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Jaguar Mask From Mexico by Teyacapan, via Flickr

Jaguar mask from Guerrero, Mexico

Tigre mask Guerrero 8 inches, painted Throughout Mexico one finds dances about fearsome man-eating jaguars, which may be holdovers from before the Spanish conquest. In preColumbian traditions these dances had the purpose of petitioning the jaguar god, the lord of all animals, so that he would permit successful hunting for the villagers. As a result of this historical-cultural background, the jaguar symbol became amalgamated or confused with that of the tiger.