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Book: Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes

Chapter: 66. What is a nagual/nahual/nawal?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43181


The highly diverse tradition of nagualism in Mesoamerica—which posits the existence of nonhuman or other-than-human entities that inhabit the liminal space between the human world and the realm of gods and ancestors—provides an entry point for understanding Indigenous concepts of self and soul and challenges the applicability of Western understandings of “religion” to Indigenous Mesoamerica.

Chapter Contributors

  • Mallory Matsumoto ( - mematsumoto) 'University of Texas at Austin'