Little Rock's tipi, Southern Cheyenne, made 1904.
Buffalo Bill History Center, WY. Photo Peter Faris.
Jaguar gorget, Hopewell. From: Wood, 2000,
The Jaguar Gorget-"The Missouri State Artifact",
Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly,
April-June 2000, 17(2):8-11.
This then brings up the question of the time period during which jaguars and ocelots roamed eastern North America coexisting with people.
"The Pleistocene fossil record proves that jaguars once ranged over most of North America. Jaguar fossils have been found as far northwest as Whitman County, Washington and as far northeast as Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania. Across the southeast jaguar fossils are among the most common of the large carnivores found by fossil collectors. Along with dire wolves they were probably a dominant predator in the region’s forests for most of the Pleistocene, being more common than the infamous saber-tooth." (Gelbart 2010)
So, what is the most likely identity of the spotted cat at Farrington Springs in southeastern Colorado? Given indications that both ocelots and jaguars might (and I emphasize might) have existed throughout much of North America in relic populations, and also given that considerably larger numbers of ocelots and jaguars existed in Mexico to stray or wander northward before the coming of the modern firearm, it appears that the identification of this petroglyph as an ocelot or jaguar is warranted.
2000 The Jaguar Gorget-"The Missouri State Artifact", Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly, April-June 2000, 17(2):8-11.