Xochiquetzal

This is an image of the Aztec goddess Xochiquetzal, which means "Precious Feather Flower" in Nahuatl. According to the Telleriano-Remensis Codex and multiple sources, she was the goddess of beauty, promiscuity, flowers, fertility, and dancing. She also is known for being the goddess of arts and weaving. This is evident in this depiction of her because she is usually seen holding either a bouquet of flowers or weaving tools. She is shown with a headdress of quetzal feathers as well as a quetzal bird. In this painting in particular, there is a jaguar, centipede, and a coral snake underneath her which symbolizes her being an "earthly goddess". She is wearing many gold ornaments and a highly decorated poncho called a "Quechquimitl". She is also shown in this Codex wearing a crown of flowers made from turquoise quetzal feathers and gold plaques to show her importance and symbol. Xochiquetzal can be depicted with two green "horns" on top of her headdress, which symbolizes fertility. Also, she is shown with her arms open to represent dancing and her festival. Her face is painted red and yellow, which is based off of her male counterpart Xochipilli. (Codex Telleriano-Remensis).

There are many contrasts and similarities between the Codex Telleriano-Remensis depiction of Xochiquetzal and the Codex Magliabecchiano's. In the Codex Magliabecchiano, Xochiquetzal is still holding a weaving tool, which means she is widely celebrated for being the "first woman to weave" (Codex Telleriano-Remensis 22v). She is also still wearing many gold ornaments and a quetzal feather and flower headdress. However, what differentiates this depiction from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis is that Xochiquetzal is standing alone and her "butterfly nose jewel" is much more pronounced. There is a snake on the same page, which continues the notion that she was considered to be an earthly goddess. Xochiquetzal was also linked to being a warrior, which is what the turtle shell on the page symbolizes. This is not depicted at all in the depiction of her in Codex Telleriano-Remensis. By having multiple images of the same deity, we are able to understand that each deity represented many things for the Mexica. If we take into consideration the aspects and images that are constant in each depiction and that overlap, we gain a better idea of what the deity stood for and the Mexica's belief system as well.

 

Overall, we look to pictures and sculptures of Aztec deities to gain a deeper insight as to what they each stood for and their place within Aztec culture. By finding deities that are related to one another, it makes it easier to piece together the myths and representations of them.

 


Jamie Shaud

Xochiquetzal