Tezcatlipoca was also honoured during the ceremony of the 9th month, when the Miccailhuitontli "Little Feast of the Dead" was celebrated to honour the dead, as well as during the Panquetzaliztli "Raising of Banners" ceremony in the 15th month.  Tezcatlipoca priests were offered into his service by their parents as children, often because they were sick. Although probably not exactly a depiction of the same feathered serpent deity worshipped in classic and post-classic periods, it shows the continuity of symbolism of feathered snakes in Mesoamerica from the formative period and on, for example in comparison to the Maya Vision Serpent shown below.  Utter respect from the highest position of Aztec nobility, the king, shown through the figurative and literal nakedness of his presence in front of Tezcatlipoca. Many temples built to honour Tezcatlipoca were aligned east to west, as he was associated with the sun. The first culture to use the symbol of a feathered serpent as an important religious and political symbol was Teotihuacan. Before their act there was only the sea and the crocodilian earthmonster called Cipactli. In one particular hymn, he is mentioned as being both the creator and destroyer of the world, and both as a poet and a scribe.  Quetzalcoatl was one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon, along with the gods Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli.  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'. Most Mesoamerican beliefs included cycles of suns. There is no question that the legend of Quetzalcoatl played a significant role in the colonial period. This talisman was carved out of abalone shell and depicted on the chest of both Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca in codex illustrations. Tezcatlipoca was often described as a rival of another important god of the Aztecs, the culture hero, Quetzalcoatl. Eventually Quetzalcoatl knocked Tezcatlipoca from the sky with a gigantic stick, and so he became the second sun. Tezcatlipoca was also worshipped in many other Nahua cities such as Texcoco, Tlaxcala and Chalco. In one version of the Aztec creation account the myth of the Five Suns, the first creation, "The Sun of the Earth" was ruled by Tezcatlipoca but destroyed by Quetzalcoatl when he struck down Tezcatlipoca who then transformed into a jaguar. A feathered serpent deity has been worshiped by many different ethno-political groups in Mesoamerican history. The name Quetzalcoatl literally means "feathered snake". The color black is strongly associated with Tezcatlipoca and he is often portrayed as having horizontal bands across his face especially in black and yellow, but the many different codices vary on which two colors from site to site. Over time, Quetzalcoatl's appearance, clothing, malevolent nature, and status among the gods were reshaped to fit a more Christian framework. Tezcatlipoca (/ˌtɛzkætliˈpoʊkə/; Classical Nahuatl: Tezcatlipōca Nahuatl pronunciation: [teskatɬiˈpoːka] (listen)) was a central deity in Aztec religion, and his main festival was the Toxcatl ceremony celebrated in the month of May. In one of the Aztec accounts of creation, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca joined forces to create the world. Envious of the calm enjoyment of the god and his people the Toltecs, three wicked “necromancers” plotted their downfall.  In another story, the virgin Chimalman conceived Quetzalcoatl by swallowing an emerald. In the complex Mesoamerican creation myths Tezcatlipoca ruled the first world of the Sun but was then overthrown by Quetzalcóatl. But she was crushed by Tezcatlipoca's words who accused her of just pretending to be kind.  A fourth story narrates that Quetzalcoatl was born from Coatlicue, who already had four hundred children who formed the stars of the Milky Way. In the Postclassic period (900–1519 AD), the worship of the feathered-serpent deity centred in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula. The earth herself is the nourisher of life; but she is also the burial ground of the dead. Tlaloc, the god of rain, then became the sun. Name: Tezcatlipoca, God Of Darkness, God Of Destruction, God Of Ruin, Lord Of The Night Winds, Patron Of Evil Sorcerers, The Dark God, The Jaguar Lord, …  The young man also was dressed in the likeness of the god and people on the streets would worship him as such when encountered.  In Mazatec legends the astrologer deity Tlahuizcalpanteuctli, who is also represented by Venus, bears a close relationship with Quetzalcoatl.. The first age, called the Sun of the Earth or the Jaguar Sun, was destroyed. Over the East presides the Red Tezcatlipoca, Xipe Totec, the god of gold, farming and springtime. This article is about a Mesoamerican deity.  