Coatlicue known as Teteoh innan, is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. The goddesses Tocih “our grandmother”, Cihuacoatl “snake woman”, the patron of women who die in childbirth, were seen as aspects of Coatlicue; the goddess' Classical Nahuatl name can be rendered both Cōātlīcue and Cōātl īcue, from cōātl “snake” and īcue “her skirt” meaning “ the skirt of snakes”. The name Tēteoh īnnān, from tēteoh, plural of teōtl “god”, + īnnān “their mother”, refers directly to her maternal role as a primordial earth goddess. Coatlicue is represented as a woman wearing a skirt of writhing snakes and a necklace made of human hearts and skulls, her feet and hands are adorned with claws and her breasts are depicted as hanging flaccid from pregnancy. Her face is formed by two facing serpents, referring to the myth that she was sacrificed during the beginning of the present creation. Most Aztec artistic representations of Coatlicue emphasize her deadly side, because Earth, as well as loving mother, is the insatiable monster that consumes everything that lives.
She represents the devouring mother, in whom both the grave exist. According to Aztec legend, Coatlicue was once magically impregnated by a ball of feathers that fell on her while she was sweeping a temple, subsequently gave birth to the god Huitzilopochtli, her daughter Coyolxauhqui rallied Coatlicue's four hundred other children together and goaded them into attacking and decapitating their mother. The instant she was killed, the god Huitzilopochtli emerged from her womb grown and armed for battle, he killed many of his brothers and sisters, including Coyolxauhqui, whose head he cut off and threw into the sky to become the moon. In one variation on this legend, Huitzilopochtli himself is the child conceived in the ball-of-feathers incident and is born just in time to save his mother from harm. Cecelia Klein argues that the famous Coatlicue statue in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico, several other complete and fragmentary versions, may represent a personified snake skirt; the reference is to one version of the creation of the present Sun.
The myth relates that the present Sun began after the gods gathered at Teotihuacan and sacrificed themselves. The best-known version states that Tezzictecatl and Nanahuatzin immolated themselves, becoming the moon and the sun. However, other versions add a group of women to those who sacrificed themselves, including Coatlicue. Afterwards the Aztecs were said to have worshipped the skirts of these women, which came back to life. Coatlicue thus has creative aspects, which may balance the skulls, hearts and claws that connect her to the earth deity Tlaltecuhtli; the earth both regenerates life. Aztec mythology in popular culture Vistas Project at Smith College. Edited by Dana Liebsohn and Barbara Mundy. Boone, Elizabeth H. "The Coatlicues at the Templo Mayor." Ancient Mesoamerica, 10: 189-206 Cambridge University Press. Carbonell, Ana Maria. "From Llorona to Gritona: Coatlicue in Feminist Tales by Viramontes and Cisneros." MELUS 24 Summer 1999:53-74 Cisneros, Sandra. "It occurs to me I am the creative/destructive goddess Coatlicue."
The Massachusetts Review 36:599. Winter 1995. De Leon, Ann. "Coatlicue or How to Write the Dismembered Body.""MLN Hispanic Notes Volume 125, Number 2: 259-286 March 2010. Dorsfuhrer, C. "Quetzalcoatl and Coatlicue in Mexican Mythology." Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos:6–28 November 1987. Fernández, Justino. Coatlicue. Estética del arte indígena antiguo. Centro de Estudios Filosoficos, U. N. A. M. Mexico, 1954. Franco, Jean. "The Return of Coatlicue: Mexican Nationalism and the Aztec Past." Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 13 August 2004: 205 - 219. Granziera, Patrizia. "From Coatlicue to Guadalupe: The Image of the Great Mother in Mexico." Studies in World Christianity 10:250-273. 2005. León y Gama, Antonio de. Descripción histórica y cronológica de las dos piedras: que con ocasión del empedrado que se está formando en la plaza Principal de México, se hallaron en ella el año de 1790. Impr. de F. de Zúñiga y Ontiveros, 1792. An expanded edition, with descriptions of additional sculptures, edited by Carlos Maria Bustamante, published in 1832.
There have been a couple of facsimile editions, published in the 1990s. Library of Congress digital edition of Leon y Gama's 1792 work on the Calendar Stone López Luján, Leonardo. "La Coatlicue." Escultura Monumental Mexica:115-230. 2012. Pimentel, Luz A. "Ekphrasis and Cultural Discourse: Coatlicue in Descriptive and Analytic Texts. NEOHELICON 30:61-75. 2003. “Making Sense of the Pre-Columbian,” Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America, 1520-1820
In Aztec religion, Coyolxāuhqui is a daughter of the priestess Cōātlīcue. She was the leader of the Centzon Huitznahuas, she led her brothers in an attack against their mother, Cōātlīcue, when they learned she was pregnant, convinced she dishonored them all. The attack is thwarted by Coyolxāuhqui's other brother, the national deity of the Mexicas. In 1978, workers at an electric company accidentally discovered a large stone relief depicting Coyolxāuhqui in Mexico City; the discovery of the Coyolxāuhqui stone led to a large-scale excavation, directed by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, to unearth the Huēyi Teōcalli. The prominent position of the Coyolxāuhqui stone suggests the importance of her defeat by Huitzilopochtli in Aztec religion and national identity. On the summit of Coatepec, sat a shrine for Coatlicue, the maternal Earth deity. One day, as she swept her shrine, a ball of hummingbird feathers fell from the sky, she "snatched them up. Thus, she became pregnant with the Aztec deity Huitzilopochtli.
Her miraculous pregnancy embarrassed Coatlicue's other children, including her eldest daughter, Coyolxauhqui. Hearing of her pregnancy, the Centzon Huitznahuas, led by Coyolxauhqui, decided to kill Coatlicue; as they prepared for battle and gathered at the base of Coatepec, one of the Centzon Huitznahuas, warned Huitzilophochtli of the attack while he was in utero. Hearing of the attack, the pregnant Cōātlīcue miraculously gave birth to a grown and armed Huitzilopochtli who sprang from her womb, wielding "his shield and his darts and his blue dart thrower, called xinatlatl."Huitzilopochtli killed Coyolxāuhqui, beheading her and throwing her body down the side of Coatepec: "He pierced Coyolxauhqui, quickly struck off her head. It stopped there at the edge of Coatepetl, and her body came falling below. As for his brothers, the Centzon Huitxnahuas, he scattered them in all directions from the top of Coatepec, he pursued them relentlessly, those who escaped went south. Some authors have written that Huitzilopochtli tossed Coyolxauhqui's head into the sky where it became the moon, so that his mother would be comforted in seeing her daughter in the sky every night, that her scattered brothers became the Southern Star deities.
It is difficult to verify these variations of the narrative with 16th century sources. On February 21, 1978, a group of workers for the Mexico City electric-power company came across a large shield-shaped stone covered in reliefs while digging; the stone they uncovered depicts the narrative of Coyolxauhqui's defeat at Coatepec, shown at left. The discovery renewed the interest in excavating the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, underneath Mexico City; this led to the excavation of the Huēyi Teōcalli, directed by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. This relief is one of the best known Aztec monuments and one of the few great Aztec monuments have been found in situ; the Coyolxauhqui stone sat at the base of the stairs of the Huēyi Teōcalli, the primary temple of the Mexica in Tenochtitlan, on the side dedicated to Huitzilopochtli. The stone laid in the center of a platform; the temple is dedicated to the Aztec rain deity. Scholars believe that Mexica artists and builders incorporated images of the Coatepec narrative into the Huēyi Teōcalli during a major renovation from the years 4 Reed to 8 Reed under the rule of Ahuitzotl.
Eduardo Matos Moctezuma first noted that the placement of the monument at the bottom of the Templo Mayor commemorated the history of Huitzilopochtli defeating Coyolxauhqui in the battle on Mount Coatepetel. Matos Moctezuma has argued that the section of the Huēyi Teōcalli dedicated to Huitzilopochtli represents the sacred mountain of Coatepec where Huitzilopochtli was born and Coyolxauhqui died; the Coyolxauhqui stone was located in what was named Phase IV of the Templo Mayor during its excavation. The artist of the Coyolxauhqui stone carved this disk in high relief out of a single large stone, 3.25 meters in diameter. Aztec historian Richard Townsend describes it as one of the most powerfully expressive sculptures of Mesoamerican art, using "an assurance of design and a technical virtuosity not seen at the pyramids."The stone was created under the rule of Axayacatl. On the disk, Coyolxauhqui lays on her back, with her head and legs severed from her body, her head faces upwards, away in profile view, with her mouth open.
Her dismembered torso lies flat on her back. Her breasts sag downward, her body is neatly yet dynamically organized within the circular composition. Scallop-shaped carving line the points of decapitation and dismemberment at her neck and hip joints. In this representation, Coyolxauhqui is nearly naked, barring her serpent loincloth. Mexica people would have understood this nudity as shameful, she wears only the ritual attire of bells in her hair, a bell symbol on her cheek, a feathered headdress. These objects identify her as Coyolxauhqui, she wears a skull tied to a belt of snakes around her waist and an ear tab showing the Mexica year sign. Snake and earth monster imagery surround her. In the image to the right, which represents the original colors of the stone, Coyolxauhqui's yellow body lies before a red background. Bright blue colors her headdress and various details in the carving. White bones emerge from the scalloped dismembered body parts; the Coyolxauhqui stone would have served as a cautionary sign to the enemies of Ten
Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is a principal member of the pantheon of gods within the Aztec religion, representing the Morning Star Venus. The name comes from the Nahuatl words tlāhuizcalpan "dawn" and tecuhtli "lord". Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is one of the thirteen Lords of the Day, representing the 12th day of the Aztec trecena. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli plays a significant role in the creation of Tonatiuh, the Fifth Sun in the Aztec creation narrative. Motolinía's Memoriales, the Codex Chimalpopoca relate that the Toltec ruler Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl became the morning star when he died. Quetzalcoatl throws himself in into a bonfire after adorning his regalia. Once he started burning, his ashes were lifted and various beautiful birds were sacrificed until Quetzalcoatl's spirit leaves his heart as a star and becomes a part of the sky; the Annals of Cuauhtitlan gives his year of death as 1 Reed, one 52-year calendar cycle from his birth. In the second section of the Codex Chimalpopoca, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli becomes angry when Tonatiuh, the sun god, does not move across the sky after being created.
He shoots Tonatiuh with atlatl darts, but misses and is hit by Tonatiuh's darts, being transformed into the god of obsidian and coldness, Itztlacoliuhqui. The rest of the gods present: Tezcatlipoca, Nochpalliicue and Xochiquetzal sacrifice themselves in Teotihuacan to make the Sun move across the sky, starting the contemporary era. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is viewed as one of the four gods who kept the sky up and was associated with the cardinal direction East. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is believed to cause harm to people by shooting darts. According to the Annals of Cuauhtitlan, after Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl died, he spent four days in Mictlan making darts before emerging as the morning star; the Annals list his victims according to the days of the Aztec calendar: old people on 1 Alligator. On 1 Rain, he shoots the rain, so that no rain falls, on 1 Water, he causes drought. Along with being the Lord of the 12th day, in the sacred Aztec calendar called the Tōnalpōhualli Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is patron of the trecena beginning with the day 1 Snake and ending with 13 Movement.
In this he is paired with the god of fire. Bierhorst, John. History and Mythology of the Aztecs: The Codex Chimalpopoca. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-1886-9. Durán, Diego. Historia de las Indias de Nueva-España y islas de Tierra Firme. México: Impr. de J. M. Andrade y F. Escalante. F. Townsend, Richard; the Aztecs. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500021139. OCLC 26265803. Motolinía, Toribio. Memoriales de Fray Toribio de Motolinia: manuscrito de la colección del señor don Joaquín García Icazbalceta. Méjico. Quiñones Keber, Eloise. Codex Telleriano-Remensis: Ritual and History in a Pictorial Aztec Manuscript. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-76901-6
Mixcoatl, or Camaztle from camaz "deer sandal" and atle "without", or Camaxtli, was the god of the hunt and identified with the Milky Way, the stars, the heavens in several Mesoamerican cultures. He was the patron deity of the Otomi, the Chichimecs, several groups that claimed descent from the Chichimecs. While Mixcoatl was part of the Aztec pantheon, his role was less important than Huitzilopochtli, their central deity. Under the name of Camaxtli, Mixcoatl was worshipped as the central deity of Huejotzingo and Tlaxcala. Amhimitl is Mixcoatls harpoon. Mixcoatl is represented with a black mask over his eyes and distinctive red and white “candy-cane stripes” painted on his body; these features are shared with Tlahuizcalpanteuctli, the Lord of the Dawn, god of the morning star, as well as Itzpapalotl, goddess of infant mortality, sometimes said to be his mother. Unlike Tlahuizcalpanteuctli, Mixcoatl can be distinguished by his hunting gear, which included a bow and arrows, a net or basket for carrying dead game.
Mixcoatl was one of four children of Tonacatecutli, meaning "Lord of Sustenance," an aged creator god, Cihuacoatl, a fertility goddess and the patroness of midwives. Sometimes Mixcoatl was worshipped as the "Red" aspect of the god Tezcatlipoca, the "Smoking Mirror,", the god of sorcerers and warriors. In one story, Tezcatlipoca transformed himself into Mixcoatl and invented the fire drill by revolving the heavens around their axes, bringing fire to humanity. Along with this cosmic fire drill, Mixcoatl was the first to strike fire with flint; these events made Mixcoatl a god of the Milky Way, along with war, the hunt. Mixcoatl was the father of 400 sons, collectively known as the Centzon Huitznahua, who ended up having their hearts eaten by Huitzilopochtli; the Centzon Huitznahua met their demise when they, their sister Coyolxauhqui, after finding their mother Coatlicue pregnant, conspired to kill her. However, as they attacked she gave birth to a formed and armed Huitzilopochtli, who proceeded to kill his half-siblings.
Mixcoatl was related to 400 more gods, the Centzonmimixcoa, together with his 3 brothers and their sister, he slew by ambush. Mixcoatl was thought of as being the father of another important deity, the feathered serpent. Quetzalcoatl's father Mixcoatl was murdered. Quecholli, the 14th veintena, the 20-day Aztec month, was dedicated to Mixcoatl; the celebration for this month consisted of feasting in the countryside. The hunters would take the form of Mixcoatl by dressing like him, kindling a new fire to roast the hunted game. Along with these practices, a man and woman would be sacrificed to Mixcoatl at his temple. In modern scientific nomenclature, the names Mixcoatl–Camaxtli have been assigned to: Camaxtli Patera, one of the paterae on the Jovian moon of Io Pseudoeurycea mixcoatl, a species of lungless salamander endemic to Mexico Mixcoatlus barbouri, a species of viper endemic to Mexico. Mixcoatlus browni, a species of viper endemic to Mexico. Xipe Totec
Quetzalcoatl is a deity in Mesoamerican culture and literature whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "feathered serpent" or "Quetzal-feathered Serpent". The worship of a Feathered Serpent is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BC or first century AD; that period lies within the Late Preclassic to Early Classic period of Mesoamerican chronology, veneration of the figure appears to have spread throughout Mesoamerica by the Late Classic period. In the Postclassic period, the worship of the feathered serpent deity was based in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula, it is in this period that the deity is known to have been named "Quetzalcoatl" by his Nahua followers. In the Maya area, he was equivalent to Kukulkan and Gukumatz, names that roughly translate as "feathered serpent" in different Mayan languages. Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind and learning, wears around his neck the "wind breastplate" ehecailacocozcatl, "the spirally voluted wind jewel" made of a conch shell.
This talisman was a conch shell cut at the cross-section and was worn as a necklace by religious rulers, as they have been discovered in burials in archaeological sites throughout Mesoamerica, symbolized patterns witnessed in hurricanes, dust devils and whirlpools, which were elemental forces that had significance in Aztec mythology. In codex drawings and Xolotl were both pictured as wearing an ehecailacocozcatl around each of their necks. There has additionally been at least one major cache of offerings with knives and idols adorned with the symbols of more than one god, some of which were adorned with wind jewels. In the era following the 16th-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, a number of sources were written that conflate Quetzalcoatl with Ce Acatl Topiltzin, a ruler of the mythico-historic city of Tollan, it is a matter of much debate among historians to which degree, or whether at all, these narratives about this legendary Toltec ruler describe historical events. Furthermore, early Spanish sources written by clerics tend to identify the god-ruler Quetzalcoatl of these narratives with either Hernán Cortés or Thomas the Apostle—an identification, a source of a diversity of opinions about the nature of Quetzalcoatl.
Among the Aztecs, whose beliefs are the best-documented in the historical sources, Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of the planet Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts and knowledge. He was the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Quetzalcoatl was one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon, along with the gods Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli. Two other gods represented by the planet Venus are Quetzalcoatl's ally Tlaloc, the god of rain, Quetzalcoatl's twin and psychopomp, named Xolotl. Animals thought to represent Quetzalcoatl include resplendent quetzals, rattlesnakes and macaws. In his form as Ehecatl he is the wind, is represented by spider monkeys and the wind itself. In his form as the morning star, Venus, he is depicted as a harpy eagle. In Mazatec legends, the astrologer deity Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, represented by Venus, bears a close relationship with Quetzalcoatl. A feathered serpent deity has been worshiped by many different ethnopolitical groups in Mesoamerican history.
The existence of such worship can be seen through studies of the iconography of different Mesoamerican cultures, in which serpent motifs are frequent. 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; the earliest iconographic depiction of the deity is believed to be found on Stela 19 at the Olmec site of La Venta, depicting a serpent rising up behind a person engaged in a shamanic ritual. This depiction is believed to have been made around 900 BC. Although not a depiction of the same feathered serpent deity worshipped in classic and post-classic periods, it shows the continuity of symbolism of feathered snakes in Mesoamerica from the formative period and on, for example in comparison to the Mayan Vision Serpent shown below; the first culture to use the symbol of a feathered serpent as an important religious and political symbol was Teotihuacan.
At temples such as the aptly named "Quetzalcoatl temple" in the Ciudadela complex, feathered serpents figure prominently and alternate with a different kind of serpent head. The earliest depictions of the feathered serpent deity were zoomorphic, depicting the serpent as an actual snake, but among the Classic Maya, the deity began acquiring human features. In the iconography of the classic period, Maya serpent imagery is prevalent: a snake is seen as the embodiment of the sky itself, a vision serpent is a shamanic helper presenting Maya kings with visions of the underworld; the archaeological record shows that after the fall of Teotihuacan that marked the beginning of the epi-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology around 600 AD, the cult of the feathered serpent spread to the new religious and political centers in central Mexico, centers such as Xochicalco and Cholula. Feathered serpent iconography is prominent at all of these sites. Cholula is known to have remained the most important center of worship to Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec/Nahua version of the feathered serpent deity, in the post-classic period.
During the epi-classic
In Aztec religion, Chantico is the deity reigning over the fires in the family hearth. She broke a fast by eating paprika with roasted fish, was turned into a dog by Tonacatecuhtli as punishment, she was associated with the town of stonecutters, as well as warriorship. Chantico was described in various colonial codices. Texts from the informants of Bernardino de Sahagún affirm Chantico's name to mean "she who dwells in the house" or "she who comes to make the house." Chantico is said to have been called Quaxolotl, since the male Aztec deity reigning over fire is named Xolotl. Chantico was nicknamed Chiconaui Alternate spellings of Chantico include Cantico. Chantico was known by her calendric name, Chicunaui itzcuintli. According to interpreter Pedro de Rios, Chantico was known as "Lady of the Capsicum-Pepper" and "yellow woman." Chantico was known to stonecutters as Papaloxaual and Tlappapalo According to the Codex Vaticanus A known as Codex Rios, Tonacatecuhtli turned her into a dog when she broke fast during a religious celebration by eating roasted fish and paprika, leading her to gain the name "Nine Dogs."
Those born on the ninth day of eighteenth trecena, over which Chantico presided over, would face encounter misfortune since that day was associated with sorcerers, said to shape-shift into a number of animals. Scholar Eduard Seler conclude that at the time of Sahagún's writings, Chantico was with the town of Xochimilco. Due to a large population of stonecutters, known as tlatecque, residing there, he based his conclusion off of Sahagún's decision to mention Chantico's calendric name when listing deities that were important to the tlatecque. According to texts from the informants of Bernardino de Sahagún, Chantico was worshipped in a temple known as a tetlanman, in which priests prepared "red and black pigments, sandals, a robe, small marine snails" for Chantico's feast. Chantico was worshipped in the twenty ninth building of Templo Mayor according to Sahagún. According to Fray Juan de Torquemada, Chantico was worshipped in a temple constructed by Moquihuix, ruler of Tlatelolco, in an attempt to conquer Tenochtitlan.
During the Aztec empire, Chantico held strong associations to military forces. According to inquisitorial records, Moctezuma used an idol effigy of Chantico that had a removable leg with which one would pound the earth in order to curse Hernan Cortes's advances into the Aztec Empire. In Codex Borgia, Chantico is depicted as having a yellow face marked with two red lines, which designate her as a fire goddess, a yellow body. Said red lines are placed at around the same height as black strokes seen in depiction of Xolotl, she is referred to as "muger amarilla". She is depicted sitting on a chair, under which a flask lies, wearing a nose ornament known as a yacapapalotl, she is depicted with a series of small disks that wrap around her head. Sahagún and his informants describe Chantico by stating "She has a bulge of rubber on her lips, half of her face painted red, a bouquet made of dried herbs, her gold ear decorations. On her back she carries a bundle of light, her shirt with water flowers. Her shield with mosaic of eagle feathers, She has her clothes in one hand that ends in a tip, made of inverted feathers and with paint of obsidian tips.
Her white kilt, her bells, her white sandals" -Bernardino de Sahagun, "Ritos, sacerdotes, y atavíos de los dioses" Chantico is depicted with markers that illustrate her association to warriorship. Chantico’s headdress in the Codex Rios displays military attributes: a crown of poisonous cactus spikes, related to danger and aggression. At the nape of her neck is a band that forms the alt-tlachinolli, or water-fire, a symbol for warfare and pestilence; the atl-tlachinolli serves as an iconographic marker of Chantico, being seen in the Codex Aubin Tonalamatl, Codex Borbonicus, Codex Telleriano Remensis, the Codex Rios. It is depicted as a stream of blue water intertwined with red fire; the Codex Borgia depicts Chantico through an eagle foot covered in jaguar skin, a symbol of Chantico, sitting on top of a sacrificial blood-dish, alluding to warrior sacrifice. The Codex Borbonicus shows Chantico wearing a blue nose ornament known as a yacaxtuitl worn by Xolotl Other iconographic markers associated with Chantico includes itzcactli, seen in the Codex Aubin Tonalamatl's representation of Chantico, representations of a solar picture, seen in a golden pendant seen in the Codex Telleriano Remensis's depiction of Chantico.
Although most referred to as a female deity, the gender of Chantico remains unclear in certain historical writings. For example, the Codex Rios presents ambiguous pronouns, stating Cantico they say was the first who offered sacrifice after having eaten a fried fish, he presided over these thirteen signs. They said that he, born on the first sign of Air would be healthy by his nativity. He, born on the ninth sign they believed would be unfortunate, because that sign was dedicated to sorcerers and necromancers, who transformed themselves into the shapes of various animals -Codex Rios The Kingsborough comment
In Aztec mythology, Cihuacōātl was one of a number of motherhood and fertility goddesses. Cihuacōātl was sometimes known as Quilaztli. Cihuacōātl was associated with midwives, with the sweatbaths where midwives practiced, she is paired with Quilaztli and was considered a protectress of the Chalmeca people and patroness of the city of Culhuacan. She helped Quetzalcoatl create the current race of humanity by grinding up bones from the previous ages, mixing it with his blood, she is the mother of Mixcoatl, whom she abandoned at a crossroads. Tradition says that she returns there to weep for her lost son, only to find a sacrificial knife. Although she was sometimes depicted as a young woman, similar to Xōchiquetzal, she is more shown as a fierce skull-faced old woman carrying the spears and shield of a warrior. Childbirth was sometimes compared to warfare and the women who died in childbirth were honored as fallen warriors, their spirits, the Cihuateteo, were depicted with skeletal faces like Cihuacōātl.
Like her, the Cihuateteo were thought to haunt crossroads at night to steal children. The name cihuacoatl was used as the Aztec capital; the cihuacoatl supervised the internal affairs of the city as opposed to the Tlatoani, the Aztec ruler, who oversaw the affairs of the Aztec state. The cihuacoatl commanded the army of Tenochtitlan, oversaw sacrifices to the gods and was the senior advisor to the emperor. During the course of the 15th century AD Tlacaelel served as cihuacoatl under four emperors - Moctezuma I, Axayacatl and Ahuizotl. La Llorona Sahagún, Bernardino de, 1950-1982, Florentine Codex: History of the Things of New Spain and edited by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles Dibble, Monographs of the school of American research, no 14. 13. Parts Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press The History of the Indies of New Spain by Diego Durán, translated and with introduction by Doris Heyden The Book of the Gods and Rites, by Diego Duran and edited by Fernando Horcasitas and Doris Heyden, Chapter XIII