Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The pressure of the northern immigrants brought about a social and religious revolution, with a military ruling class seizing power from the priests. Quetzalcoatl was portrayed in two ways. In Mormon circles, he is often identified with Jesus Christ. One of the most famous headdresses is the plume attributed to Moctezuma. 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. Kukulkan was known under many different names. Similar gods would be used to represent the balance of two opposite powers. Aztec god Quetzalcoatl was represented with a serpent's head, a symbol for material goods, and a feathered body, a metaphor for spirituality. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. There are several stories about the birth of Quetzalcoatl. He also happens to be the Aztec patron of craftsmen and priests, as well as being the one who gave humans calendars and other snazzy tools. In a version of the myth, Quetzalcoatl was born by a virgin named Chimalman, to whom the god Onteol appeared in a dream. 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. Quetzalcoatlus is a pterosaur which lived approximately 70 million to 65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period. He was also known as Kukulkán to the Maya, Gucumatz to the Quiché of Guatemala, and Ehecatl to the … Omissions? He plays a key role in other Mesoamerican cultures such as Teotihuacan and the Maya. (Written/compiled by Julia Flood/Mexicolore) Name of God: Quetzalcoatl or Feathered Serpent. But also, Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, is one of the primary gods who gave life to other deities, and … He arrived in Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519, where he was peacefully greeted by Emperor … He is also seen as the protector of butterflies and some researchers believe that this symbolizes resurrection. The Mayan god of the wind, Quetzalcoatl, was represented in many forms, one of … The contradictory nature of the feathered serpent symbolized the dual nature of Quetzalcoatl as both earth and sky god. The latter was acting as executioner, killing all of the rest of the gods as they sacrificed themselves as part of the creation of humanity. A supreme god of the Aztecs, Tezcatlipoca which means “smoking mirror” was the patron god of sorcery and war and was the patron god of the ruling dynasty. And when the wind rose, when the dust rumbled, and it crack and there was a great din, became it became dark and the wind blew in many directions, and it thundered; then it was said: "[Quetzalcoatl] is wrathful. Historians debate to what degree, or whether at all, these narratives about this legendary Toltec ruler describe historical events. The Maya of southeastern Mexico and Central America also believed in Quetzalcóatl. He also had anthropomorphic forms, for example in his aspects as Ehecatl the wind god. According to Maya legend, the Maya were visited by a robed Caucasian man with blond hair, blue eyes, and a beard who … 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. There are several stories about the birth of Quetzalcoatl. Chimalma caught the arrows in her hand, however, which i… In Aztec Mexico, Quetzalcoatl was the patron god of the schools of higher learning, the calmecac s, and the model for the office of the high priesthood at the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitl á n, in front of which his round temple was apparently located. 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. In Mormon circles, he is often identified with Jesus Christ.. During this period, Quetzalcoatl was transformed into the god of the morni… Quetzalcoatl as depicted in the Codex Magliabechiano. 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. A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com - Known under a number of different names, Kukulkan, the Feathered Serpent was one of the most important gods in Mesoamerica. Certain substantial changes occurred to the cult of Quetzalcoatl when the Toltecs came to power . This tradition is strong and repetitive. Auh yn jquac molhuja eheca, mjtoa: teuhtli quaqualaca, ycoioca, tetecujca, tlatlaiooa, tlatlapitza, tlatlatzinj, motlatlaueltia. But the god of the night sky, Tezcatlipoca, expelled him from Tula by performing feats of black magic. He was the feathered serpent, the white bearded priest, the whirlwind and Venus. 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). Quetzalcoatl was the third son of the dual creator god Ometeotl. Quetzalcoatl was often considered the god of the morning star, and his twin brother Xolotl was the evening star (Venus). In a version of the myth, Quetzalcoatl was born by a virgin named Chimalman, to whom the god Onteol appeared in a dream. His names outside the Aztec cultural area include Kukulcán, Gucumatz and Votan. Quetzalcoatl was often pictured as a snake with feathers, although he was sometimes shown in the form of a human. His Roots Go Back as Far as the Ancient Olmec. He was one of the most human-loving of the gods in the Aztec pantheon. Circular temples were believed to please Ehécatl because they offered no sharp obstacles to the wind. Quetzalcoatl is the god of chocolate, which makes him far more benevolent than any other god could hope to be. 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. [39], Quetzalcoatl was fictionalized in the 1982 film Q as a monster that terrorizes New York City. Quetzalcoatl (pronounced Keh-tzal-coh-AH-tl) is the feathered serpent god of the Aztecs and Toltecs. The name Quetzalcoatl was also taken on by several ancient Aztec leaders. Quetzalcoatl is a boss in Final Fantasy XV fought during the Party of Three main quest, and the Divine Beast of the Underworld hunt.. His ashes rose into the sky and then his heart followed, becoming the morning star (see Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli).[27]. When Hernán Cortés learned about the wealthy Aztecs during his exploration trip, he set out to find them. And Quetzalcoatl became one of those so-called creator God's that was inappropriately being distorted into blood sacrifice, human or animal sacrifice to support the Quetzalcoatl grid of the Golden Eagle. The temple of Quetzalcóatl at Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital, was a round building, a shape that fitted the god’s personality as Ehécatl. [12] In his form as the morning star, Venus, he is also depicted as a harpy eagle. In one version of the story he is one of the 400 children of the snake-skirted goddess Coatlicue. The existence of such worship can be seen through studies of iconography of different mesoamerican cultures, in which serpent motifs are frequent. While not usually feathered, classic Maya serpent iconography seems related to the belief in a sky-, Venus-, creator-, war- and fertility-related serpent deity. 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. Pretty … Quetzalcoatl challenged the “sacrificial logic” and militarism of ancient Mexican culture, by abolishing the entrenched practice of human sacrifice. At that time he was mainly a god of plants, linked to the rain god Tlaloc. In this legend, Mixcoatl shot at Chimalma for spurning his advances. The legend of the victory of Tezcatlipoca over the Feathered Serpent probably reflects historical fact. Quetzalcoatl was also the patron of the priests and the title of the twin Aztec high priests. ... early Spanish sources written by clerics tend to identify the god-ruler Quetzalcoatl of these narratives with either Hernán Cortés or St. Thomas—an identification which is also a source of diversity of opinions about the nature of Quetzalcoatl. 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. Quetzalcoatl is often associated with Ehecatl, the wind god, and represents the forces of nature, and is also associated with the morning star . In Xochicalco, depictions of the feathered serpent are accompanied by the image of a seated, armed ruler and the hieroglyph for the day sign 9 Wind. The pyramid of Quetzalcoatl (god of the 'feathered serpent') is showing the alternating 'Tlaloc' (left, with goggle eyes, a god of rain, fertility, and water) and feathered serpent (right, with a collar of feathers) heads. As shown by his spiral jewel, Quetzalcoatl was a god of wind. The exact significance and attributes of Quetzalcoatl varied somewhat between civilizations and through history. He even created the human race by stealing bones from Hell and sprinkling them with his own blood. "[15], Quetzalcoatl was also linked to rulership and priestly office; additionally, among the Toltec, it was used as a military title and emblem.[16]. He is often depicted as a feathered serpent. Animals thought to represent Quetzalcoatl include resplendent quetzals, rattlesnakes (coatl meaning "serpent" in Nahuatl), crows, and macaws. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Information and translations of Quetzalcoatl in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Victims, only snakes, birds, and his twin brother Xolotl was the of... Last year it ranked th in the ancient Mesoamerican world goddess Coatlicue quetzalcoatlus is a primordial god executed... Mesoamericans recognized this link when they observed a particular “ star, Quetzalcóatl was the centre of ceremonial life Tula! 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