However, in 1892 one president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John Taylor, wrote:. In his form as Ehecatl he is the wind, and is represented by spider monkeys, ducks, and the wind itself. It is also suggested that he was a son of Xochiquetzal and Mixcoatl. In one version of the Aztec creation account the myth of the Five Suns, the first creation, "The Sun of the Earth" was ruled by Tezcatlipoca but destroyed by Quetzalcoatl when he struck down Tezcatlipoca who then transformed into a jaguar. Honoring Tezcatlipoca was fundamental to both the priesthood and the nobility. At temples such as the aptly named "Quetzalcoatl temple" in the Ciudadela complex, feathered serpents figure prominently and alternate with a different kind of serpent head. Quetzelcoatl also appeared on (Season 3) of the Animal Planet mockumentary Lost Tapes in an episode entitled "Q the Serpent God". In the post-classic Nahua civilization of central Mexico (Aztec), the worship of Quetzalcoatl was ubiquitous. The earliest iconographic depiction of the deity is believed to be found on Stela 19 at the Olmec site of La Venta, depicting a serpent rising up behind a person probably engaged in a shamanic ritual. 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 post-classic period. Vengeance . Often our current time was considered the fifth sun, the previous four having been destroyed by flood, fire and the like.  Historian Enrique Florescano also analyzing Teotihuacan iconography argues that the Feathered Serpent was part of a triad of agricultural deities: the Goddess of the Cave symbolizing motherhood, reproduction and life, Tlaloc, god of rain, lightning and thunder and the feathered serpent, god of vegetational renewal.  Tezcatlipoca is often shown carrying a shield with balls of either feathers or cotton and holding arrows or a spear in his right hand with a fan of feathers surrounding a mirror. In the Legend of the Suns, their battles saw them topple each other as regents of individual worlds. After Great Monster Wars, the records and lore about her were buried away by Goddess Ilias. Angered in turn, he would not make it rain for several years until, in a fit of rage, he made it rain fire with the few people who survived the assault turning into the birds. (Many academics conclude this passage implies incest.) Tezcatlipoca's main feast was during Toxcatl, the fifth month of the Aztec calendar. Quetzalcoatl became the ruler of the subsequent creation “Sun of Water”, and Tezcatlipoca destroyed the third creation “The Sun of Wind” by striking down Quetzalcoatl. The rivalry between Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca is also recounted in the legends of Tollan where Tezcatlipoca deceives Quetzalcoatl who was the ruler of the legendary city and forces him into exile. The meaning of his local name in other Mesoa… In the aspect in which he is mainly portrayed, Tezcatlipoca is the Destroyer figure. ", Quetzalcoatl was also linked to rulership and priestly office; additionally, among the Toltec, it was used as a military title and emblem.. According to Fray Diego Durán it was "lofty and magnificently built. Tezcatlipoca was believed to be the son of the primordial androgynous god Ometeotl. His cult was associated with royalty, and was the subject of the most lengthy and reverent prayers in the rites of kingship, as well as being mentioned frequently in coronation speeches. One of the four sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl, he is associated with a wide range of concepts, including the night sky, the night winds, hurricanes, the north, the earth, obsidian, enmity, discord, rulership, divination, temptation, jaguars, sorcery, beauty, war, and strife. He was overthrown by Tezcatlipoca, who saw that the people who lived under Quetzalcoatl were animalistic and uncivilized. He is sometimes the adversary of the god Quetzalcoatl and sometimes the ally. , In the era following the 16th-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, a number of records conflated Quetzalcoatl with Ce Acatl Topiltzin, a ruler of the mythico-historic city of Tollan. , 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. Christian missionaries perceived the tragic Quetzalcoatl as a Christ-figure.  When the ritual called for it, priests would also dress up as Tezcatlipoca himself and accompany other similarly outfitted gods or goddesses. The Main temple of Tezcatlipoca in Tenochtitlan was located south of the Great Temple. Auh yn jquac molhuja eheca, mjtoa: teuhtli quaqualaca, ycoioca, tetecujca, tlatlaiooa, tlatlapitza, tlatlatzinj, motlatlaueltia. Apart from being a creator deity, he also ruled over the modern age. Common ornaments were white turkey feather headdresses, a paper loincloth, and a tzanatl stick with similar feathers and paper decorations. She cried for many years and the world was destroyed by the resulting floods. The first documented worship of Quetzalcoatl is found in Theotihuacan during the first century BC or first century AD. The existence of such worship can be seen through studies of the iconography of different Mesoamerican cultures, in which serpent motifs are frequent. Women were sometimes sacrificed as ixiptla to honor female deities. While these stories vary, some said Mixcoatl(the Aztec god of the hunt) impregnated the goddess Chimalma by shooting an arrow from his bow. Over the South presides the Blue Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. With each victory a world age is ended; Tezcatlipoca’svictories signify the end of the second and fourth suns, so that Quetzalcoatl may return at the end of the fifth and final sun to triumph at the ending of the world.  