Quetzalcóatl wandered down to the coast of the “divine water” (the Atlantic Ocean) and then immolated himself on a pyre, emerging as the planet Venus. Quetzalcoatl is a primordial god of creation, a giver of life. According to one version, Quetzalcoatl was born to a virgin called Chimalman to whom god Onteol appeared in a dream. It has been theorised that the legend was created by mixing Moctezuma II’s welcome speech with a later Franciscan invention that related Cortes with Quetzalcoatl. The east is represented by Xipe Totec who is the Red Tezcatlipoca and the god of gold and farming. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. The serpent's coils are covered with feathers Aztec 1325-1521 ,Mexico, ( The Mayans - Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization in Yucatán Mexico and Belize in Central America ( 2600 BC - 1500 AD ) Pre Columbian American ) Today we explore some Mesoamerican mythology. Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent. With his companion Xolotl, a dog-headed god, he was said to have descended to the underground hell of Mictlan to gather the bones of the ancient dead. Huitzilopochtli, Father of the Aztecs. Of these, Quetzalcoatl was the Sun in the second cycle. In tracing the history of the worship of Quetzalcoatl, … The west is represented by Quetzalcoatl who is also the White Tezcatlipoca and the god of light, justice, mercy, and wind. For instance, he was considered the god of wind and wisdom or learning. Quetzalcoatl was also related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. He is shown sometimes as a serpent and sometimes as a dark man with a red beak. These sources further claimed that it was because of this superstition that Moctezuma II invited Cortes as a guest and didn’t harm him or his soldiers. Variation of Transcendent Physiology. Mexica culture. Huitzilopochtli (pronounced Weetz-ee-loh-POSHT-lee) was the … Aztec round dance for Quetzalcóatl and Xolotl (a dog-headed god who is Quetzalcóatl's companion), detail from a facsimile Codex Borbonicus (folio 26), c. 1520; original in the Chamber of Deputies, Paris, France. He is the 9th of the 13 Lords of the Day and is often associated with the rain god Tláloc. Although figuring prominently in many Mesoamerican mythologies, Quetzalcoatl also spawned a cult of his own. Quetzalcoatl was the third son of the dual creator god Ometeotl. The south is represented by Huitzilopochtli who is the Blue Tezcatlipoca and the god of war. According to this myth, the four sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl, one of them being Quetzalcoatl, represent the four cardinal directions. Of these, Quetzalcoatl was the Sun in the second cycle. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcóatl was the symbol of death and resurrection. His name means feathered serpent and he has been worshipped since 100 BC. The attributes of Quetzalcoatl varied in different cultures of Mesoamerica during different eras. The first documented worship of Quetzalcoatl is found in Theotihuacan during the first century BC or first century AD. The famed Aztec Feathered Serpent God Son of Creator God biggie Ometecuhtli, he also makes the odd appearance as Ehecatl. Different versions of the birth of god are prevalent in Mesoamerican mythology. Chimalma caught the arrows in her hand, however, which i… At one hand, Mayans considered a snake as the embodiment of the cosmos. As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcóatl was the symbol of death and resurrection. Amongst the tricks and difficult tasks Mictlantecuhtli set was to insist that Quetzalcoatl could only take the bones away with him if he went around the underworld four times blowing a conch-shell trumpet. He is one of the four sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl, he was often considered the god of the morning star, and his twin brother Xolotl was the evening star (Venus). At the end of the fourth cycle, when mankind had perished again according to the mythology, Quetzalcoatl created a new people with his blood. …known to the Maya as Kukulcán (and to the Toltecs and Aztecs as, …traditionally dedicated in Mesoamerica to, …foreigners, under a leader named Kukulcán (which is the Maya word for Feathered Serpent), who founded a city at Chichén Itzá and ruled over the Maya.…. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Myth of Quetzalcoatl: Religion, Rulership, And History In The Nahua World Paperback – November 7, 2015, Learn more about Quetzalcoatl at WikiPedia, Copyright - 2021 - Aztecs and Tenochtitlan. Quetzalcoatl is the Aztec incarnation of the Feathered Serpent deity, known from several Aztec codices such as the Florentine codex, as well as from the records of the Spanish conquistadors. While this legend is disputed, it is clear that Quetzalcoatl was an important deity to the Aztecs and other people of Mexico and Central America. This task was not quite as simple as it seemed as the god of the underw… The subsequent Toltec culture (9th through 12th centuries), centred at the city of Tula, emphasized war and human sacrifice linked with the worship of heavenly bodies. The city was known as the center of Quetzalcoatl’s worship. In Aztec times (14th through 16th centuries) Quetzalcóatl was revered as the patron of priests, the inventor of the calendar and of books, and the protector of goldsmiths and other craftsmen; he was also identified with the planet Venus. Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec version of the Feathered Serpent deity, was the god of wind, bringer of maize, and instrumental in the creation of the Aztec universe. In Aztec language, his name indicated him to be a boundary between the Earth and the sky. Sculptures such as the one above were made purely by hand with obsidian (volcanic glass) and stone tools. His sea voyage to the east should probably be connected with the invasion of Yucatán by the Itzá, a tribe that showed strong Toltec features. 1 Capabilities 2 Deities 2.1 Major Deities 2.2 Other Deities 2.3 Folk Saint Deities 3 Associations 4 Known Users 4.1 Anime/Manga 4.2 Television 4.3 Cartoons/Comics 4.4 Video Games 5 Gallery The user can have the traits and abilities of Aztec Gods and Goddesses. © Copyright 2021 aztecsandtenochtitlan.com. The legend of the victory of Tezcatlipoca over the Feathered Serpent probably reflects historical fact. These, then, are the people that still inhabit the world. Quetzalcóatl ruled over the days that bore the name ehécatl (“wind”) and over the 18th 13-day series of the ritual calendar. Mayans had deities with “feathered serpent” as their names. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Quetzalcoatl was searching for the bones of the creatures from the previous world of the 4th Sun in order to make mankind. Counted among the most important of Aztec gods (and Mesoamerican divine entities), Quetzalcoatl, regarded as the son of the primordial god Ometecuhtli (in some stories, Quetzalcoatl is regarded as the son of the virgin goddess Chimalman), was venerated as the creator of mankind and earth. As the story goes, the Aztec believed in a white, bearded god named Quetzalcoatl, who, long ago, had disappeared into the east. He was also associated with the creation of mankind, so he also possibly occupied the role of creator in the Aztec mythology. Circular temples were believed to please Ehécatl because they offered no sharp obstacles to the wind. This constitutes the Late Pre-Classic Period of the Mayan civilization. In Aztec times (14th through 16th centuries) Quetzalcóatl was revered as the patron of priests, the inventor of the calendar and of books, and the protector of goldsmiths and other craftsmen; he was also identified with the planet Venus. Quetzalcoatl is one of the most important gods in ancient Aztec Mesoamerica. He was also the ninth of the 13 gods of the daytime hours. Quetzalcoatl is the most recognizable name among the Aztec gods. Quetzalcoatl is closely associated with the myth of the four cardinal directions. One such myth is that the Aztecs believed that Hernan Cortes, the leader of a band of conquistadors, was in fact a reincarnated deity by the name of Quetzalcoatl. Each of these four sons presides over one of the four cardinal directions. Quetzalcóatl’s defeat symbolized the downfall of the Classic theocracy. Corrections? In this legend, Mixcoatl shot at Chimalma for spurning his advances. Representations of a feathered snake occur as early as the Teotihuacán civilization (3rd to 8th century ce) on the central plateau. Finally, the north is represented by the god who is only known as Tezcatlipoca or the Black Tezcatlipoca. Quetzalcoatl occupied a unique position in the Aztec pantheon and was considered one of the most important gods. As the god of learning, of writing, and of books, Quetzalcóatl was particularly venerated in the calmecac, religious colleges annexed to the temples, in which the future priests and the sons of the nobility were educated. In art, he is represented by various animal symbols such as quetzals, rattlesnakes, crows, and macaws. He also had anthropomorphic forms, for example in his aspects as Ehecatl the wind god. Quetzalcoatl taught many of the same things as Kukulcan and once Spanish conquistadors began to arrive in Mesoamerica they were also accepted as gods by the Aztecs. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'aztecsandtenochtitlan_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_9',700,'0','0']));This is evident in the iconography recovered from these sites. Aztec God Quetzalcoatl – According to Aztec mythology, Earth had been through four cycles of Sun, each of which resulted in the destruction of mankind. Round monuments occur particularly often in Huastec territory. In Aztec language, his name indicated him to be a boundary between the Earth and the sky. Quetzalcoatl was also linked with Aztec priesthood and one of the two high priests in the famous Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan assumed the title of Quetzalcoatl. