People of the Jaguar


Vessel with two shamans

Two shamans are performing a ritual to ensure the continuity of life. One has dripped blood from his pierced genitals onto paper contained in a bowl. The paper was then burned, the smoke carrying his blood sacrifice to the gods. The other shaman is holding a red undulating form, a symbol of itz, or divine energy, which enters the world through a hole in the sky above an altar (shown above the figure holding the bowl).


Painted terracotta
Northern Petén lowlands, Guatemala
Late Classic period, A.D. 600-900
Canadian Museum of Civilization, XXI-A-372, K95-445

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