Coatlicue Picture

Framed, digital print for the 2010 Anifex Exhibition
Theme: Elements

Coatlicue was the earth goddess of life and death in Aztec mythology. She was known as the "Mother of Gods" and gave birth to the sun, the moon and the stars.
She was depicted as a woman wearing a skirt of writhing serpents and a necklace made of human hands, skulls and hearts. Her feet and hands were adorned with claws and her breasts hanging and flaccid from nursing.
According to Aztec legend, she fell pregnant after feathers touched her while she was sweeping a temple. This miraculous conception awakened the fury of her existing four hundred sons and daughters. They attacked her and decapitated her just as the god Huitzilopochtli emerged fully armed from her womb and slew many of his brothers and sisters. After her head was cut off, the blood spurt forth from her neck in the form of two gigantic serpents.
Most Aztec artistic representations of this goddess emphasise her deadly side, because earth, as well as loving mother, is the insatiable monster that consumes everything that lives. She represents the devouring mother, in whom both the womb and the grave exist.
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