Why do the skeletons not frighten the
Mexican people ?
god of water and rain. His Toltec name
was Echécatl. The worship of
Quetzalcóatl began at the end of the
classic period. The word Nahuatl
Quetzalcóatl means "feathered serpent".
Quetzal means "precious bird " and "cóatl"
was a generous god who had the power of
descending into hell to take the bones
of the dead and restore them to life
with a drop of his own blood. This is
the reason why the skeleton is
considered by the Mexicans as a symbol
of life and renovation.
Quetzalcóatl was also the God of wind,
the breath of life, love and wisdom.
a god he is the incarnation of Venus,
the morning star which calls the sun
into the sky. Quetzalcóatl invented the
Aztec calendar as well as the arts and
techniques of agriculture. He knew how
to cure people with magic herbs, he was
a lawmaker and inventor of writing.
his human form Quetzalcóatl must have
been a king, founder of a great
civilisation and a very wise priest.
Quetzalcóatl was the first to ask for
peaceful sacrifices such as offerings of
jade, birds or butterflies. By contrast,
Tezcatlipoca ordered bloody rituals such
as human sacrifices. This is the reason
that, using black magic, Quetzalcóatl
was driven out of Tula by Tezcatlipoca
in 987 AD.
took the form of a bird, and was
reincarnated in the form of the planet
The Spanish historian Bernardino de
Sahagún wrote that this mask was a gift
of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma to the
Spanish captain Hernán Cortés who landed
in America in 1519. The Aztec Emperor
took Cortes for the real god
Quetzalcóatl who, according to legend,
sailed away transformed into a bird and
promised to return to save his people.
According to Sahagún, this mask was worn
with a beautiful crown made of
magnificent precious quetzal feathers (a
beautiful and very rare bird which
inhabits the Central American jungle).
This crown is the "Penacho de Moctezuma",
and is part of the collection at the
Ethnical Museum of Vienna, Austria.