General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 22 Nov 2017/7 Movement
Text Size:

Search the Site (type in white box):

2 Aztec gods, Codex Borbonicus

Ideas for DRAWING AN AZTEC GOD...

Meet (left, main picture) Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, ‘Lord of the House of Dawn’, the Aztec god of Venus the Morning Star...

Picture 1: Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, illustration by Phil Mursell
Picture 1: Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, illustration by Phil Mursell (Click on image to enlarge)

When you first see him in an Aztec codex (in this case the Codex Borbonicus - he’s facing [right] Xiuhtecuhtli, god of fire and time), you can be forgiven for thinking ‘How on earth can you tell one Aztec god from another? Which bit’s which?!’

Picture 2: key to the parts (1)
Picture 2: key to the parts (1) (Click on image to enlarge)

Well, here’s a solution: a diagramatic key you and your pupils can use to help identify the parts! For the full background to this god (and much more on his ‘disguise’), follow the link below to our exclusive profile of him.

Picture 3: key to the parts (2)
Picture 3: key to the parts (2) (Click on image to enlarge)

Our illustrator, Phillip Mursell, has dissected Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli for you [with grateful thanks to the illustrations in Salvador Matos Higuera’s volume ‘Los Dioses Creadores’, part of the Enciclopedia Gráfica del México Antiguo]. We’ve given you most of the more interesting part ‘names’ in Náhuatl and English...

The British Museum’s Pocket Dictionary of Aztec & Maya Gods & Goddesses
The British Museum’s Pocket Dictionary of Aztec & Maya Gods & Goddesses (Click on image to enlarge)

Key to Picture 2:-

aztaxelli = forked feather headdress

cuezalhuitóncatl = feathered crown

chalchiuhnacochtli = nose/face mask [typical of Quetzalcóatl]

tezcacuitlapilli = feathered tail mirror

cózcatl = necklace

anáhuatl = (sea)shell ring, tied by a red leather belt

iztac máxtlatl = white loincloth

iztac cactli = white sandals

Key to Picture 3:-

atl = water

tlepapálotl = ‘fire butterfly’

huitztli = thorn [associated with the beak of a hummingbird]

ómitl = bone

yólotl = heart

cuauhxicalli = ‘eagle bowl’

teoicpalli = throne/seat of a god

tlachinolli = ‘scorched earth’.

If you’re researching Aztec gods, note that the British Museum has an excellent little reference book with portraits of 16 key Aztec deities.

The god with the longest name...

Feedback button