Jaguar Staircase

Copan: Jaguar Staircase, East Court [January 9, 2004]

"Grube and Schele observe that 18-Rabbit's jaguarian disguise on Stela F echoes the great jaguar deity relief panel situated atop the western stairway of the East Court. The mask of this same jaguar deity appears as the central icon of the Tablet of the Sun at Palenque, where it adorns a shield flanked by crossed spears. A supernatural patron of war and sacrifice, the Jaguar God has been interpreted as an aspect of the jaguar twin of the Popol Vuh myth and as a personification of the night Sun as it travels through the underworld. The god's attributes include the large eyes with scroll pupils, the twisted crueller that rests between them, and the upswept topknot of hair that both twins wear in their guises as GI and GIII of the Palenque Triad and as Chac and the Baby Jaguar."

Elizabeth A. Newsome, Trees of Paradise and Pillars of the World: The Serial Stela Cycle of 18-Rabbit-God K, King of Copan, p. 118