Ancient Mexico Imports

Maya Jaguar Mask

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Maya Jaguar Mask

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$70.00

Availability: In stock

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Quick Overview

The jaguar played an important role in the culture and religion of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. 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. For the ancient Olmec, Maya, and Aztec (Mexicas), the jaguar was a symbol of authority and one's prowess in hunting and battle, as well as an integral part of mythology and a powerful spirit companion for shamans.

From the Maya Chronicles


Upon this world a mere mortal is placed to live out their destiny and to help sustain the gods that created the universe. Although sometimes it seems a little help was needed to make sure everyone stayed on track.

Every child was assigned a Nahual by the gods upon birth. A nahual is a spirit being tasked with assisting its individual to live up to their destiny and in cases even act on his behalf. The nahual in essence is a shape-shifter, able to take the form of animals most notably jaguars, dogs or even humans while conducting its duties. If a child is destined to be an astronomer, a warrior or a tradesman the path was preordained and the child is required to follow that path to its conclusion.

At times human free-will plays an unorganized role in the plan. Perhaps the child shows no interest in astronomy or is weak in battle making their intended destiny difficult. Nevertheless the mortal is expected to fulfill their role and will be coaxed or even tricked by their nahual if they stray from their destiny.

This destiny fulfillment and the role a nahual can play is told in a story about a male child named "Jade Bird" whose destiny included being a warrior. Jade-Bird would be tasked with the obligation of winning a great battle. However since an early age the child showed no interest in warrior roles. Rather the child showed great interest and skill in the art of picture writing. Sadly, no apparent warrior skills were present. Simply stated, the boy did not possess the forceful nature or strength required to be a warrior. As time progressed and the boy grew in years he was able to make a living performing the task of picture writing but could never gain respect as a warrior. His behavior was simply too timid.

One day a nobleman requested a worka task be} performed to commemorate his single handed victory over a very fierce enemy warrior he had slain. It was a noteworthy victory for the nobleman warrior. He claimed he had defeated the enemy warrior "Jaguar-Paw" in combat in plain view of everyone in the battlefield. No clemency had been shown by the nobleman as he decapitated his victim. After the decapitation the nobleman gleefully stated that he then skinned the body and would proudly expose the skin as his great trophy. Everyone would forget the greatness of "Jaguar-Paw" and only remember his humiliating defeat at his hands. The nobleman wanted every detail portrayed and written down for all to see.

After much work Jade-Bird completed his task. All important details had been captured in images and writing. The cruelty shown by the nobleman was apparent. Not only had he defeated Jaguar-Paw in battle, but now he would display his trophy to erase any greatness Jaguar-Paw might have accomplished. Jaguar-Paw would now only be remembered as someone's trophy.

The nobleman was very pleased with the work and quickly took his victory accunt. He was off to battle once more; a large group of enemyfierce enemy warriors were challenging the city.

What happens next is recounted as the work of a shape-shifting nahual performing his duties. An urgent request by "Jaguar-Paw", the leader of the attacking group was received, directed to the "Revered Warrior Jade-Bird" stating:

"Revered brother, I have studied your picture writing dispatch with much detail. My heart sank upon beholding your bold hand tell of what awaits me. I have no fear to die in battle. But to never be remembered for much except your trophy really demoralizes me. I will take my leave along with my brave warriors never to come back. If this place is defended by such warriors, may the gods deal with it."

After the withdrawal of the enemy warriors, many congratulatory verses were spoken on behalf of Jade-Bird. His bold move had been the tipping point in the siege.

Afterwards, Jade-Bird made a few inquiries as to the nobleman that had commissioned the work. No such person seemed to exist. All that could be gathered was firsthand accounts of Jade-Bird in full warrior uniform personally dispatching runners with a challenge to Jaguar-Paw including a message in picture writing.

Product Description

Unique piece, only 1 available


Hand made in Mexico by decendants of the Maya Expire of sun dryed wood.


10" tall x 8" wide x 5" depth, weight = 2 lbs.


This is a hand made object, slight imperfections may exist


*Mask can be displayed on a stand or mounted on a wall with proper mounting hardware. (due to the many individual choices to display this item, mounting hardware is not included)



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