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Mayan Vase Object 7196 - Jaguar

The jaguar-like figure starts the sequence of the procession of the Dance of Death. This figure, referred to as a Coatimundi, is an unusual depiction. It lacks the tail normally found in other examples of the Dance of Death, though it is described in the text to the left. The figure sports a cloth with death markings (they look like percent signs), a common symbol in other depictions of this dance.

Here is a paraphrased translation of the glyphs to the left:

It is "Fire Tailed Coatimundi", who is the spirit-companion of the Lord of the Hair-Knot-Place, of the Place of Blindness.

The word Mutul refers to "hair knot" or "hair bun", a dynasty based at the site of Tikal. The "Place of Blindness" may refer to a generalized location or a supernatural location. The text also makes reference to "spirit-companions," a supernatural being with whom a person shares his or her consciousness [4]. Stephen Houston and David Stuart explore this ethnographically observed concept in the art of the Classic Maya in their article "The Way Glyph: Evidence for "Co-essences" among the Classic Maya."

[4]Houston, Stephen D, and David Stuart. The Way Glyph: Evidence for "co-Essences" Among the Classic Maya. Washington, D.C: Center for Maya Research, 1989.