Chimalma

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Chimalman[pronunciation?] or Chimalma is a goddess in Aztec mythology, the mother of Quetzalcoatl. Her name means "shield-hand."

According to the Manuscript of 1558, section 7, the begetting of Quetzalcoatl happened in this way: "And then when Mixcoatl went to... Huitznahuac, the woman Chimalman came out to confront him... She stood naked, without skirt or shift." While she stood thus, Mixcoatl shot an arrow "between her legs" -- on two separate occasions. "And when this had occurred, he took the woman of Huitznauac, the one who is Chimalman, and lay with her and so she became pregnant."[1]

Chimalma, Códice Laud

According to the Codex Chimalpopoca, referring to Quetzalcoatl, "...and his mother they say was Chimalman. And from what they say about him, Quetzalcoatl was placed in her belly when she swallowed a piece of jade."[2]

It is doubtful, almost certain, that the above descriptions are incorrect. The Feathered Serpent, regardless of the name used by the culture designating or invoking this spirit, with names such as Quetzalcoatl, Kukulkan, and Q'uq'umatz, amongst others, was an aspect of the Absolute Being, which the Mayans called Hunab Ku. Hunab Ku could not be represented by a figure or image directly, and as the Absolute Being it was totally inconceivable that a human could designate a "mother of Quetzalcoatl".

What oral tradition does hold regarding Chimalman is that she was a spirit which accompanied the Azteca from the homeland of Aztlán. Huitzilopochtli and Quetzalcoatl were spiritual entities adopted from the Toltec legacy when the Azteca lived amongst the Chichimeca.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miguel León-Portilla & Earl Shorris: In the Language of Kings. Norton & Co., NY, 2001. Page 62.
  2. ^ John Bierhorst: History and Mythology of the Aztecs; the Codex Chimalpopoca. University of Arizona Press, Arizona, 1992, p. 28.