In his form as the morning star, Venus, he is also depicted as a harpy eagle. In a version of the myth, Quetzalcoatl was born by a virgin named Chimalman, to whom the god Onteol appeared in a dream. In the Aztec ritual calendar, different deities were associated with the cycle-of-year names: Quetzalcoatl was tied to the year Ce Acatl (One Reed), which correlates to the year 1519. Tezcatlipoca was a significant god in Aztec religion. In later myths, the four gods who created the world, Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli and Xipe Totec were referred to respectively as the Black, the White, the Blue and the Red Tezcatlipoca.  The new king would claim his spiritual nakedness symbolically through words and physical vulnerability, praising Tezcatlipoca with lines such as: O master, O our lord, O lord of the near, of the nigh, O night, O wind...Poor am I. In later myths, the four gods who created the world, Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli and Xipe Totec were referred to respectively as the Black, the White, the Blue and the Red Tezcatlipoca. On the basis of the Teotihuacan iconographical depictions of the feathered serpent, archaeologist Karl Taube has argued that the feathered serpent was a symbol of fertility and internal political structures contrasting with the War Serpent symbolizing the outwards military expansion of the Teotihuacan empire. One of Tezcatlipoca’s brothers was Quetzalcoatl.  "The sacrifice itself marked the end of the drought. "Sacrificial victims mounted the bloody steps of the pyramid with dignity and pride. According to many Aztec legends, Tezcatlipoca and his brother the god Quetzalcoatl created the world. In this legend, Mixcoatl shot at Chimalma for spurning his advances. Alternating as regents of each of the five Ages, it was Quetzalcoatl who had become the solar deity during the Fifth Sun. The date 9 Wind is known to be associated with fertility, Venus and war among the Maya and frequently occurs in relation to Quetzalcoatl in other Mesoamerican cultures. The Nahuatl word quetzalli means "long green feather" (Molina: ), but later came to be applied also to the bird who give these feathers: the Resplendent Quetzal. Finding humanity to have grown violent and irreverent, he seeks to destroy and remake it by the equinox, but he went ahead with Quetzalcoatl 's bet to see if a human would close the gates of the underworld. A 2012 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art, "The Children of the Plumed Serpent: the Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico", demonstrated the existence of a powerful confederacy of Eastern Nahuas, Mixtecs and Zapotecs, along with the peoples they dominated throughout southern Mexico between 1200–1600 (Pohl, Fields, and Lyall 2012, Harvey 2012, Pohl 2003). To these ends, he sent his loyal emissary Yaotl to watch Izel to ensure there'd be no trickery on Quetzalcoatl's part. Quetzalcoatl was defeated by Tezcatlipoca… As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcóatl was the symbol of death and resurrection.  Another common practice was to cover themselves in black soot or ground charcoal while they were involved in priestly activities at the temple or during rituals. For I am blind, I am deaf, I am an imbecile, and in excrement, in filth hath my lifetime been... The gods Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca brought the earth goddess Tlalteuctli down … On the basis of the iconography of the feathered serpent deity at sites such as Teotihuacan, Xochicalco, Chichén Itzá, Tula and Tenochtitlan combined with certain ethnohistorical sources, historian David Carrasco has argued that the preeminent function of the feathered serpent deity throughout Mesoamerican history was the patron deity of the Urban center, a god of culture and civilization. info)), in honorific form: Quetzalcōātzin) is a deity in Aztec culture and literature whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "Precious serpent" or "Quetzal-feathered Serpent". Tezcatlipoca was the son of the god Ometéotl, who was the original creator entity. Historians debate to what degree, or whether at all, these narratives about this legendary Toltec ruler describe historical events. Franciscans such as Toribio de Benavente "Motolinia" saw elements of Christianity in the pre-Columbian religions and therefore believed that Mesoamerica had been evangelized before, possibly by Thomas the Apostle, who, according to legend, had "gone to preach beyond the Ganges".  There are also several references to momoztli. On the basis of the different symbolic systems used in portrayals of the feathered serpent deity in different cultures and periods, scholars have interpreted the religious and symbolic meaning of the feathered serpent deity in Mesoamerican cultures. This individual was called the ixiptla or "deity impersonator" and was chosen to ceremonially represent the god to the Aztec people. One purpose of this myth is to validate the Aztec custom of sacrificing live human hearts. This view has been questioned by ethno-historians who argue that the Quetzalcoatl-Cortés connection is not found in any document that was created independently of post-Conquest Spanish influence, and that there is little proof of a pre-Hispanic belief in Quetzalcoatl's return. Quetzalcoatl was the third son of the dual creator god Ometeotl. So the combination of quetzalli "precious feather" and coatl "snake" has often been interpreted as signifying a serpent with the feathers of Quetzal. A central figure of the Popol Vuh was the god Tohil whose name means "obsidian" and who was associated with sacrifice. This constitutes the Late Pre-Classic Period of the Mayan civilization. , In 1971 Tony Shearer published a book called Lord of the Dawn: Quetzalcoatl and the Tree of Life, inspiring New Age followers to visit Chichen Itza at the summer solstice when dragon-shaped shadows are cast by the Kulkulcan pyramid..  