In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl (pronounced 'Meek-teka-see-wahdl'[needs IPA] or 'Meek-teka-kee-wadl') is Queen of Mictlan, the underworld, ruling over the afterlife with Mictlantecuhtli, another deity who is designated as her husband.
Her role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead. She presided over the ancient festivals of the dead, which evolved from Aztec traditions into the modern Day of the Dead after synthesis with Spanish cultural traditions. She is said now to preside over the contemporary festival as well. Mictecacihuatl is known as the Lady of the Dead, since it is believed that she was born, then sacrificed as an infant. Mictecacihuatl was represented with a defleshed body and with jaw agape to swallow the stars during the day.
- Miller & Taube 1993, 2003, p.113.
- Fernández 1992, 1996, p.142.
- Fernández, Adela (1992, 1996). Dioses Prehispánicos de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial. ISBN 968-38-0306-7. OCLC 28801551. (Spanish)
- Miller, Mary; and Karl Taube (1993). An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27928-4. OCLC 59601185.
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