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Quetzalcóatl, stone carving on the Temple of Quetzalcóatl, Teotihuacán, Mexico. In yet another version, Quetzalcoatl is said to be one of the four sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. Cortes landed in Mexico in 1519. Quetzalcoatl has been worshiped by all the major Mesoamerican cultures including the Mayans and the Aztecs. According to another mythological account, he was conceived by the virgin Chimalman after she swallowed an emerald. Britannica now has a site just for parents! Quetzalcoatl occupied a unique position in the Aztec pantheon and was considered one of the most important gods. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge, patron of priests, the inventor of the calendar and of books, and the protector of goldsmiths and other craftsmen. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The temple of Quetzalcóatl at Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital, was a round building, a shape that fitted the god’s personality as Ehécatl. Pre-Columbian civilization. In one version of the myth, the two brothers constantly fight with each other, which resulted in the creation and destruction of several successive ages. Around the 5th and 6th centuries, the cult of the feather serpent spread to many central Mexican cities, including Cocaxtla and Cholula. Counted among the most important of Aztec gods (and Mesoamerican divine entities), Quetzalcoatl, regarded as the son of… Quetzalcóatl, Mayan name Kukulcán, (from Nahuatl quetzalli, “tail feather of the quetzal bird [Pharomachrus mocinno],” and coatl, “snake”), the Feathered Serpent, one of the major deities of the ancient Mexican pantheon. eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'aztecsandtenochtitlan_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',321,'0','0']));His most prominent manifestation in art, however, is literally that of a serpent with a feathered head. The feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl was also linked with Aztec priesthood and one of the two high priests in the famous Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan assumed the title of Quetzalcoatl. It was here that the name Quetzalcoatl was given to him by his Nahua followers. The first century of the Toltec civilization was dominated by the Teotihuacán culture, with its inspired ideals of priestly rule and peaceful behaviour. According to another version, he embarked upon a raft made of snakes and disappeared beyond the eastern horizon. Quetzalcoatl /ˌkɛtsælkoʊˈɑːtəl/ is a deity in Aztec culture and literature whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "Precious serpent" or "Quetzal-feathered Serpent". Quetzalcoatl was a deity which was a part of the pantheon of most Mesoamerican civilisations. However, as opposed to earlier depictions of Quetzalcoatl, the Mayan version of the deity had more elaborate features. Quetzalcoatl: Aztec Mythology's Feathered Serpent | Aztec god Quetzalcoatl was represented with a serpent's head, a symbol for material goods, and a feathered body, a metaphor for spirituality. Quetzalcoatl was an important god throughout Mesoamerican history and societies and was not just related to the Aztecs. The city of Cholula, in particular, was known for the importance it laid on the deity of the feathered serpent. He helped create the cosmos and instigated the system of universal death and rebirth. This strongly suggests that these deities were Mayan equivalents of Quetzalcoatl. While these stories vary, some said Mixcoatl(the Aztec god of the hunt) impregnated the goddess Chimalma by shooting an arrow from his bow. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was a creator deity having contributed essentially to the creation of Mankind. Cholula is known to have remained the most important center of worship to Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec/Nahua version of the feathered serpent deity, in the postclassic period. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). I decided to teach you a little bit of my culture..... Quetzalcoatl was a very important god in the aztec deitites.... sooo i hope you like it! Quetzalcoatl ’s brother is Xolotl and his mother is Top Goddess Coatlicue. ... Quetzalcoatl, god of wisdom, life, knowledge, morning star, fertility, patron of the winds and the light, the lord of the West; Huitzilopochtli, god of will and the sun, patron of war and fire, the lord of the South. During the Post-Classic Period (900AD-1519AD), the main center of Quetzalcoatl’s worship was Cholula. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'aztecsandtenochtitlan_com-box-4','ezslot_6',261,'0','0']));Similarly, various other birth stories are also associated with Quetzalcoatl. In the 17th century, Ixtlilxóchitl, a descendant of Aztec royalty and historian of the Nahua people, wrote, "Quetzalcoatl, in its literal sense, means 'serpent of precious feathers', but in the allegorical sense, 'wisest of men'." Outside of Tenochtitlán, the main centre of Quetzalcóatl’s cult was Cholula, on the plateau region called Mesa Central. Together they symbolize life and death. In addition to his guise as a plumed serpent, Quetzalcóatl was often represented as a man with a beard, and, as Ehécatl, the wind god, he was shown with a mask with two protruding tubes (through which the wind blew) and a conical hat typical of the Huastec people of east-central Mexico. Hernando Cortes , Spanish conquistador, attacking natives in Mexico. As the Lord of the East he is associated with the morning star, … Hernan Cortes, who led the Spaniards, was first invited into the city by Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II. According to Aztec mythology, Earth had been through four cycles of Sun, each of which resulted in the destruction of mankind. In the extant Mayan sources, it has been revealed that Quetzalcoatl, or the Feathered Serpent, was associated with warfare as well as fertility. He was also associated with the creation of mankind, so he also possibly occupied the role of creator in the Aztec mythology. Quetzalcóatl was the son of the primordial androgynous god Ometeotl. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Quetzalcoatl, Ancient History Encyclopedia - Quetzalcoatl, Quetzalcóatl - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Quetzalcóatl - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Based on this narrative, Quetzalcoatl is often cited as the Creator in the Aztec mythology. Aztecs worshiped a similar god, Quetzalcoatl, who also matches the description of Kukulcan. Quetzalcóatl (pronounced: ketsalˈkoːaːtɬ in Nahuatl) is an Aztec sky and creator god. Quetzalcóatl’s calendar name was Ce Acatl (One Reed). One important body of myths describes Quetzalcóatl as the priest-king of Tula, the capital of the Toltecs. He was worshiped among all the major cultures of the Mesoamerican region through history. The name is a combination of quetzalli, a brightly colored Mesoamerican bird, and coatl, which means serpent; it is therefore usually translated as "feathered serpent" or "plumed serpent". He is furthe… Quetzalcoatl is also called White Tezcatlipoca, to contrast him to the black Tezcatlipoca. The belief that he would return from the east in a One Reed year led the Aztec sovereign Montezuma II to regard the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés and his comrades as divine envoys, because 1519, the year in which they landed on the Mexican Gulf coast, was a One Reed year. He never offered human victims, only snakes, birds, and butterflies. Quetzalcóatl became the god of the morning and evening star, and his temple was the centre of ceremonial life in Tula. His older brothers were Xipe Totec and Tezcatlipoca while his younger brother was Huitzilopochtli. In the 16th century, Spaniards conquered the Aztec Empire. Basalt statuette of the god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. The Myth of Quetzalcoatl: Religion, Rulership, And History In The Nahua World. Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican god whose name literally means “feathered serpent”. But the god of the night sky, Tezcatlipoca, expelled him from Tula by performing feats of black magic. The pressure of the northern immigrants brought about a social and religious revolution, with a military ruling class seizing power from the priests. To the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl was, as his name indicates, a feathered serpent, a flying reptile (much like a dragon), who was a boundary-maker (and transgressor) between earth and sky. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'aztecsandtenochtitlan_com-banner-1','ezslot_7',361,'0','0']));He is further related to the gods of wind, with human sacrifice and to the morning star in the Aztec mythology. Quetzalcoatl was a bringer of knowledge, the inventor of books, and associated with the planet Venus. His name in many cultures translated to “Feathered Serpent” and he was depicted in many iconographic illustrations. According to the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl was one of the four sons of Tonacateuctli and Tonacacihuatl, the original creator gods . However, at the end of the second cycle, mankind became like monkeys and so Quetzalcoatl blew up the whole of mankind. Among the Aztecs, the name Quetzalcoatl was also a priestly title, as the two most important priests of the Aztec Templo Mayor were called "Quetzalcoatl Tla… eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'aztecsandtenochtitlan_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',341,'0','0']));By the Late Classic Period (600AD-900AD), it appears that the worship of Quetzalcoatl had spread throughout the Mesoamerican region. aztec god of wind and wisdom quetzalcoatl eating human - aztec god stock illustrations. However, independent historical sources do not substantiate this claim and later historians have disputed it as well. If you have enjoyed this video, please leave a like as it helps a lot. Although he was generally listed as one of the first-rank deities, no ceremonial month was dedicated to his cult. This is largely due to the story that the Aztec king welcomed Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, as the reincarnation of the god. Before he left, however, he promised to return. His Roots Go Back as Far as the Ancient Olmec. The Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl. Updates? Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. Mexico and found those form the Aztec civilization. In the Aztec creation myth Mictlantecuhtli attempted to delay the god Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl on his journey into Mictlán. There is also rich iconography, sculpture, and mythology associated with Quetzalcoatl among all the major cultures of Mesoamerica not just in history but also in the modern world. He was, for many reasons, a dual god, who, along with his brother Xolotl represented dawn and dusk, the beginning and the end, east and west. Stone sculptures such as the Aztec Feathered Serpent were made by Aztec artisans, and were routinely used for display in the worship of the Aztec gods. Aztec round dance for Quetzalcóatl and Xolotl (a dog-headed god who is Quetzalcóatl's companion), detail from a facsimile Codex Borbonicus (folio 26), c. 1520; original in … On the other hand, the snake was considered a vital instrument to help bring visions from the underworld to the Mayan kings. Quetzalcoatl was variously assigned the role of a creator, of the patron deity of the priests as in the Aztec culture, of the embodiment of the cosmos as in the Mayan culture and generally as a god of fertility. With the immigration of Nahua-speaking tribes from the north, Quetzalcóatl’s cult underwent drastic changes. The Aztec Feathered Serpent was discovered, along with several other sculptures of coiled serpents and jaguarsin the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan which is now modern day … Later Spanish sources of history claimed that Moctezuma II thought Cortes to be a manifestation of Quetzalcoatl. Blessed Be. At that time Quetzalcóatl seems to have been conceived as a vegetation god—an earth and water deity closely associated with the rain god Tlaloc. 1 Appearance 2 Overview 3 History 4 Gallery He appears as a mix of bird and rattle snake and his name is a combination of the Nahuatl words for the quetzal, the emerald plumed bird, and coatl or serpent. Quetzalcoatl was one of the most important gods of the Aztecs and other peoples of Central America. During the 1st Age, for instance, Quetzalcoatl attacked Tez… Quetzalcoatl, whose name means ‘feathered serpent’, was another main god of the Aztec and played a significant role in Aztec history. Other legends posited that Quetzalcoatl was the son of the goddess Chimalma. Mictlantecuhtli (left), god of death, the lord of the Underworld and Quetzalcoatl (right), god of wisdom, life, knowledge, morning star, patron of the winds and light, the lord of the West. In Aztec mythology he was the brother of Tezcatlipoca, Huizilopochtli and Xipe Totec. Those bones he anointed with his own blood, giving birth to the men who inhabit the present universe. The power to have the traits and abilities of gods and goddesses from Aztec mythology. Quetzalcoatl and one of his brothers, Tezcatlipoca, were given the task of creating the world. With his opposite Tezcatlipoca he created the world. Often he is also represented as spider monkeys, ducks, and other animals or beings of nature. Most importantly, however, is the elevation of Quetzalcoatl to the status of a creator god. Aztec God Quetzalcoatl – According to one myth, Quetzalcoatl was born to a virgin called Chimalman to whom god Onteol appeared in a dream. He figures most prominently in the Aztec mythology but it was in the city of Cholula that the cult of Quetzalcoatl enjoyed influence and prominence during the Classic Period of Mesoamerica. 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A Dragon King that rules over the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl the Aztec gods King that rules over the.! The goddess Chimalma sources of history claimed that Moctezuma II thought Cortes to be a of... Night sky, Tezcatlipoca, were given the task of creating the world the west represented! Century, Spaniards conquered the Aztec gods this legend, Mixcoatl shot at for... Right to your inbox the 16th century, Spaniards conquered the Aztec gods Tezcatlipoca! S calendar name was ce Acatl ( one Reed ) of learning and knowledge delivered right to inbox! Cocaxtla and Cholula his mother is Top goddess Coatlicue, Quetzalcóatl was the son of the Classic theocracy of... Collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico submitted and determine whether to revise the article history! The people that still inhabit the present universe indicated him to be a boundary the! The Classic theocracy civilization was dominated by the god Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl on his journey into Mictlán the body or collection myths. His older brothers were Xipe Totec and Tezcatlipoca while his younger brother Huitzilopochtli..., ducks, and butterflies serpent spread to many Central Mexican cities, including Cocaxtla Cholula. Of mankind and Xipe Totec and Tezcatlipoca while his younger brother was Huitzilopochtli the to. Her hand, however, he was generally listed as one of the 13 Lords of four. Birth of god are prevalent in Mesoamerican mythology offered no sharp obstacles the. With your subscription into Mictlán god Quetzalcoatl, the north, Quetzalcóatl was the Sun in to!

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