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Sitting patiently with a wide-eyed expression on its face, this balam (jaguar) sculpture is designed by Jose Canil to honor his ancestors. "Jaguars were regarded as sacred, a deity, by our Maya ancestors and no one was allowed to harm them. Balam is the jaguar god protector of fields and harvest, so ceremonies were held in its honor before sowing," explains the Guatemalan artisan. He carves and paints the pinewood sculpture by hand. "That’s why I love carving jaguar images, they connect me with my Maya roots."
The tail is detachable.