Luis Alberto Garcia / Zamora Pico de Oro, Chiapas
*The pre-Columbian jaguar was considered part of the cosmic energy.
* Millions of years passed to inhabit a continent.
* Always important animal in the cultures of the past.
*The concepts of anthropologists that magnify that species.
* Mapuches, Guarani, Incas and Aztecs worshiped it.
The importance of the jaguar in Latin American history is such that in Colombia, for example, there are several indications that this animal was very important to pre-Columbian cultures, such as those in the San Agustín region of the Huila department.
Many of the monoliths left by the culture that existed in the Colombian massif have figures in which the images of humans are intertwined with those of animals, and in his book The river, explorations and discoveries in the Amazon jungle, the Canadian author considers Wade Davis that this should be interpreted as a spiritual transformation resulting from the ritual use of coca or yagé.
For the anthropologist Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, the figure of Panthera onca was interpreted by pre-Columbian cultures as an envoy to the world as evidence of the will and integrity of people, whose faith localized them from the Bering Strait in Alaska to Patagonia. in Argentina and Chile.
This cat was part of cosmic energy, and the future of civilization’s existence depended on its direction in relation to humanity. The shaman faced a jaguar specimen in his trance and if he won the match he could direct the energy of the universe to infinity; but the cat was victorious, he turned into a monster that devoured everything.
“It is the image of our darkest being” refers to the Guarani culture, where there is the myth of the Yaguareté-Abá, a sorcerer who transforms into a jaguar by rolling on the animal’s skin, a belief that is also shared with the peoples of the Great Chaco.
The Mapuche people also attributed mystical powers to the jaguar, although today it is already extinct in Chile; the 2015 short film “Nahuel”, about a Mapuche legend, saves such a story.
This species is often used as a symbol in contemporary culture. It is the national animal in Guyana, on whose coat of arms it appears; It also appears on the flag of the Department of Amazonas (Colombia) on the shield of Montería Colombia, on the shield of the Department of Córdoba Colombia, and on the shield of the Mexican state of Guerrero, a Jaguar Warrior appears.
The legislators of the Argentine provinces of Salta, Chaco, Misiones, Jujuy and Formosa declared the jaguar a “provincial natural treasure and monument”, entailing both its inclusion as a representative element and its absolute protection.
Generally, such regulations are sanctioned when the conservation of the animal in question is in danger, and previously, on August 15, 2001, Congress declared Panthera onca a “national natural monument”.
It is widely used as a trademark, the most notable case being that of some British luxury cars, the name of which has been adopted by sports teams such as the Jaguares de Córdoba football club, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL, the Southern Jaguars, or the American NCAA, the Mexican football team the Jaguares de Chiapas.
It also appears on the Argentina national rugby union team crest and is the name of that country’s professional rugby union team competing in Super Rugby. This cat also gave its name to the Grammy Award winning rock band Jaguares.
His name appears in various sections related to technology, such as the Atari Jaguar game console, the experimental Jaguar missile, or the SEPECAT Jaguar or Grumman XF10F Jaguar fighter jets.
In 2016, the new 500 peso note was launched in Argentina, including the image of a jaguar on the obverse, a note that was the first, along with the 200 peso note with the image of the real whale, in a series called Autochtone animals aimed at highlighting the local biodiversity in the land of the Río de la Plata.
The G Series One Thousand Mexican Pesos banknote issued in 2020 by the Bank of Mexico features a jaguar on the reverse, as part of its depiction of the humid jungle ecosystem.
As for the popular culture and language of Latin American countries, in some parts of the subcontinent the saying “otorongo don’t eat otorongo” is used to claim that corruption is hidden between interested parties.