Quetzalcoatl is one of the most important gods in ancient Aztec Mesoamerica. Variation of Transcendent Physiology. 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. Britannica now has a site just for parents! Quetzalcoatl is closely associated with the myth of the four cardinal directions. Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican god whose name literally means “feathered serpent”. Quetzalcoatl and one of his brothers, Tezcatlipoca, were given the task of creating the world. For instance, he was considered the god of wind and wisdom or learning. 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. 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". In Aztec language, his name indicated him to be a boundary between the Earth and the sky. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. 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 feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl. Outside of Tenochtitlán, the main centre of Quetzalcóatl’s cult was Cholula, on the plateau region called Mesa Central. …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. He was also associated with the creation of mankind, so he also possibly occupied the role of creator in the Aztec mythology. 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. Other legends posited that Quetzalcoatl was the son of the goddess Chimalma. He was a creator deity having contributed essentially to the creation of Mankind. Huitzilopochtli (pronounced Weetz-ee-loh-POSHT-lee) was the … Each of these four sons presides over one of the four cardinal directions. 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. Representations of a feathered snake occur as early as the Teotihuacán civilization (3rd to 8th century ce) on the central plateau. While these stories vary, some said Mixcoatl(the Aztec god of the hunt) impregnated the goddess Chimalma by shooting an arrow from his bow. 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. 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. 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… His name means feathered serpent and he has been worshipped since 100 BC. Chimalma caught the arrows in her hand, however, which i… This task was not quite as simple as it seemed as the god of the underw… Of these, Quetzalcoatl was the Sun in the second cycle. Pre-Columbian civilization. But the god of the night sky, Tezcatlipoca, expelled him from Tula by performing feats of black magic. Quetzalcóatl (pronounced: ketsalˈkoːaːtɬ in Nahuatl) is an Aztec sky and creator god. Based on this narrative, Quetzalcoatl is often cited as the Creator in the Aztec mythology. Quetzalcoatl has been worshiped by all the major Mesoamerican cultures including the Mayans and the Aztecs. 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. Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent. 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. As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcóatl was the symbol of death and resurrection. Before he left, however, he promised to return. Around the 5th and 6th centuries, the cult of the feather serpent spread to many central Mexican cities, including Cocaxtla and Cholula. Today we explore some Mesoamerican mythology. 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. Huitzilopochtli, Father of the Aztecs. Quetzalcóatl’s calendar name was Ce Acatl (One Reed). Together they symbolize life and death. 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 shown sometimes as a serpent and sometimes as a dark man with a red beak. 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. 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. He helped create the cosmos and instigated the system of universal death and rebirth. Quetzalcoatl was searching for the bones of the creatures from the previous world of the 4th Sun in order to make mankind. These, then, are the people that still inhabit the world. Counted among the most important of Aztec gods (and Mesoamerican divine entities), Quetzalcoatl, regarded as the son of… Quetzalcoatl was one of the most important gods of the Aztecs and other peoples of Central America. 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. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 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. The attributes of Quetzalcoatl varied in different cultures of Mesoamerica during different eras. On the other hand, the snake was considered a vital instrument to help bring visions from the underworld to the Mayan kings. Round monuments occur particularly often in Huastec territory. 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 Gods Quetzalcoatl Tezcatlipoca – Quetzalcoatl occupied a unique position in the Aztec pantheon and was considered one of the most important gods. 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 that time Quetzalcóatl seems to have been conceived as a vegetation god—an earth and water deity closely associated with the rain god Tlaloc. He is often shown holding a shield and wearing a beautiful plumed headdress. Circular temples were believed to please Ehécatl because they offered no sharp obstacles to the wind. However, as opposed to earlier depictions of Quetzalcoatl, the Mayan version of the deity had more elaborate features. One important body of myths describes Quetzalcóatl as the priest-king of Tula, the capital of the Toltecs. With the immigration of Nahua-speaking tribes from the north, Quetzalcóatl’s cult underwent drastic changes. Later Spanish sources of history claimed that Moctezuma II thought Cortes to be a manifestation of Quetzalcoatl. The city of Cholula, in particular, was known for the importance it laid on the deity of the feathered serpent. 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. 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. Quetzalcoatl occupied a unique position in the Aztec pantheon and was considered one of the most important gods. 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! If you have enjoyed this video, please leave a like as it helps a lot. Quetzalcoatl was an important god throughout Mesoamerican history and societies and was not just related to the Aztecs. Aztecs worshiped a similar god, Quetzalcoatl, who also matches the description of Kukulcan. Basalt statuette of the god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. He was worshiped among all the major cultures of the Mesoamerican region through history. 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. 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 … 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. The pressure of the northern immigrants brought about a social and religious revolution, with a military ruling class seizing power from the priests. He was also associated with the creation of mankind, so he also possibly occupied the role of creator in the Aztec mythology. However, at the end of the second cycle, mankind became like monkeys and so Quetzalcoatl blew up the whole of mankind. 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. He was also the ninth of the 13 gods of the daytime hours. Quetzalcoatl ’s brother is Xolotl and his mother is Top Goddess Coatlicue. With his opposite Tezcatlipoca he created the world. He is furthe… 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. As the story goes, the Aztec believed in a white, bearded god named Quetzalcoatl, who, long ago, had disappeared into the east. 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. Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. The city was known as the center of Quetzalcoatl’s worship. 