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 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts in
the Americas

Wild cat container

Height: 16.000 cm
Width: 31.000 cm
Length: 33.500 cm

AOA 1926-22

Wild cat container

From: Mexico (Teotihuacan)
Date: 150 BC - AD 750

This container has been made in the shape of a wild big cat, probably an ocelot. Gifts for the gods (offerings) may have been placed in the two spaces in the ocelot's back. Ocelots still live in the forests of central America. They have brown coats with dark spots.

Cat-like animals are often shown on pottery and in paintings from the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Jaguars were particularly worshipped as they were linked to rulers. One big wall painting in Teotihuacan shows a procession of jaguars blowing conch shell trumpets.