- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology
Gods, Goddesses and Mythology of the Mighty Aztec People
The Aztec people were conquered and their civilization destroyed by the Spanish Conquistadors.
Aztec people Embodied spirits
The Aztecs civilization had many Gods that they worshiped. They would adopt a tribe or culture's God that they conquered into their religion.
A very important part of the Aztec religion was the sun. The Aztec's called themselves the “People of the Sun.” The Aztecs believed the sun had to be strong so it could rise every morning. To keep the sun strong the Aztecs performed rituals and sacrifices.
Huitzilopochtli, the Principal Aztec God
The Aztecs had many Gods they worshiped, but some were more important than others. Huitzilopochtli was the Aztecs most important God. He was the most feared and powerful of the Aztec gods. He was the Aztecs god of war, the sun, and sacrifice. The patron god of the Aztecs capital city of Tenochtitlan was Huitzilopotchli. In the center of the city, there was a temple built to honor him and Tlaloc. In the drawings of Huitzilopotchli, he is portrayed with feathers and has a scepter made from a snake.
The Aztec god of rain and water was Tlaloc. He helped the Aztecs by sending rain that would make the plants grow.
The god of life and wind was Quetzalcoatl. He was usually portrayed as a flying serpent that resembled a dragon. When Cortez arrived, the Aztecs thought he was Quetzalcoatl in the form of a man.
The Aztec God Tezcatlipoca
A powerful god was Tezcathlpoea, who was associated with magic, the night and the earth. He was Quetzalcoatlus rival. In Aztec mythology, he was the first god to create the sun and the earth. Quetzalcoatl killed him and turned him into a jaguar. They built a large temple to him in Tenochtitlan.
Corn Goddess Chicomecoatl
The goddess of agriculture, nourishment and corn was Chicomecoati. She is portrayed as a young girl carrying flowers. Sometimes she is portrayed as a woman using the sun as a shield.
It was the priest's job to make sure the gods got the correct sacrifices and offerings. The priest performed many ceremonies to keep the gods happy. They were respected and powerful.
The Aztecs believed in order for the sun to rise each day it must have human sacrifices. The Aztecs performed human sacrifices by the thousands. It is believed that in 1487 when the Great Temple was built over 20,000 people were killed.
The Aztecs believed that the heaven and the underworld had many levels. If you died in battle, you would go to heaven. If you drowned you went to the underworld.