Sabtu, 26 Juli 2008

Aztec God - Huixtocihuatl

(Goddess of Salt) Older sister of the Tlaloque (the attendants of the rain god). Her skirt had motifs of waves of water and jadeite. She was associated with the sea (salt water).


(Hummingbird of the Left, Hummingbird of the South) Supreme and patron deity of the Aztec, god of sun, fire, and war, he is the Blue Tezcatlipoca. He wears a blue-green hummingbird headdress and carries the xiuhcoatl, the fire serpent that is the weapon he uses to fight his enemies. He frequently is represented bearing on his back the anecuyotl, the head of a fantastic animal. He led the Mexica during part of their pilgrimage from Aztlan to the promise land of the Valley of Mexico and determined the place of the foundation of Tenochtitlan, their capital city. He was worshipped in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan and was honored with massive human sacrifices throughout the year. The god Painal, an avatar of Huitzilopochtli, was associated with warfare and the ball game as a metaphor of war.

Aztec God - Huehueteotl

(Old God) God of the hearth and the household and lord of fire. He is represented as an old figure with his legs crossed and his hands resting on the knees. Often he has some features of Tlaloc, expressing a link between the two deities. He holds in his head a huge brazier that was used for burning incense or even to produce fire.

Selasa, 01 Juli 2008

Aztec God - Huehuecoyotl

Huehuecoyotl (Old Coyote) He is the god of dance, music, and carnality, and the patron deity of feather workers.

Aztec God - Ehecatl

Ehecatl (Lord of the Wind) Ehecatl announces the coming of the rain and is an avatar of Quetzalcoatl. He wears a mask in the shape of a duck beak, and diverse pieces of shell jewelry. He carries a cut conch pectoral called an ehecailacacozcatl.

Aztec God - Coyolxauhqui

Coyolxauhqui (She of the Bells on the Cheeks) She is the older half sister of Huitzilopochtli and warrior daughter of Coatlicue. She is also a moon goddess. She is represented with bells made of metal. Her body was mutilated after she was decapitated by Huitzilopochtli on Mt. Coatepec

Aztec God - Cihuateteo

(Women Gods) One of two groups of supernaturals who accompany the Sun on its passage from east to west, the Cihuateteo are female warriors, or women who have died in childbirth . They haunt the crossroads at night, can cause seizures and insanity in people, and are known to steal children. They also seduce men and cause them to commit adultery and other sexual transgressions.

Organization of the Aztec Pantheon

In the official Aztec religion, 144 Nahuatl names corresponded to the gods. Of these names, 66 percent belong to deities considered masculine, and 34 percent, to deities of feminine gender. According to historian Rafael Tena, the important gods of the Aztec pantheon can be identified through three different, complementary methods: 1) the analysis of the functions of the gods, 2) the frequency whereupon they received an official cult, and 3) the presence of their respective temples within the ceremonial enclosure of Tenochtitlan the Handbook of Middle American Indians (1971:
395–446) proposed distributing the Aztec gods into three groups consisting of 17 gods who ruled over similar functions and powers.
1. Creative and provident gods
  1. Ometeotl, the Dual Divinity or the Divine Pair: supreme deity
  2. Tezcatlipoca, Smoking Mirror: creative, omnipotent god
  3. Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent: creative and beneficial god
  4. Xiuhtecuhtli, Lord of the Year or Lord of the Turquoise: god of the fire
  5. Yacatecuhtli, Lord at the Vanguard: god of merchants and travelers
2. Gods of agricultural and human fertility and of pleasure
  1. Tlaloc, “the one that is made of earth”: god of waters
  2. Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, Wind-Feathered Serpent: god of wind
  3. Xochipilli, the Flower Prince: god of the fertilizing sun and of joy
  4. Xipe Totec, Our Flayed Lord: god of the vegetation that must perish but is reborn
  5. Cinteotl, God of the Maize
  6. Metztli, Moon: deity of the Moon
  7. Teteoinnan, Mother of the Gods: universal mother goddess
3. Gods that conserve the energy of the world but require the nutriments of war and human sacrifices to replenish their power
  1. Tonatiuh, “the one that is illuminating”: god of the Sun
  2. Huitzilopochtli, Hummingbird of the South: solar god of war, the tutelary god of the Mexica
  3. Mixcoatl, Cloud Serpent: god of the Milky Way
  4. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, Lord of the Dawn: god of the planet Venus
  5. Mictlantecuhtli, Lord of the Place of Dead: god of the underworld

Each celebration of the xiuhpohualli (the solar year) had a corresponding god or gods worshipped in ritual.
These celebrations include the following:
Atlcahualo, or Cuahuitlehua: Tlaloque Tlacaxipehualiztli: Xipe Totec and Huitzilopochtli, Tlaloque Tozoztontli, or Xochimanaloya: Tlaloque, Coatlicue Huey Tozoztli: Cinteotl, Chicomecoatl, Chalchiuhtlicue, Tlaloque Toxcatl: Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli Etzalcualiztli: Tlaloque and Chalchiuhtlicue Tecuilhuitontli: Huixtocihuatl, Xochipilli Huey Tecuilhuitl: Xilonen and Cihuacoatl Tlaxochimaco, or Miccailhuitontli: Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli, Mictlantecuhtli Xocotlhuetzi, or Huey Miccailhuitl: Xiuhtecuhtli-Otontecuhtli, Yacatecuhtli, Mictlantecuhtli Ochpaniztli: Teteoinnan-Toci, Tlazolteotl, Coatlicue, Cinteotl and Chicomecoatl Teotleco: Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli, Huehueteotl, Yacatecuhtli Tepeilhuitl, or Huey Pachtli: Tlaloc, Tlaloque, Tepictoton, Centozontotochtin, pulque gods, major mountains Quecholli: Mixcoatl, Camaxtle, Huitzilopochtli, Coatlicue Panquetzaliztli: Huitzilopochtli, Tezcatlipoca, Painal, Yacatecuhtli Atemoztli: Tlaloque, Tepictoton mountains Tititl: Ilamatecuhtli, Cihuacoatl, Tonantzin Yacatecuhtli Izcalli, or Huauhquiltamalcualiztli: Xiuhtechtli, Tlaloc, Chalchiuhtlicue Other celebrations of the xiuhpohualli were the Pillahuano (Xiuhtecuhtli), Atamalcualiztli (Cinteotl), and Toxiuhmolpilia, or New Fire ceremony (Xiuhtecuhtli, Huitzilopochtli).
Celebrations of the tonalpohualli (ritual lunar calendar) also worshipped particular gods. They include the following:
Nahui ollin, “4 Movement”: Tonatiuh
Chicome-xochitl, “7 Flower”: Chicomexochitl
and Xochiquetzal
Ce-mazatl, “1 Deer”: Cihuapipiltin
Ome-tochtli, “2 Rabbit”: Ometochtli and
Ce-acatl, “1 Cane”: Quetzalcoatl
Ce-miquiztli, “1 Death”: Tezcatlipoca
Ce-quiahuitl, “1 Rain”: Cihuapipiltin
Ome-acatl, “2 Cane”: Omeacatl
Ce-tecpatl, “1 Knife”: Huitzilopochtli, Camaxtle
Ce-ozomatli, “1 Monkey”: Cihuapipiltin
Ce-itzcuintli, “1 Dog”: Xiuhtecuhtli
Ce-atl, “1 Water”: Chalchiuhtlicue
Ce-calli, “1 House”: Cihuapipiltin
Ce-cuauhtli, “1 Eagle”: Cihuapipiltin
The most important Aztec gods based on their frequency in Aztec rituals were therefore Tlaloc (Tlaloque) and Chalchiuhtlicue, Xiuhtecuhtli-Huehueteotl-Otontecuhtli, Huitzilopochtli, Tezcatlipoca, Cinteotl and Chicomecoatl-Xilonen, Mixcoatl, Yacatecuhtli, Ometochtli, Xipe Totec, To- natiuh, Cihuapipiltin, Teteoinnan-Toci, Tlazolteotl, Ilamatecuhtli-Cihuacoatl, Coatlicue, Quetzalcoatl, Mictlantecuhtli, Painal, Omeacatl, Huixtocihuatl, Xochipilli-Chicomexochitl, and Xochiquetzal.

The Nature of the Aztec Gods

The Aztec gods were anthropomorphic and related through the bonds of kinship. The numerous gods of the Aztec pantheon had complex hierarchies. Although the gods were immortal, and as such would exist into eternity, this did not prevent them from dying or returning to life an infinite number of times.
The gods had superhuman powers and resided in the different levels of heaven and the underworld, as well as inhabiting specific places on Earth. They could be called upon to manifest themselves instantaneously at many different sites. When the Aztec gods were summoned they could visit human beings in diverse ways, often appearing in dreams or through fantastic visions or disguised as nahualtin (singular, nahualli), or animal embodiments. These beings were generally zoomorphic and important to rituals and the auguries of Aztec divination. Nahua can be found in Aztec iconography depicted in the codices and chronicles with characteristics that allowed for their identification.
Although the gods were benevolent and provident in their relationship with humankind, they could also be frightful, arbitrary, and maleficent. They presided over special scopes of nature or aspects of human culture and could be adopted as protectors by an ethnic or socioeconomic group.

The Origin of the Aztec Gods

The Aztec religion was polytheistic (belief in many gods) and was therefore composed of a multitude of gods and goddesses. Every town, neighborhood, and family had a corresponding deity. Additionally, every plant, and human traits. The Aztec gods embodied fundamental Aztec principles such as the concept of duality, the predilection for multiplicity (polytheism) over individuality (monotheism), and the important connection between the gods, humans, and the natural environment.
Although the Aztec religion was indeed very complex and can be described as polytheistic, there is also a certain tendency toward a theoretical monotheism (belief in a primordial single god). Aztec poets and philosophers, for example, bestowed many epithets on the primordial god Ometeotl, the Lord of Duality:
Ipalnemoani, “the giver of life”; Tloque Nahuaque, “the one that is everywhere” or “the ever present”;
Moyocoyani, “the one that acts by itself with absolute freedom” or “the one who invents himself.” Although the creator Ometeotl was also known as Tezcatlipoca, Tonatiuh, and Xiuhteuctli-Huehueteotl, it was understood that they all represented preeminent personifications of the supreme deity. The supreme deity was eternal but somewhat remote from the world and from human beings; therefore, other gods were sent to mediate in the affairs of men and women. These gods exhibited benevolent powers in many senses, but they were also subject to the limitations and imperfections of the earthly realm. They could be moved by a whim or through passion, be hurt or maimed, and could suffer debilitation and be subject to death.
The Mexica considered the supreme deity Ometeotl to be both the father (Ometecuhtli) and mother (Omecihuatl) of the other gods. Both fundamental beings were called Tonacatecuhtli and Tonacacihuatl, the Lord and Lady of Our Sustenance, deities that nourished humanity.
The Aztec religion was inclined to syncretism rather than proselytism. When the Aztec conquered other towns they did not impose their own gods onto the conquered nations but rather incorporated the gods of the peoples they conquered.
Therefore we find a variety of gods who serve as patrons of sorcerers, nomadic hunters, soldiers, agriculturists, fishermen, as well as gods from particular regions, inhabiting the tropical forests, the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and the central plateau