|Object Name:||Supernatural riding a jaguar|
|Creation Date:||900 BC - 600 BC|
|Repository:||Private collection in U.S.A.|
|Image source:||© Dr. Manuel Aguilar|
|Original photo taken by Dr. Manuel Aguilar in the Olmec Exhibition of Houston in 1995. |
A rare and vivid example of narrative action in Olmec art. With its head thrown back, its soft, toothless mouth agape as if wailing, the infantlike creature rides on the back of a jaguar, firmly holding its tail. The figure atop the jaguar, with slanted almond eyes, widespread nose, and gaping, downturned mouth, is the Olmec supernatural. The supernatural grips the tail of the jaguar, right hand over left, in the same manner rulers hold ceremonial bars or scepters. This grip on the tail is equated with control of the spirit of the jaguar, the powerful animal spirit companion of shamanic rulers.