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Drawing from a monumental stone sculpture of the goddess Coatlicue.
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Coatlicue

Coatlicue, whose name means "Serpent Skirt," was the Earth goddess of life and death in the Aztec mythology. Coatlicue had a horrible appearance. She was depicted as a woman wearing a skirt of snakes and a necklace of hearts torn from victims.

She also had sharp claws in her hands and feet. Coatlicue was a goddess thirsty of human sacrifices. Her husband was Mixcoatl, the cloud serpent and god of the chase.

Coatlicue gave birth to Huitzilopochtli after a ball of feathers fell into the temple where she was sweeping and touched her. This weird pregnancy greatly offended her existing four hundred children who were encouraged by Coyolxauhqui to kill their dishonored mother.

However, Huitzilopochtli emerged from the womb of his mother fully armed and saved her. Huitzilopochtli cut off the head of his sister, Coyolxauhqui and threw it into the sky to become the Moon.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA