Effigy Vessel in the Form of a Jaguar
Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
This Maya effigy vessel depicts the head and torso of a hunchback human figure wearing a full jaguar-skin costume. Small teeth are visible near the fangs, and hands appear above the paws. Hunchbacks and dwarves were highly respected among the Maya, frequently serving as attendants to rulers. Like the jaguar-skinned dancers depicted on cylindrical vessels, this figure may be impersonating the God of the Underworld, with the scarf around his neck symbolizing human sacrifice and death.
Esta vasija efigie Maya representa la cabeza y torso de una figura humana jorobada vestida completamente con la piel de un jaguar. Pequeños dientes son visibles al lado de los colmillos, y manos aparecen sobre las garras. Los jorobados y enanos eran muy respetados entre los Maya, frecuentemente sirviendo como asistentes de los gobernantes. Como los danzantes vestidos con piel de jaguar representados en vasijas cilíndricas, esta figura puede estar imitando al Dios del Inframundo, con el pañuelo alrededor de su cuello simbolizando sacrificio humano y muerte.
7 x 4 1/4 x 3 in. (17.8 x 10.8 x 7.6 cm) (show scale)
Gift in memory of Frederic Zeller
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Maya. Effigy Vessel in the Form of a Jaguar, 400-500. Ceramic, pigment, 7 x 4 1/4 x 3 in. (17.8 x 10.8 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift in memory of Frederic Zeller, 2009.2.11. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2009.2.11_front_PS6.jpg)
front, 2009.2.11_front_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Small effigy vessel in the form of a jaguar figure with red and brown spots/markings and paws in the front. The vessel opening is in the figure's back, which appears to be hunchbacked. The figure appears to be a man wearing a full jaguar skin because small human-size teeth are visible in the mouth near the jaguar's fangs and human hands are depicted above jaguar paws. There is a small hole at the top of each arm. This piece probably dates from the Early Classic period and may be from the Peten or highlands of Guatemala (cf. Linda Schele and Mary Ellen Miller, The Blood of Kings, Fort Worth: Kimball Art Museum, 1986, plate 39, pp. 148 and 160).
Condition: painted surface abraded, particularly on the head.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.