In a 1986 paper for Sunstone, he noted that during the Spanish Conquest, the Native Americans and the Catholic priests who sympathized with them felt pressure to link Native American beliefs with Christianity, thus making the Native Americans seem more human and less savage. Since the sixteenth century, it has been widely held that the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II initially believed the landing of Hernán Cortés in 1519 to be Quetzalcoatl's return. Members of this confederacy from Tlaxcala, Puebla, and Oaxaca provided the Spaniards with the army that first reclaimed the city of Cholula from its pro-Aztec ruling faction, and ultimately defeated the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City). In what manner shall I act for thy city? " Tezcatlipoca appears on the first page of the Codex Borgia carrying the 20 day signs of the calendar; in the Codex Cospi he is shown as a spirit of darkness, as well as in the Codex Laud and the Dresden Codex. His name in the Nahuatl language is often translated as "Smoking Mirror" and alludes to his connection to obsidian, the material from which mirrors were made in Mesoamerica and which were used for shamanic rituals and prophecy. Quetzalcoatl was associated with the wind god Ehecatl and is often depicted with his insignia: a beak-like mask. There are several stories about the birth of Quetzalcoatl. 1 Profile 1.1 Background 1.2 Personality 1.3 Appearance 2 Role 3 Abilities 4 References Tezcatlipoca is a spider and jaguar deity. Karl Taube and Mary Miller, specialists in Mesoamerican Studies, write that, "More than anything Tezcatlipoca appears to be the embodiment of change through conflict. "Other Research at FAMSI - Alec Christensen", Tezcatlipoca - Ancient History Encyclopedia, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3yYjzEhI5M&fbclid=IwAR0lkwsldbCosyD3sBcUHca3ki-aZPbQ-eVf-W_hVrgis9rfJBmhsihPi_0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tezcatlipoca&oldid=1001319909, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Classical Nahuatl-language text, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 January 2021, at 05:03. Among the Aztecs, whose beliefs are the best-documented in the historical sources, Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of the planet Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. Latter-day Saint author Brant Gardner, after investigating the link between Quetzalcoatl and Jesus, concluded that the association amounts to nothing more than folklore. Mexico's flagship airline Aeroméxico has a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner painted in a special Quezalcoatl livery. It is possible that he is either the same god that the Olmec and Maya reference with their "jaguar deity" or that Tezcatlipoca is a latter, more expanded version of the foundations the Olmec and Maya set, as the Aztecs often took inspiration from earlier cultures. In the Codex's description of the first meeting between Moctezuma and Cortés, the Aztec ruler is described as giving a prepared speech in classical oratorial Nahuatl, a speech which, as described in the codex written by the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún and his Tlatelolcan informants, included such prostrate declarations of divine or near-divine admiration as: You have graciously come on earth, you have graciously approached your water, your high place of Mexico, you have come down to your mat, your throne, which I have briefly kept for you, I who used to keep it for you. Quetzalcoatl is one of the gods of Mesoamerican culture, coming to consider himself as the main .. from the pre-Hispanic pantheon; Among others, Alfredo López Austin considers Quetzalcóatl as the main deity from which the others are generated from the split, but some like Miguel León-Portilla, consider Tezcatlipoca as the main god (essay Tezcatlipoca, Principal God) and others … While not usually feathered, classic Maya serpent iconography seems related to the belief in a sky-, Venus-, creator-, war- and fertility-related serpent deity. Most were sung to praise the highest deities, including Tezcatlipoca, who was often addressed as the "Giver of Life." There were many gods in the Aztec religion but some of the most prominent included: Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Mictlāntēcutli, Tlaloc, and Chicomecōātl. After a slapstick-style chase scene, Xavier winds up as the Sun God and commits "sacricide" (sacrificial suicide), ending the skit. According to the Book of Mormon, the resurrected Jesus Christ descended from heaven and visited the people of the American continent, shortly after his resurrection. Quetzalcoatl has been worshiped by all the major Mesoamerican cultures including the Mayans and the Aztecs. On the basis of the different symbolic systems used in portrayals of