General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Apr 2021/3 Alligator
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Stone bust of Quetzalcóatl

Stone bust of the Mexica god Quetzalcóatl

Bust of Quetzalcóatl, Mexica (Aztec), stone, 1300-1521 CE, height 32.5 cms., British Museum.

In Nahuatl, Quetzalcoatl means ‘quetzal-feather (quetzalli) snake (coatl), hence the term ‘feathered serpent’ for this best known of all Mesoamerican deities. The iridescent green feathers of the quetzal bird were widely used in costume and iconography to symbolise the verdant sources of life-giving moisture. Here Quetzalcoatl’s head, with typical curved shell ear ornaments (epcololli) and framed by a necklace in the form of a solar disc, can be seen emerging from the plumed coils of the serpent. (From Ancient Mexico in the British Museum by Colin McEwan, British Museum Publications, 1994, p.69.)

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.