Jaguar Tlaloc Analysis

635 Words3 Pages
The mural on the left is believed to have come from Atatelco residential compound in Teotihuacan. This feline figure is one of many, for there are claws on top of it and a tail to its right. After a cursory glance at the mural, three objects catch the eye. It depicts a feline figure, an extravagant headdress, and a raincloud. Upon further analysis of these three objects, the artist’s message is elucidated; the mural portrays a jaguar sacred to the storm god Tlaloc, whose purpose was to strike awe and respect from its viewers. There are many objects in the mural which show a clear association with Tlaloc. First is the cloud with drops of water, it represents rain, one of the powers of Tlaloc. From this cloud emerges a speech scroll, a clever…show more content…
He is believed to originate either from the Maya rain god Chaac, or an even earlier Olmec ancestor. He has been venerated in ancient Mexico at least from the days of Teotihuacan, and continued to be worshipped until the fall of the Aztecs. His life-giving rain was essential to the agricultural society of Teotihuacan, while the booming sound of thunder served as his most awe-inspiring power. The jaguar itself is a potent symbol of both war and authority. The artist then proceeds to crown the jaguar with an ornate headdress. The feathers of this headdress could be either quetzal or heron feathers, both birds were also sacred to Tlaloc. The association with thunder and rain reinforces the jaguar’s prestige, for thunder must have been the most dramatic way for Tlaloc to demonstrate his awe-inspiring power, and rain his most important power that fostered Teotihuacan’s agricultural society. Combining so many potent symbols of Tlaloc into one image makes the artist’s desire clear. The jaguar is to be respected, and even feared by its contemporary viewers. Although to our eyes, the jaguar appears grotesque with feathers lining its body, its powerful symbolism for the ancient Teotihuacanos must have been equivalent to Zeus himself hurling lightning bolts or the crucifixion of

    More about Jaguar Tlaloc Analysis

      Open Document