The Puma is a large feline predator that once ranged throughout northern, central, and South America; in fact it had the greatest range of any large terrestrial animal. It’s other names include mountain lion, cougar, panther, and catamount.
The Puma is deeply linked to spiritualism of American indigenous cultures. To Andean cultures, the Puma represents the “living” plane of physical reality….the underworld is the serpent, and heavenly realm is the condor. The puma was one of the most sacred animals of the Inca tribe, and the city of Cuzco is designed in its shape. Elsewhere in indigenous mythology, the Puma is associated with transition and sovereignty, and bravery.
The puma also is an animal that’s barely hanging on in many parts of its range. To see one, you have to be lucky, and prepared to deal with the spine-tingling excitement. Hunting, human development and loss of habitat, and loss of prey have all contributed to its decline.
Lastly, Puma is also the name of a very cool Shaman friend in Peru.
Overall, a great inspiration for a blog about lessons in nature and culture, and spouting off about environmental issues!