Tlaltecuhtli

Tlaltecuhtli, Tlaltecutli is a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican deity figure, identified from sculpture and iconography dating to the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican chronology (ca. 1200–1519), primarily among the Aztec and other Nahuatl-speaking cultures. Tlaltecuhtli is also known from several post-conquest manuscripts that surveyed Aztec mythology and belief systems, such as the "Histoyre du méchique" compiled in the mid-16th century. [Pasztory (1983, pp.81, 170); Miller and Taube (1993, pp.167–168).]

In one of the Aztec creation accounts Tlaltecuhtli is described as a sea monster who dwelled in the ocean after the fourth Great Flood, an embodiment of the raging chaos before creation. [Campbell's rephrasing of a passage in the "Histoyre du méchique" (Campbell 1976, pp.224–225)] Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, in the form of serpents, tore her in half, throwing half upwards to create the sky and stars and leaving the other half to become the land of the earth. She remained alive, however, and demanded human blood.

Although the deity's name is a masculine form in the Nahuatl language, most representations of Tlaltecuhtli exhibit distinctly female characteristics, and the figure is often posed in the characteristic position of a woman giving birth. [Miller and Taube (1993, p.167).]

She is sometimes associated with Cihuacoatl, Tonantzin, Tonatiuh.

Recently a monolith of this goddess was unearthed in Mexico. [http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2006/11/17/index.php?section=cultura&article=a06n1cul] This Mexico City site is part of Templo Mayor.

Notes

References

* |year=1976 |title=Primitive Mythology |edition=2nd reprint edition (©1969)|location=Harmondsworth, England |publisher=Penguin Books |isbn=0-140-04304-7 |oclc=2346210
* |year=1983 |title=Aztec Art |location=New York |publisher=H.N. Abrams |isbn=0810906872 |oclc=8627850
* |authorlink=Karl Taube |year=1993 |title=Aztec and Maya Myths |edition=4th University of Texas printing |location=Austin |publisher=University of Texas Press |isbn=0-292-78130-X |oclc=29124568

See also
*Izanami


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