NATIVE AMERICAN DESIGNS


Quetzalcoatl
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Quetzalcoatl

Questzacoatl was called the “Feathered Snake", and was among the major deities of the Aztec. He is the creator sky-god and wise legislator. He organized the original cosmos and participated in the creation and destruction of various world periods. Quetzalcoatl ruled the fifth world cycle and created the humans of that cycle.

The story goes that he descended to Mictlan, the underworld, and gathered the bones of human beings of the previous epochs. Upon his return, he sprinkled his own blood upon these bones and fashioned thus the humans of the new era. He is also a god of the wind (the wind-god Ehecatl is one of his forms), as well as a water-god and fertility-god.

He is regarded as a son of the virgin goddess Coatlicue and as the twin brother of Xolotl. As the bringer of culture he introduced agriculture (maize) and the calendar and is the patron of the arts and the crafts.

In one myth the god allowed himself to be seduced by Tezcatlipoca, but threw himself on a funeral pyre out of remorse. After his death his heart became the morning-star, and is as such identified with the god Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli. In dualistic Toltec religion, the opposing deity, Tezcatlipoca ("Smoking Mirror"), a god of the night, had reputedly driven Quetzalcoatl into exile. According to yet another tradition he left on a raft of snakes over the sea. In any case, Quetzalcoatl, described as light-skinned and bearded, would return in a certain year. Thus, when the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés appeared in 1519, the Aztec king, Montezuma II, was easily convinced that Cortés was in fact the returning god.

Encyclopedia Mythica.
http://www.pantheon.org/


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