Home History Tlāloc


by Enochadmin

Ceramic Tlāloc effigy vessel discovered on the Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Mexico, c.1440-70. Bridgeman Photos.

Tlāloc is a pan-Mesoamerican god of rain and earthly fertility. Principally recognised as a chief deity of the Aztec (or Mexica), earlier Zapotec and Mayan civilisations worshipped an identical rain and fertility god, referred to as Cocijo and Chaac respectively. For the Aztecs, Tlāloc was ‘the residing embodiment of the earth’. He’s nonetheless honored by a number of indigenous Mexican communities.

Though the cult of Tlāloc flourished throughout Mesoamerica’s post-Classical interval (900-1521), it’s believed that he was first worshipped on the historical metropolis state (altepetl) of Teotihuacan within the Valley of Mexico. Teotihuacan was based round 100 BC and is legendary for its pyramidical temples, on high of which sacrifices have been made throughout extremely ritualised non secular ceremonies. In response to the historian Philip P. Arnold, round half of those have been devoted to Tlāloc.

Iconographically, Tlāloc’s predominant options are round exophthalmic eyes, a curved higher lip and distinguished fanged enamel, resembling these of a jaguar; a number of jaguar skulls have been present in shrines devoted to Tlāloc. His important attributes are a lightning bolt, typically resembling a serpent, held in a single hand and an effigy vessel from which he pours water within the different. One such vessel, relationship from the fifteenth century, is proven right here. It was discovered on the Templo Mayor at t, which immediately types the historic centre of Mexico Metropolis.

Important to understanding the significance of Tlāloc is the interconnectedness of the universe (cenanahuac), through which the earth was thought of a land mass utterly surrounded by water. Topological options, equivalent to mountains, have been seen as large receptacles and the oceans have been celestial waters, which prolonged vertically to fulfill and merge with the sky. Tlāloc’s function was to regulate and direct the earth’s waters, thus guaranteeing a plentiful harvest. Though a whole bunch of vessels, frescoed photos and sculptures bearing a few of Tlāloc’s options and attributes have been excavated, it’s now thought that many really signify different deities from the huge pantheon of Mesoamerican gods. These embrace Tlāloc’s consort, Chalchiuhtlicue, related to rivers, seas, storms and childbirth, and Tlalogues, or ‘rain dwarfs’, who represented local weather circumstances together with lightning, sleet and snow.

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