Aztec mythology in popular culture

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Figures from Aztec mythology have appeared many times in works of modern culture.

Chalchiuhtlicue[edit]

  • Chalchiutlicue (along with other Aztec gods) is referenced in issue 8 of The Invisibles, as one of the characters battles a villain claiming to be Xipe Totec.
  • Skin care factory H20 Plus' plant in downtown Chicago is adorned with large panels that depict ancient figures like Chalchiutlicue, the Aztec goddess of water, and Ea, the Mesopotamian deity credited with creating humans from earth and water.[2]
  • The Unruly Woman: Gender and the Genres of Laughter. Chalchiutlicue is seen as a statue, the lady of water and the goddess of the sea.[3]
  • The Genesis Code. The character Vasquez pointed to a line of inscriptions resting on the Mayan symbol for the water goddess, Chalchiutlicue.[4]
  • The Mexican Treasury: The Writings of Dr. Francisco Hernández. Chalchiutlicue is referred to as the goddess of the sea, by a mother who bathes her young child because it was at the will of Chalchiutlicue.[5]
  • Voice of the Vanquished: The story of the Slave Marina and Hernan Cortez. Chihuallama bathed her entire body with wet hands, invoking the blessing of the goddess Chalchiutlicue. “Now this child is new-born and new formed born again with the blessings of the water goddess. Whoever might do this child mischief, go away, for she is under the protection of Chalchiutlicue, goddess who wears precious jewels.[6]
  • Carr, O’Keefe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own. Frida Kahlo paints a portrait of herself, in which she is wearing a blouse that is embroidered with a rectangular symbol: it is the Aztec glyph for water associated with the rain god Tlaloc and with Chalchiutlicue.[7]

Coatlicue[edit]

  • In Harry Harrison's science fiction novel Captive Universe Coatlicue appears as a killer robot masquerading as the goddess intended to protect certain areas of a generational ship populated by an Aztec-derived culture
  • In the novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Shadow dreams of a museum filled with statues of gods and goddesses, and is profoundly disturbed by the statue of Coatlicue.
  • In the video game Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Coatlicue is one of many multi-elemental summons in the game. Coatlicue returns as a healing-only multi-element summon in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.
  • Coatlicue does appear connected to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Chicano and Latin-American art since the 1960s. The idea is that both are powerful female figures, one which was the focus of ancient Mexican devotion, and the other a focus of veneration since the 16th century.
  • In the 1978 horror film Mardi Gras Massacre, the main antagonist claims to be an Aztec priest and sacrifices prostitutes to the goddess Coatlicue (here referred to as "Coatla, Goddess of the Four Directions").
  • In the 1990 media franchise Monster in My Pocket, Coatlicue is one of several "monsters" to collect.
  • In the 2010 book "The Necromancer: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" by Michael Scott, Coatlicue is a monster Dr. John Dee calls upon to destroy the Shadowrealms and then feast on Josh.
  • In the 2012 book Age of Aztec by James Lovegrove, Coatlicue is one of the Aztec Pantheon.

Itzpapalotl[edit]

  • Octavio Paz's prose poem "The Obsidian Butterfly" from the collection Aguila O Sol (literally Eagle or Sun, colloquially "heads or tails") is named after Itzpapalotl, and she is in the poem.

Mictlantecuhtli[edit]

  • Aliette de Bodard's Obsidian and Blood trilogy are historical fantasy/mysteries set in the fifteenth-century Aztec Empire, where the protagonist Acatl is the High Priest for the Dead. Many other Aztec deities also appear in the books.

Quetzalcoatl[edit]

  • The pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus is named after Quetzalcoatl.
  • Quetzalcoatl / Kukulcan is the main alien protagonist in the Star Trek Animated episode "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth" from the 1973 Filmation cartoon series.
  • In the DC Comics series Aztek, there is told an ancient legend that the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl fought the shadow god Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca is eventually revealed in an issue of JLA to be Maggedon, a living computer and gokiller weapon of the New Gods. However, during the War of the Gods, a being that resembles and claims to be the Quetzalcoatl awoke by Ares' son Phobos. It is never corroborated if this is the same deity from the legends.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Crystal Skull", the 'giant alien' is named Quetlzelcoatl [sic].
  • The 1982 film "Q" revolved around the resurrection of Quetzalcoatl by an Aztec cult.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Aztec Rat Race", the Noble Rat (with the power of the Rat Talisman residing in it) animates a statue of Quetzalcoatl.
  • Quetzalcoatl is mentioned in H.P. Lovecraft's "The Electric Executioner" and "The Curse of Yig". According to legends Yig is a snake god and prototype of Quetzacoatl.
  • The Digimon Quetzalmon (known as Coatlmon in the original Version ) and its counterpart BioCoatlmon are based on Quetzalcoatl.
  • In the Godzilla: The Series episode "Bird of Paradise", a fire-breathing bird/dinosaur hybrid awakened from within a volcano is named after Quetzalcoatl.
  • The band Therion produced a song by the name Quetzalcoatl on their 2004 album Lemuria.
  • The couatl, a flying lizard-like creature depicted in the Warcraft series, is based partially on the legends of the mythical Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, Quetzalcoatl is included as one of the Olman deities in the Mesoamerican styled cultures of such fantasy games as the Paizo Adventure Path Savage Tide.
  • Quetzalcoatl appears as a thunder-elemental "Guardian Force", or summon, in Final Fantasy VIII, though due to character limitations, his name is shortened to "Quezacotl".
  • In the 2010 book "The Necromancer: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" by Michael Scott, Quetzalcoatl is a Dark Elder.
  • The Quetzalcoatl was featured in a season 3 episode of the Animal Planet TV series "Lost Tapes" entitled "Q: The Serpent God".
  • A monstrous serpent called "Quetzalcoatl" appears in the Teotihuacan, Mexico level of the 1999 video game Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. He managed to kill it by making it slither over spike-traps set in the floor.
  • At the end of the first Assassin's Creed, one of the messages on the wall makes a reference to Quetzalcoatl.
  • In the 2010 science fiction/fantasy novel, City of the Gods: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Quetzalcoatl appears as a human king of Teotihuacan who is transformed into a colossal dragon-like creature. Other Mesoamerican gods such as Coatlicue and Huitzilopotchli also appear as kaiju-like creatures.
  • In the anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, there is a dragon known as the Crimson Dragon. In one episode, it is revealed to be Quetzalcoatl.
  • In Terry Pratchett's novel "Eric", Quetzalcoatl is parodied as a demon named Quezovercoatl, posing as a god.
  • In Beyblade: Metal Fury, Quetzalcoatl is a beyblade owned by a child of apparent Mesoamerican descent.
  • Quetzalcoatl was a winged reptilian beast in The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon, satisfied only by the sacrifice of human hearts.
  • Quetzalcoatl is a creature that can be summoned in the Shin Megami Tensei series of games
  • Quetzalcoatl has become a recurring common enemy in the more recent entries of the Castlevania series.
  • In the anime film Children Who Chase Lost Voices Quetzalcoatls are creatures that guard the entrance to the hidden country of Agartha.
  • Quetzalcoatl has become the name of a legendary item in Diablo 3, where it was sought by the Witch Doctor class.

Tezcatlipoca[edit]

  • Tezcatlipoca appears as the main antagonist in the Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror video game
  • In the manga, Soul Eater, there is a character named after the god, being a man dressed in a suit and using a teddy bear mask and also having the hability to transform into an obsidian mirror.
  • In the manga Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, there is a class of warriors named Jaguars, who worship Tezcatlipoca and wear armors made of obsidian.

References[edit]