline icon through the diversity of cultural interpretations, but also striking parallels in its associations with hunters, warriors, kingship, fertility, and the sacred nature of political power. Evidence is drawn from the pre-Columbian Aztec and Maya of Mexico, Peruvian, and Panamanian civilizations, through recent pueblo and Iroquois cultures of North America, to current Amazonian and Andean societies.
This well-illustrated volume is essential reading for all who are interested in the symbolic construction of animal icons, their variable meanings, and their place in a natural world conceived through the lens of culture. The cross-disciplinary approach embraces archaeology, anthropology, and art history.
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Icons of power
The feline image
Jaguar symbolism in the Americas
A thematic approach to their imagery and symbolism
5 Feline symbolism and material culture in prehistoric Colombia
6 The jaguar of the backward glance
7 Paragon or peril? The jaguar in Amazonian Indian society
8 Felines patronyms and history of the Araucanians in the southern Andes
9 Mountain Lions and Pueblo shrines in the American Southwest
The panther in HuronWyandot and Seneca myth ritual and material culture
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Amerindian Andean animal Anthropology anthropomorphic Araucanian Archaeology archeological artifacts associated Aztec Black Jaguar bone Bororo cactus canines carnivore Cashinahua Central ceramic ceremonial Chavin Classic Maya classiﬁcation claws Cochiti Colombia context Cult culture deer depicted Dumbarton Oaks E.P. Benson efﬁgy ethnographic example fangs felid feline feline imagery feline symbolism fetishes ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁnds ﬁrst grave groups hallucinogenic head historical human ﬁgure hunter hunting icons identiﬁed Iroquoian jaguar jaguarundi killed Kogi lowland male mammal man-being man—being maxillary canine Maya Mesoamerica Mexico Moche Mountain Lion Museum myth mythology nahuallis natural Northern Iroquoian ocelot Olmec Panama panther Pecos Peru Photograph pottery Pre—Columbian predator Pueblo puma region Reichel-Dolmatoff ritual sacriﬁce San Agustin Seneca serpent shamans Shipibo shrine signiﬁcance Sitio Conte skin Smithsonian Institution smoking pipes social society species speciﬁc stirrup spout bottle stone supernatural tail Tairona teeth Tembladera Tewa Tezcatlipoca University Press vessel Waiwai warriors Washington Yellow Jaguar York