Drawing from a monumental stone sculpture of the goddess Coatlicue.
Click on image for full size
Coatlicue, whose name means "Serpent Skirt," was the Earth goddess of life and death in the Aztec mythology. Coatlicue had an horrible appearance. She was depicted as a woman wearing a skirt of snakes and a necklace of hearts torn from sacrificial victims.
She also had flabby breasts and 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 was the mother of the god Huitzilopochtli. She gave birth to Huitzilopochtli after a ball of feathers fell into the temple where she was sweeping and touched her breast. This mysterious pregnancy greatly offended her existing four hundred children who, instigated by Coyolxauhqui, resolved to kill their dishonored mother.
However, Huitzilopochtli emerged from the womb of his mother fully armed and slaughtered his star sisters and brothers. Huitzilopochtli cut off the head of his sister, Coyolxauhqui and threw it into the sky to become the Moon.
Huitzilopochtli was also known as the god of war and the hummingbird wizard. He served as the chief god of Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztecs. He also eventually became the god of fishing.
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