Aztec mythology, is very rich in gods and fascinating legends . In this article, we are going to talk about Mictlāntēcutli who was one of the most terrible and feared gods for the ancient inhabitants of Mexico since it was the very god of the Aztec death.
He was in charge of governing, along with his wife, the kingdom of the underworld. Sovereign of all the souls of the dead and nine underground rivers. He was associated with all dark animals and the night like owls or spiders. If you want to discover more about the Aztec death god, you just have to continue reading this article. Know it!
The god of Aztec death | 10 curiosities of Mictlāntēcutli
This was called the kingdom of the dead and therefore the domains of the Aztec death god. For the ancient Mexicans, the Mictlan was a multiverse formed by all the underground layers of the Earth and through which all the souls of the dead roamed. It was a truly creepy place full of bugs, according to some ancient representations. Formed by nine regions , through which the souls had to go through.
The god of the Aztec death was represented with the appearance of a skull. It was a skeleton of a human being, but it had innumerable teeth . He also highlighted in his figure a great black hair and that was always drawn with eyes in the form of stars because he lives in complete darkness and this is the only way he has to distinguish between shadows.
3. Unpronounceable name
Most of the gods of these Central American mythologies have tremendously long and practically unpronounceable names. The Aztec death god is no exception and his name literally means "Lord of the place of the dead" .
4. Corpse of a dog
A curious custom related to the god of the Aztec death is that all the deceased were buried with the corpse of a dog by their side. Because in this way, the animal would guide them and help them cross the Chignahuapan that it was the mighty river that led to the abode of Mictlāntēcutli.
5. They were not the only gods of the underworld
In the Aztec vision, as we have mentioned before, the underworld consisted of several levels and in the deepest of them all lived the lords of death. Even though this deity represented that, does not mean that it was the only one since they also lived in that kind of hell other many lesser gods In total, the most important were nine.
6. The origin of the people
The Mexica had the belief that the creation of the people had a lot to do with the Aztec death god. The legend is called that of the two suns and explains why each and every one of us is different, in a very beautiful and didactic way. In short, the other great god called Quetzalcoatl agrees with the deity of death to take human bones from the underworld to create with that image and likeness the rest of the inhabitants of humanity. Mictlāntēcutli tries to steal them again and finally, Quetzalcóatl managed to escape .
7. Dead of Mictlāntēcutli
To the people who had to rest for all eternity together with the lord of the underworld, they were shrouded in crouches wrapping them with blankets, very strong, and putting a jade stone in his mouth . In addition to this, the offerings were obligatory every eighty days and each year until the four that supposedly took to travel the domains of the Lord of Death were fulfilled.
8. Horrible sacrifices in his honor
As we have commented in some other article of Mexica mythology, the indigenous people made worse sacrifices the more important was the god to whom they paid honors. In the case of Mictlāntēcutli, he filled large earthen jars with human flesh and then distributed it among the nobles and most important people to eat it.
9. Location of the land governed by Mictlāntēcutli
The Aztecs thought that the lord of the underworld ruled in the northern lands , since they believed that it was cold and dark. For this reason all citizens, except pregnant women and soldiers, were going to die at Mictlan.
10. Relationship with the dog
The god of the Aztec death, is very related to this animal like many others deities in charge of the dead in many civilizations . It may be due to the function that this animal performed to guide the deceased through hell or that they always used to stay close to the cemeteries.
As you may have seen, the Aztec death god was very important for the Mexicans. He was the owner of all souls and they were rendered a terrible cult. We would like you to leave us your opinion about him, Write us because we are looking forward to reading your comments!