Size: 7" x 4.5" x 5"
Material: Cast Stone
Time: 1200 - 600 BC
Location: Guatemala

This powerful yet somehow innocent figure reflects one of the oldest and most universal myths of mankind - the transformation between human and animal. From European werewolves, to Chinese were-leopards, the mysterious link between man and animals pervades ancient stories of all cultures. The Olmecs, who flourished in central Mexico 3000 years ago, are the most mysterious and controversial culture in all Mesoamerica. They built great pyramids, carved giant heads, and laid the foundation for the Mayan and Aztec cultures that followed. This crouching figure with the elongated forelimbs and paws of a jaguar but the face of a child, is executed in a classic Olmec style. Transformational figures are often associated with shamanism, magic and drug induced altered states. However this seems unlikely for a child figure. Some argue that the human face represents the spirit of the jaguar itself while others believe the animal features reflect part of the inner soul of man. The figure might represent an infant destined to become a great shaman. Although its secret alludes us for now, one can imagine a tiny growl coming from the enigmatic, child-like face.

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