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. Quetzalcóatl was the son of the primordial androgynous god Ometeotl. 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. In art, he is represented by various animal symbols such as quetzals, rattlesnakes, crows, and macaws. Quetzalcóatl’s defeat symbolized the downfall of the Classic theocracy. During the 1st Age, for instance, Quetzalcoatl attacked Tez… The first documented worship of Quetzalcoatl is found in Theotihuacan during the first century BC or first century AD. 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". Updates? As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcóatl was the symbol of death and resurrection. Quetzalcoatl, whose name means ‘feathered serpent’, was another main god of the Aztec and played a significant role in Aztec history. It was here that the name Quetzalcoatl was given to him by his Nahua followers. Although he was generally listed as one of the first-rank deities, no ceremonial month was dedicated to his cult. 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'." The power to have the traits and abilities of gods and goddesses from Aztec mythology. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Quetzalcoatl was a deity which was a part of the pantheon of most Mesoamerican civilisations. 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 ) Quetzalcóatl became the god of the morning and evening star, and his temple was the centre of ceremonial life in Tula. 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. 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. 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. His Roots Go Back as Far as the Ancient Olmec. 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. According to the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl was one of the four sons of Tonacateuctli and Tonacacihuatl, the original creator gods . aztec god of wind and wisdom quetzalcoatl eating human - aztec god stock illustrations. Hernando Cortes , Spanish conquistador, attacking natives in Mexico. Mexico and found those form the Aztec civilization. © Copyright 2021 aztecsandtenochtitlan.com. In the 16th century, Spaniards conquered the Aztec Empire. His older brothers were Xipe Totec and Tezcatlipoca while his younger brother was Huitzilopochtli. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In the extant Mayan sources, it has been revealed that Quetzalcoatl, or the Feathered Serpent, was associated with warfare as well as fertility. Omissions? 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. Cortes landed in Mexico in 1519. Blessed Be. The legend of the victory of Tezcatlipoca over the Feathered Serpent probably reflects historical fact. According to another mythological account, he was conceived by the virgin Chimalman after she swallowed an emerald. In Aztec mythology he was the brother of Tezcatlipoca, Huizilopochtli and Xipe Totec. The Myth of Quetzalcoatl: Religion, Rulership, And History In The Nahua World. Aztec God Quetzalcoatl – According to one myth, Quetzalcoatl was born to a virgin called Chimalman to whom god Onteol appeared in a dream. Quetzalcoatl was the third son of the dual creator god Ometeotl. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. In the Aztec creation myth Mictlantecuhtli attempted to delay the god Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl on his journey into Mictlán. The first century of the Toltec civilization was dominated by the Teotihuacán culture, with its inspired ideals of priestly rule and peaceful behaviour. Of these, Quetzalcoatl was the Sun in the second cycle. In this legend, Mixcoatl shot at Chimalma for spurning his advances. 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. This Deity is a Dragon King that rules over the sky in Aztec mythology and is the creator of the fifth humanity. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He also had anthropomorphic forms, for example in his aspects as Ehecatl the wind god. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. He is the 9th of the 13 Lords of the Day and is often associated with the rain god Tláloc. Quetzalcoatl was also related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. Most importantly, however, is the elevation of Quetzalcoatl to the status of a creator god. 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. Mexica culture. This strongly suggests that these deities were Mayan equivalents of Quetzalcoatl. Aztec God Quetzalcoatl – According to Aztec mythology, Earth had been through four cycles of Sun, each of which resulted in the destruction of mankind. Mayans had deities with “feathered serpent” as their names. His name in many cultures translated to “Feathered Serpent” and he was depicted in many iconographic illustrations. Corrections? 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 famed Aztec Feathered Serpent God Son of Creator God biggie Ometecuhtli, he also makes the odd appearance as Ehecatl. 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. However, independent historical sources do not substantiate this claim and later historians have disputed it as well. The temple of Quetzalcóatl at Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital, was a round building, a shape that fitted the god’s personality as Ehécatl. Different versions of the birth of god are prevalent in Mesoamerican mythology. In tracing the history of the worship of Quetzalcoatl, … Sculptures such as the one above were made purely by hand with obsidian (volcanic glass) and stone tools. ... 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. He never offered human victims, only snakes, birds, and butterflies. Those bones he anointed with his own blood, giving birth to the men who inhabit the present universe. As the Lord of the East he is associated with the morning star, … 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. 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. Hernan Cortes, who led the Spaniards, was first invited into the city by Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II. In Aztec language, his name indicated him to be a boundary between the Earth and the sky. At the end of the fourth cycle, when mankind had perished again according to the mythology, Quetzalcoatl created a new people with his blood. Quetzalcóatl ruled over the days that bore the name ehécatl (“wind”) and over the 18th 13-day series of the ritual calendar. This is largely due to the story that the Aztec king welcomed Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, as the reincarnation of the god. 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 … 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. 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. In yet another version, Quetzalcoatl is said to be one of the four sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. 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). The east is represented by Xipe Totec who is the Red Tezcatlipoca and the god of gold and farming. Quetzalcoatl was a bringer of knowledge, the inventor of books, and associated with the planet Venus. Quetzalcoatl is the most recognizable name among the Aztec gods. Four cardinal directions Mesoamerican region through history wearing a beautiful plumed headdress the end of the Mesoamerican through! Glass ) and stone tools our editors will review what you ’ ve submitted determine. God biggie Ometecuhtli, he was generally listed as one of the daytime.! 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