Observations placeholder

Reichel-Dolmatoff – Amazonian Cosmos - Jaguar symbolism



Type of Spiritual Experience


Like the Lion or maybe Zeus...........

A description of the experience

Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff – Amazonian Cosmos

The jaguar created by the Sun is very huge and is set above nature, dominating fecundity. As the Sun procreates with his power, thus the jaguar is procreating, dressed in his yellow colour.

… The jaguar is a solar animal that takes the place of the Sun; that is to say, it represents its fertilizing energy. Thus nature was dominated by the Sun in Creation.

A concept of protection is combined with the symbolism of the jaguar. The jaguar is the magical protector of the maloca, not only fostering the fertility of its occupants but also defending it against all kinds of dangers that may come near it. It is also the defender of hunters who go through the forest and, at times, follows them invisibly to protect them from dangers.

As the roar of the jaguar is compared with thunder, its association with rain is also evident. The supreme divinity is represented as buhpu ye'e/thunder-jaguar. Lightning  (miari), a fertilizing force through its association with crystal and rain, is also interpreted as a "glance from the Sun," a rapid twinkle (ku-miari ).

The same concept of "glance" or of the "penetrating look," attributed to many supernatural personifications and to payes, contains a fertilizing element.

The source of the experience

South American shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps