In fact, he was so important that he was their chief deity. HUITZILOPOCHTLI. The Aztec Hummingbird god, originally named Huitzilopochtli, was a major Aztec deity. The Aztecs brought their many gods and goddesses with them. Corrections? He was also the national god of the Mexicas, also known as Aztecs, of Tenochtitlan. – Huitzilopochtli is usually depicted as a man in a hummingbird crown. According to the myth, it was Huitzilopochtli who sent an omen to the original Mexica/Aztecs, demanding that they leave their homeland at Aztlan, and settle in the basin of Mexico. Incarnations of the Aztec Supernatural: The Image of Huitzilopochtli in Mexico and Europe. Huitzilopochtli’s brothers, the stars of the southern sky (Centzon Huitznáua, “Four Hundred Southerners”), and his sister Coyolxauhqui, a moon goddess, decided to kill him. Chalchiuhtlicue. He was held in particular esteem at the capital of the Aztec Empire, the city of Tenochtitlan. Huitzilopochtli. Then, he threw her body down the hill and proceeded to kill his 400 siblings. Huit-zi-lo-pocht-li) or ‘Hummingbird of the South’ or ‘Blue Hummingbird on the Left’ was one of the most important deities in the Aztec pantheon and for the Méxica he was the supreme god. War prisoners or slaves were bathed in a sacred spring at Huitzilopochco (modern Churubusco, near Mexico City) and were then sacrificed during or after Paynal’s procession. He was also the god of sun, war, and human sacrifice. Additionally, it was a way to structure the society of the Aztec culture itself. 1 Excerpted from Leon-Portilla, ed., Native Mesoamerican Spirituality, New York: Paulist Press, 1980. Here are some of the most important gods to the Aztecs. Sacrifices were made to him after every victory and defeat, and the dawn of creation even paused and waited for his arrival. Map showing winged god Huitzilopochtli instructing Aztec elders to migrate (19th-century copy of late 16th-/early 17th-century map). He foiled their plot and exterminated them with his weapon, the xiuh cóatl (“turquoise snake”). The Mexicas believed that it was Huitzilopochtli who brought them from their … Major Aztec Gods: Huitzilopochtli. He led the Mexica people to Tenochtitlan, the eventual seat of power of the Aztec Empire, and was venerated as the primary god of war. Huitzilopochtli was the father of the Aztecs and the supreme god for the Méxica. Huitzilopochtli was born of Earth Mother Coatlicue after she was impregnated with a ball of feathers. Aztec religion was strongly focused on the worship of this god and the sacrifice of humans to his army. Thus, the history of the Mexica is replayed every dawn, when the sun rises victoriously over the horizon after conquering the moon and stars. The following quiz and worksheet set will measure your knowledge of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli. The victims were usually prisoners captured in the frequent wars that Aztecs were fighting against their neighbors. Although Huitzilopochtli succeeded in vanquishing his siblings, the Aztecs believed that the struggle continued anew each day, and that the sun’s victory was not certain. While on that journey they stopped at Cerro Coatepec. How did the mountains influence Aztec life? Omissions? This was very unwelcome to the conquered people, since his worship required regular human sacrifice. The Birth of Huitzilopochtli, Patron God of the Aztecs This is a teocuitatl, "divine song," a sort of epic poem in which the birth of Huitzilopochtli is recalled. This was the observance of the birth of Huitzilopochtli the sun. The Aztecs believed that four ages had already passed and that they were currently living in the fifth age of the sun. According to a Mexica legend, Huitzilopochtli was born on Coatepec or Snake Hill. His name means “Hummingbird of the Left.” The Aztecs believed that warriors who were killed in battle returned to life as hummingbirds. The Aztecs believe that Huitzilopochtli is the master of the whole world. It would win over the night during the day. In the first version of this mythical duel, Coyolxauhqui upset her son Huitzilopochtli when she insisted on staying at the legendary sacred mountain Coatepec ('Snake Mountain', also spelt Coatepetl) and not following Huitzilopochtli’s plan to re-settle at a new site – the eventual Tenochtitlan. His face and body are painted in yellow and blue stripes, with a black, star-bordered eye mask and a turquoise nose rod. Ritual human sacrifices of prisoners were made to him. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. He accompanied the Aztecs in their wanderings. According to the origin myth, when Coatlicue's daughter Coyolxauhqui (goddess of the moon) and Coyolxauhqui's four hundred brothers (Centzon Huitznahua, the gods of the stars) discovered she was pregnant, they plotted to kill their mother. Huitzilopochtli is also seen as the sun in mythology, while his many (around 400) brothers are thought to be the stars and his sister Coyolxauhqui as the moon. Representations of Huitzilopochtli usually show him as a hummingbird or as a warrior with armour and helmet made of hummingbird feathers. Huitzilopochtli, also spelled Uitzilopochtli, also called Xiuhpilli (“Turquoise Prince”) and Totec (“Our Lord”), Aztec sun and war god, one of the two principal deities of Aztec religion, often represented in art as either a hummingbird or an eagle. And just like Xipe Totec, he can be honored through human sacrifices. Huitzilopochtli was the brother of Quetzalcoatl. Hummingbird feathers covered the body of his statue at the great temple, along with cloth and jewels. info)) is a deity of war, sun, human sacrifice, and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. Answer questions about who this god was and why he was important to the Aztecs. His nagual or animal spirit was the eagle. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Huitzilopochtli – ‘The Hummingbird of the South’ Huitzilopochtli, the principal Aztec god (Credit: John Carter Brown Library / CC). For example, during the Toxcatl celebrations (16th May - 4th June, dedicated to the god Tezcatlipoca), a figure of Huitzilopochtli was made from amaranth dough. They were called the people of the sun because hte sun was the most powerful thing to them. Tlaloc, God of Rain and Storms. There were many gods in the Aztec religion but some of the most prominent included: Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Mictlāntēcutli, Tlaloc, and Chicomecōātl. The Aztec Indians migrated to the Valley of Mexico approximately around 1100 A.D., led by their God, Huitzilopochtli. Unlike many other Aztec deities, Huitzilopochtli was intrinsically a Mexica deity with no clear equivalent in earlier Mesoamerican cultures. Huitzilopochtli (pronounced Weetz-ee-loh-POSHT-lee and meaning "Hummingbird on the Left") was one of the most important of the Aztec gods, the god of the sun, warfare, military conquest and sacrifice, who according to tradition, led the Mexica people from Aztlan, their mythical homeland, into Central Mexico. Huitzilopochtli (pronounced Weetz-ee-loh-POSHT-lee and meaning "Hummingbird on the Left") was one of the most important of the Aztec gods, the god of the sun, warfare, military conquest and sacrifice, who according to tradition, led the Mexica people from Aztlan, their mythical homeland, into Central Mexico. Defeated warriors led up the steps of the Temple Mayor for the ultimate sacrifice would have been reminded that they were soon to be the equivalent of the defeated Coyolxauhqui. Huitzilopochtli was supremely important to the Aztecs both in war and in human sacrifice. He ruled over the 13-day sequence in the 260-day ritual calendar beginning with the day Ce Quiauitl (One Rain). Quetzalcoatl, The Feathered Serpent. Panquetzaliztli. The god of war got his own way by decapitating and eat… ... Why was war important to the aztecs? The … Thus, according to Huitzilopochtli’s command, Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital, was founded in 1325 ce on a small, rocky island in the lake of the Valley of Mexico. The most important god to the Aztecs was Huitzilopochtli. Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital. He was also the national god of the Mexicas, also known as Aztecs, of Tenochtitlan. How did the mountains influence Aztec life? – Huitzilopochtli is one of the chief deities of the Aztec and to whom countless human sacrifices are made. While Huitzilopochtli was an undeniably significant deity within Aztec mythology, some sc… His mother was the goddess Coatlicue, whose name means “She of the Serpent Skirt,” and she was the goddess of Venus, the morning star. Huitzilopochtli Huitzilopochtli was the Aztec god in charge of keeping the darkness away from earth, the warrior god who kept earth alive. His nagual, or animal disguise, was the eagle. The Aztecs believed that the sun god needed daily nourishment (tlaxcaltiliztli) in the form of human blood and hearts and that they, as “people of the sun,” were required to provide Huitzilopochtli with his sustenance. Huitzilopochtli ‘in the flesh’: Important descriptions of the god can be read in colonial chronicles. Huitzilopochtli’s mother, Coatlicue, is one aspect of the Aztecs’ multidimensional earth goddess; she conceived him after having kept in her bosom a ball of hummingbird feathers (i.e., the soul of a warrior) that fell from the sky. During these festivities, called Panquetzalitzli, the Aztec people decorated their homes held ceremonies with dances, processions, and sacrifices. Huitzilopochtli - The most fearsome and powerful of the Aztec gods, Huitzilopochtli was the god of war, the sun, and sacrifice. The Aztec religion was also important to the Aztec society in order for them to know when to plant crops, go to war and most importantly when to sacrifice humans or perform ritual blood-letting to help pay back the blood debt owed to the gods after they sacrificed themselves for all of humanity. Sadly they both missed out on the mother-child bonding process, as she was decapitated by … Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Huitzilopochtli supporting the southern quarter of the heavens, illustration in the Codex Borgia, 14th–16th century. The flesh ’: important descriptions of the most important deities in the fifth of... 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