General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 27 Feb 2021/4 Dog
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Many different ways to depict an Aztec/Mexica god or deity

Different ways to depict Mexica gods

In Mesoamerican mythology, most beings are depicted ‘anthropomorphically’, that is, given human form. Visual representations of them can, however, also be ‘zoomorphic’ (as animals), ‘phytomorphic’ (as plants), ‘lithomorphic’ (as rocks or mountains), or even, as is surprisingly common, ‘theriomorphic’ - that is, in strange beast-like shapes and guises, or part-animal form (think Egyptian Ra, Hindu Ganesh, Greek centaur, for examples from other parts of the world). We take just one Mexica deity, Tepeyollotl (‘Heart of the Mountain’) to show how this worked in practice... (Compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Here we show Tepeyollotl - a guise of creator god Black Tezcatlipoca - depicted in codices in the following forms:-
a) anthropomorphic (Codex Telleriano-Remensis, fol. 8r)
b) theriomorphic, combining mountain, heart, human elements (Codex Borbonicus, pl. 5)
c) and d) anthropomorphic, disguised as a jaguar (Codex Telleriano-Remensis fol. 9v and Codex Borbonicus, pl. 3)
e) and f) zoomorphic (Codex Borgia pl. 10 and Florentine Codex Book V, fol. 1r).

• López Austin, Alfredo ‘Los Personajes del Mito: Las Figuraciones’, Arqueología Mexicana special edition no. 92, August 2020, 25-26.
Picture sources:-
• Images from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis scanned from our own copy of the facsimile edition by Eloise Quiñones Keber, University of Texas Press, 1995
• Images from the Codex Borbonicus scanned from our own copy of the ADEVA facsimile edition, Graz, Austria, 1974
• Image based on the Codex Borgia scanned from The Codex Borgia: a Full-Color Restoration of the Ancient Mexican Manuscript by Gisele Díaz & Alan Rodgers, Dover Publications, 1993
• Image from the Florentine Codex scanned from our own copy of the Club Internacional del Libro 3-volume facsimile edition, Madrid, 1994.

This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on Feb 17th 2021

emoticon If you thought Aztec gods were only ever shown in one form, MORPHOOL YOU...

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