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El Tigre (The Jaguar)

Page history last edited by Joyce Weaver 10 years ago

The Transformed Self: Performance Masks of Mexico

January 2, 2010 - TBD

Mint Museum Randolph


Examples of El Tigre masks 


El Tigre from Carpinteros, Hildalgo

Grice Collection


El Tigre from Zitlala or Acatlán area, Guerrero

Grice Collection




El Tigre is the jaguar.  It is seen as a foe to human society and is the main character in dramas of the struggle between the opposing forces of light and dark or between civilized life and untamed nature.

Tigre dance dramas also recount themes of daily life, such as the protection of fields from the destructive tigre which preys on crops and domestic animals.  Jaguars can also represent positive roles as guardians of the forest against malevolent spirits.  In one dance, El Duende, the jaguar is "Lord of the Forest," protector of all wild animals.

- Adapted from "The Transformed Self: Performance Masks of Mexico," Passionate Journey: the Grice Collection of Native American Art by Dr. Dorie Reents-Budet, Consulting Curator of Ancient American Art.




El Tigre from Mexico

Promised Gift of Gretchen and Nelson Grice 


El Tigre from Michoacán or Jalisco

Grice Collection



Additional resources


Print resources available in the Mint Museum Library 


Search MARCO: The Mint Art Research Catalog Online formore print resources available in The Mint Museum Library 




Created by Erin Mullen, intern for The Mint Museum Library

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