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Mictēcacihuātl as depicted in the Codex Borgia

Mictēcacihuātl (Nahuatl pronunciation: [mik.teː.kaˈsi.waːt͡ɬ], meaning "Lady of the Dead"), in Aztec mythology, is a death deity and consort of Mictlāntēcutli, god of the dead and ruler of Mictlān, the lowest level of the underworld.[1]

Her role is to watch over the bones of the dead and preside over the ancient festivals of the dead. These festivals evolved from Aztec traditions into the modern Day of the Dead after synthesis with Spanish traditions. She now presides over the contemporary festival as well. She is known as the "Lady of the Dead", since it is believed that she was born, then sacrificed as an infant. Mictēcacihuātl was represented with a flayed body and with jaw agape to swallow the stars during the day.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Miller & Taube 1993, 2003, p. 113.
  2. ^ Fernández 1992, 1996, p. 142.


  • Fernández, Adela (1996) [1992]. Dioses Prehispánicos de México [Prehispanic Gods of Mexico] (in Spanish). Mexico City: Panorama Editorial. ISBN 968-38-0306-7. OCLC 28801551.
  • Miller, Mary; 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.