- Mythical Number: #2752
- Culture: South American
- Attribute: Flying
- Attribute: Reptilian
- Attribute: Celestial
- Behaviour: Friendly
Quetzalcoatl is a serpent covered in colourful feathers and is accompanied by humming birds. He is an Aztec god of art, intelligence, fertility, wind and self-reflection. He is the giver of maize as he introduced it to mankind as well as the calendar. He has three brothers: Camaztli the red, Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca the black. These brothers are the guardians of the four directions. Quetzalcoatl takes many incarnations when descended form heaven but in human form he wears a red mask and a red conch shell helmet to signify his power of wind. There are many stories of how he battled with the god Tezcatlipoca. Confusingly Tezcatlipoca manifests as Quetzalcoatl as well as Huitzilopochtli and Camaztli.
In one story, Tezcatlipoca seduced Quetzalcoatl but Quetzalcoatl committed suicide by throwing himself on a funeral pyre out of remorse. His body was burnt but his beating heart remained and this became the morning-star and a god called Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli. In another story, Quetzalcoatl was driven into exile by Tezcatlipoca. It was believed that he would return in human form with a light-skinned man with a beard. In 1519 when Hernan Cortes the Spanish conqueror came to South America, the Aztecs thought that he was Quetzalcoatl and thus treated him as an Aztec king called Montezuma II.
The name Quetzalcoatl means ‘feathered Snake’ as that is how he appears. According to legend When the 4th Sun was destroyed, Quetzalcoatl wen to Mictlan, the land of the dead and created the current world we inhabit also known as the 5th Sun. He did this by using his own blood to give life to bones.
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Did you find Quetzalcoatl interesting? Add it to a fantasy-based game, a creative and unique story or draw your own doodle. Delve into the world of indigenous Native American tribes with David Attenborough's The Tribal Eye (1975). You can also watch the film Apocalypto brings to life the ancient pre-Spanish world of South America and its ancient culture. The Lizardmen race of the fantasy game Warhammer World has been inspired by South American myth drawing strong parallels with their culture. The famous story of Popol Vuh has been illustrated by Patricia Amlin in a 1988 animation called Popol Vuh.
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