The jaguar, the stories behind America's big cat

The jaguar, the great cat of America, is a unique species, which is why we have joined the celebration of the month of the jaguar together with Panthera. We want to raise our voice to protect this magnificent animal and so that you know, not only its importance within the jungle ecosystem, but all those ancestral stories that arise from it. Beyond being an imposing and magnificent animal, the jaguar is an umbrella species and an ancestral symbol for the communities that have shared the jungle with this species from Mexico to the Amazon . Do you want to know these mystical indigenous stories? We tell you about some beliefs about the power of the jaguar and its importance to understand the state of the species that coexist with it in its habitat.

The jaguar is a crucial figure in indigenous cosmology and is part of the biological wealth of the Amazon. The image of this beautiful animal has been reproduced not only in the indigenous communities of the Amazon, but in America in general.

The jaguar has been a fundamental element in the worldview of ancient cultures, coexisting with communities throughout the Americas for centuries. Unfortunately, like many other species in the Amazon (read also: article), the Jaguar faces threats every day. Persecuted by a series of threats of anthropogenic origin such as illegal hunting, wildlife trafficking, the fragmentation and loss of its habitat and consequently the reduction of its space and the disappearance of its prey, this ancient animal demands all efforts from us. possible to reduce the threats that affect its conservation and the existence of such an emblematic species.

Discover the wonders of the jaguar and its incredible stories and join us to observe it through the ancestral eyes of the indigenous communities

The spirituality of the jaguar

These cats are the protagonists of endless stories. Throughout time they have been essential characters in the stories of the Olmecs, the Mayans, the Aztecs and the Incas. His figure dominates the art of pre-Hispanic cultures who associate him with courage and power, on some occasions with the night and the underworld, on others with the fertility of the earth and even with death. Some Amazonian tribes, for their part, drank their blood, ate their hearts and dressed in their skins.

Different communities and civilizations have used the image of this feline as a metaphor to express human qualities or symbolic social relationships, some even believed that people could transform into jaguars and jaguars, become people, because in this way they acquired unmatched strength. and incredible speed and power.

In "The waning kingdom of the jaguar" National Geographic[/caption]

The jaguar is erected in different indigenous groups of America as a guardian, a protector or ally capable of expelling diseases, catalyzing transformations and scaring away evil forces. It is amazing to think that not only the figure of the jaguar is essential, but also its spirit, because even today, when more than 50% of this species has disappeared, these magnificent animals continue to be invoked in ancestral rituals, because "The spirits do not delete. The body may have died, but the spirit is still here."

In any case, our work to protect them should not stop, as the Amazon communities assure "however, we kept praying for the return of the jaguar, since it is known that a jungle with jaguars is healthier than a jungle without the great hunter who keeps it lines the rest of the species."1 Just as today the representation of the jaguar god and warrior remains latent among many peoples from Mexico to South America, this species must continue to be present in our jungles. [Read also: The Jaguar is a feline majestic and full of pre-Hispanic spirituality.]

In The Waning Kingdom of the Jaguar
The powers of the jaguar.

In addition to its recognition as a powerful symbolic figure, the jaguar is indispensable in its habitat, and its incredible qualities reaffirm its mythological power. We tell you some curious facts about the jaguar to understand its greatness.

Its bite is the most powerful – in relation to its size – among the big cats. And it has one characteristic that sets it apart from them all: they bite their prey on the skull and not the throat, often puncturing the brain and causing instant death.
It is at the beginning of the food chain, that is, it is not eaten by another animal. It feeds on different species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and some plants.

It is one of the few cats that enjoys the water, they can even be considered good swimmers. They swim in rivers to hunt fish, turtles, and alligators.

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  • Eso de convertirse es verdad , por qué algunos pueblos amazónicos , que no tienen contacto con personas civilizadas lo hacen ,no es que se creían como lo dices , yo vengo de ese pueblo, incluso yo puedo hacer, así que no sería bueno decir que se creían transformarse.

    Silvio Shiguango

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