The Cryptic Mayan Jaguar: Embodiment as Costume, Regalia, Uniform, and Traje in the MUREM Folklore Museum’s Educative Curation

Maureen  K. Porter (University of Pittsburgh)

Sponsored by the Creative Writing and Storytelling Section of the American Folklore Society. Despite colonial efforts, Mayan legends and folklife centering the mystical jaguar survive in the jungles of the Yucatan. Whether as fellow beings or supernatural gods incarnate, these storied creatures inhabit local minds and hearts. In the Museum of Ethnic Clothes of Mexico (MUREM), curators have brought together an extraordinary collection of masks and clothing that push back on traditional tropes and offer fresh insights into their modern relevance and enigmatic power. Jaguars are no longer the denizens of dusky, obscure dreams and fantasies - through educative curation their relevance to modern cultural revival comes alive, literally jumping off the walls.

Part of 05-03 New Engagements with Museums and Monuments, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm