Jaguar images have been part of art and rituals from throughout the jaguar’s native habitat for centuries, and now serve as a symbol in many places outside the species’ range. Studying how the jaguar has been portrayed through time around the world helps us to realize different perspectives which affect jaguar conservation. Exploring the various artistic and written portraits of jaguars can tell us about jaguar and human history, as well as the important cultural legacy that will vanish if jaguars become extinct. Explore these five ancient civilizations from Central and South America to see how the jaguar was portrayed in their culture.
Chavin civilization (1500 BC - 300 BC)
Chavin civilization was located along the coastline of Peru. Over 5,000 years ago, the people of the Chavin culture of the Andes were carving stone jaguars.