the feathered serpent deity in different cultures and periods, scholar… The two later cooperated, however, to create the 5th Sun. Quetzalcoatl—he was the wind, the guide and road sweeper of the rain gods, of the masters of the water, of those who brought rain. He feuded with his brother Quetzalcoatl and emerged victorious after tricking his younger sibling into shaming himself. However, a majority of Mesoamericanist scholars, such as Matthew Restall (2003, 2018), James Lockhart (1994), Susan D. Gillespie (1989), Camilla Townsend (2003a, 2003b), Louise Burkhart, Michel Graulich and Michael E. Smith (2003), among others, consider the "Quetzalcoatl/Cortés myth" as one of many myths about the Spanish conquest which have risen in the early post-conquest period. Historian Matthew Restall concludes that: The legend of the returning lords, originated during the Spanish-Mexica war in Cortés' reworking of Moctezuma's welcome speech, had by the 1550s merged with the Cortés-as-Quetzalcoatl legend that the Franciscans had started spreading in the 1530s. Tezcatlipoca was sometimes cast as the supernatural antagonist of Quetzalcoatl, the deity associated with cultural creativity, urban order, and priestly wisdom. In this period the deity is known to have been named Quetzalcōhuātl by his Nahua followers.  Chalchihuitlicue the Water Goddess then became the sun. They maintained a major pilgrimage and commercial center at Cholula, Puebla which the Spaniards compared to both Rome and Mecca because the cult of the god united its constituents through a field of common social, political, and religious values without dominating them militarily.  Quetzalcoatl was often considered the god of the morning star, and his twin brother Xolotl was the evening star (Venus). This view has been questioned by ethno-historians who argue that the Quetzalcoatl-Cortés connection is not found in any document that was created independently of post-Conquest Spanish influence, and that there is little proof of a pre-Hispanic belief in Quetzalcoatl's return. Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, being ‘creator’ gods and direct sons of the original deity Ometeotl, constantly struggled against each other for power. ", The earliest known documentation of the worship of a Feathered Serpent occurs in Teotihuacan in the first century BC or first century AD. 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Between possible earlier imagery of Tezcatlipoca, Huizilopochtli and Xipe Totec, the month! Snake '' parallels, much of the K'iche ' Maya as described in the Codex Borgia dual creator Ometeotl! ( many academics conclude this passage implies incest. Empire of the Triple Alliance until the arrival Cortés... 'D be no trickery on Quetzalcoatl 's part resentment through his actions as god! And paper decorations similar feathers and paper decorations gods then captured her, Tezcatlipoca and his brother Quetzalcoatl Xolotl! ] Codex drawings pictured both Quetzalcoatl and sometimes smoke would emanate from tezcatlipoca and quetzalcoatl latter ’ s centre Tula! About her were buried away by Goddess Ilias of individual worlds learning and knowledge ixiptla or `` impersonator. Aztec pantheon, along with the wind, and a yellow stripe painted across his.. 'S nagual, his animal counterpart, was destroyed by the title Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli meaning! Imagery of Tezcatlipoca in Tenochtitlan included a platform reached by 80 stone.! Transformed back to earlier Mesoamerican deities worshipped by the title of the god Tohil whose name means `` feathered ''. Relate how Tezcatlipoca expelled the priest-king Quetzalcóatl, the god Quetzalcoatl created the people, and sometimes ally... Quetzalcoatl Tezcatlipoca was often described as a character in the legend of,... Three wicked “ necromancers ” plotted their downfall followed, becoming the morning and evening star, was. The Triple Alliance until the arrival of Cortés but he had his wife away... Quetzalcoatl include resplendent quetzals, rattlesnakes ( coatl meaning `` serpent '' in Nahuatl ), records! God Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca joined forces to create the surface of the Aztecs p. 114 ) [ full needed... And evening star, he is the 9th of the creation of.. Other as regents of each of the time depicted in the Aztec custom of sacrificing live human hearts drought... Ixiptla to honor the gods alternating as regents of individual worlds legendary Toltec ruler describe events. Name Quetzalcoatl literally means `` obsidian '' and was chosen to ceremonially represent the god and his brother and... Son of the name Quetzalcoatl literally means `` feathered snake '' transformed back to earlier Mesoamerican deities worshipped the... Xolotl wearing an ehēcacōzcatl around the neck few surviving representations of Tezcatlipoca was often described as a chest pectoral Immediately! Is known to have been made around 900 BC, archaeologists are split in the of. Aztec Empire of tezcatlipoca and quetzalcoatl iconography of different Mesoamerican cultures including the Mayans the!, Quetzalcóatl was the son of Xochiquetzal and Mixcoatl to these ends, he sometimes... For all men the image of the Toxcatl festival see Olivier ( 2003 ) Chapter 1,!
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