Tuesday, November 20, 2007

El Jaguar, y sus mitos mesoamericanos

I hope everyone is ready for Turkey Day!!! I read an intersting
article yesterday that has to do with the reappearance of the
jaguar in the American Southwest. The Southwest at one point
in history was still the territory of the native Mexicans related
to the Aztecs, Maya, and other tribes. All of whom had import-
ant myths and stories to tell about their elusive fantastical
creature, the jaguar.

Once you've clicked on the picture link above and seen both
pictures, be sure to go to the link here, and read the article in
Smithsonian magazine. As you are reading, answer the questions:

1. Why is it strange to see the jaguar in the American Southwest?

2. What size is the cat?

3. How long has it been since the last one was seen in the US?

4. How is Mexican president Vicente Fox involved?

5. What is meant by the phrase: "This site alone shows these animals
are not transients?

Go to this article on Aztec mythology in Wikipedia, and read the
sections entitled: "Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl" and "Mythical

6. Who was Tezcatlipoca?

7. Who was his enemy?

8. What was one of the animal forms which Tezcatlipoca assumed to
protect himself?

9. What did he do once he had taken this form?

Read the entry for 'Jaguars' in this article on the Olmecs and answer:

1. What are the functions of the jaguar in their mythology?

2. Since the jaguar in their mythology is actually a god in the form of a
beast, what do you suppose is actually happening in this picture?

Read the following story called 'El Origen de los Felinos' and answer:

1. Where is this story from?

2. How are the Yanomani's ideas about the jaguar similar to the Maya
or Olmec?

3. What happens to jaguar at the end of the story?

4. What is the similarity between Tezcatlipoca, and the Yanomani's
jaguar in the story?

Have fun over the weekend! Come back safe and in one piece!