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Benson Elizabeth P. (ed.) The Cult of the Feline. A Conference in Pre-Columbian Iconography (October 31st and November 1st 1970)

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Benson Elizabeth P. (ed.) The Cult of the Feline. A Conference in Pre-Columbian Iconography (October 31st and November 1st 1970)
Washington: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Trustees for Harvard University, 1972. — 166 p.
Robert Woods Bliss began collecting Pre-Columbian art because he was lured by the beauty of the materials, the fineness of the craftsmanship, and
the fascination of the iconography of the first Pre-Columbian objects he saw. The Bliss Collection has been, since its beginning in 1912, primarily an esthetic one-probably the first esthetically oriented collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts-so it seemed appropriate to organize a conference that would focus on a cross-cultural, art-historical approach. When we sought for a theme, the first that came to mind was that great unifying factor in Pre-Columbian cultures, the feline. Large cats such as the jaguar and puma preoccupied the artists and religious thinkers of the very earliest civilizations, the Olmec in Mesoamerica and Chavín in Peru. The feline continued to be an important theme throughout much of the New World until the European conquests.
This conference was not only crosscultural but cross-disciplinary-with contributions from anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, and ethnologists-since we believed that the art-historical approach to iconography should be based on the knowledge of what has been found archaeologically and what is known of the customs of the present-day peoples who have been isolated enough to carry on what must be very ancient traditions. The conference covered various facets of the feline presence and meaning in Pre-Columbian cultures from the Valley of Mexico to Argentina, from 1200 B.C. to present-day survivals.
Michael D. Coe. Olmec Jaguars and Olmec Kings.
George Kubler. Jaguars in the Valley of Mexico.
Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff. The Feline Motif in Prehistoric San Agustín Sculpture.
Michael Kan. The Feline Motif in Northern Peru.
Alan R. Sawyer. The Feline in Paracas Art.
Alberto Rex Gonzalez. The Felinic Complex in Northwest Argentina.
Chiaki Kano. Pre-Chavín Cultures in the Central Highlands of Peru: New Evidence from Shillacoto, Huánuco.
David C. Grove. Olmec Felines in Highland Central Mexico.
Geoffrey H. S. Bushnell. Concluding Remarks.
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