Cihuacoatl Picture

In Aztec mythology, Cihuacoatl ("snake woman") was one of a number of motherhood and fertility goddesses. Cihuacoatl was especially associated with midwives, and with the sweatbaths where midwives practiced. She is paired with Quilaztli and was considered a protectress of Chalmeca and patroness of Culhuacan. Although she was sometimes depicted as a young woman, similar to Xochiquetzal, she is more often shown as a fierce skull-faced old woman carrying the spears and shield of a warrior. Childbirth was sometimes compared to warfare and the women who died in childbirth were honored as fallen warriors. Their spirits, the Cihuateteoh, were depicted with skeletal faces like Cihuacoatl. Like her, the Cihuateteo are thought to haunt crossroads at night to steal children.

This depiction (from my latest sketchbook), however, concerns the CUETZPALIN Mythos rather than the Mexica cosmology, even though has some loose inspiration from it. In the Cuetzpalin Mythos, the Cihuacoatl are a race native from Aztlán's Cipactli area, more specifically in the underworld's swampy Yayauhco Island. Half-women, half-snake, hybrids of Cuetzpalin and hunahu, for a long age the Cihuacoatl had as subjects the hominid Centzonhuitznahua, from Coatepec, at the region of Aztlán's Huey Acatl, and were led by a Cihuacoatl matriarch known as Teoyaqminqui. By the 42th Century b.I (13th Century before the birth of the Centzonmimixcoa), when Tamoanchan has been founded in the Huey Acatl area, Teyoaqminqui has pledgded allegiance to another race, the Tzitzimimeh and Cihuateteoh, led by the goddess Itzpapalotl. A century later, the Cihuateteoh, Tzitzimimeh, Cihuacoatl and Centzonhuitznahua would join with the inhabitants of the upper altepetl Quiahuitl and Yaoyotepetl, where the local Cuetzpalin and hunahu races were guided by Teteoh Huitzopoca and Chalchihuihtotollin, founding the first Aztec Confederation. From that point forward, the race of the Centzonhuitznahua would acquire more autonomy in relation to the Cihuacoatl and would confer themselves a representative among the Aztec Teteoh (gods), the goddess Coyolxauhqui.

The permanence and allegiance of the altepetl Tamoanchan and Coatepec, as well their races, the Cihuacoatl, the Tzitzimimeh, the Cihuateteoh and the Centzonhuitznahua, would last for centuries, but wouldn't survive after sometime during the Century-lasting Topakhon Wars (1st to 12th Centuries a.X), which has had the participation of the Aztec Confederation through several campaigns. After the failed Centzonhuitznahua Rebellion of Coatepec (and eventual death of Coyolxauhqui, by her brother's hands) in the 5th Century a.X, and the failed rebellion of the Tzitzimimeh and Cihuateteoh from Tamoanchan in the 12th Century a.X, Itzpapalotl herself would be expulsed from Aztlán and the Aztec Confederation, and the only remaining individuals from those races left in Aztlán were scattered in tribes reserved to the underworld regions. Itzpapalotl has left for the planet of Tredius alongside followers, as did other Cihuateteoh like Tlazolteotl, and they would wait for centuries, prolonging their lifespans through hosts, and hiding among women from the planet, for the time the Cihuateteoh tribes would gather again in Cihuatlampa and have their revenge against the Aztec Confederation's Teteoh. What they didn't expect, however, was that even after her death in ancient times, the figure of Coyolxauhqui (and her association to the Cihuateteoh in the Aztec public opinion) would play a major role in their struggle against the Confederation. For the Cihuacoatl, their presence on the Aztec Confederation's mainland would be much reduced, and somewhat shadowed by the influence of the figure of Coatlicue, who was like the representative of the war-like interests of Huitzopoca, the Teotl (god) of wind (Ehecatl, or as he prefers to call, "breath/air/spirit [Ihíyotl] in motion [Ollin]"), war (Yaoyotl) and blood (Atl-Tlachinolli, literally "sacred water") sacrifice, as well the patron of Aztlán's Huey Xochitl area's altepetl (city-state) Yaoyotepetl. Coatlicue's political role has prevented the Aztec Confederation from resignating in several conflicts during the Topakhon Wars, but their participation on it, besides resulting in the inner massacre against the Centzonhuitznahua and stigmatization of other races, has left more corpses than the long-waited recognition of the Cuetzpalin's proud war-like victorious spirit.
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