|Institution:||The University of Montana|
|Keywords:||shamanism; were-jaguar; Mesoamerica; Olmec; composite imagery|
|Full text PDF:||http://etd.lib.umt.edu/theses/available/etd-04162014-105615/|
Olmec iconography was a product of close observation of the natural world as well as shamanic trance visions. The Olmec transmitted their knowledge of the natural world in their naturalistic imagery and their knowledge of shamanism in depictions of precise ecstatic trance postures and supernatural composite imagery. Inherent to both artistic traditions is an understanding of the transformative processes of both the natural world and of the shamanic visionary experience. Additionally, the Olmec used their carving technique to inform and educate their intended viewers about the performance of transformative shamanic practice.