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'Dragons' photographed from plane over Tibet

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dragonlady_mothman

Dragons exist all over the world in mythology. yes.gif

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Solofront

could they be pipelines,

anyone know if china has an oil line?

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sirec
could they be pipelines,

anyone know if china has an oil line?

781675[/snapback]

pipe lines i defently doubt it but if the terrain was flat i would be a suitable guess bersides aint it extremely stupid to build oil pipelines over a mounting, imaging the constructionand also avalanches and rock falls may damage it, oil being as precious as it is today engineers and designers would say it is stupid and the people were a little retarted. i dount think that you would get oil from a mountain anyway lol too much rock and that area i suspect is volcanically active. it would also ruin the country side. i aint a expert on this but aint pipelines but aint they usually underground tongue.gif

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sirec
Dragons exist all over the world in mythology.  yes.gif

781673[/snapback]

i havent heard of dragon myths in the americas, but who knows. The native indians may have come from the asian area, i say its a possibility but reckless. their bows and arrows were a similar design i think and they must have got the idea from some where oh well keep on topic grin2.gif

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JennRose

Native Americans had dragons and lake monsters. They feared and respected them...sort of midway between European and Asian feelings for them.

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sirec
Native Americans had dragons and lake monsters.  They feared and respected them...sort of midway between European and Asian feelings for them.

781707[/snapback]

i didnt know that thanks

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Solofront

alaskan pipeline,

mabye china has a large one similar to ours innocent.gif

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dragonlady_mothman
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Introduction

Quetzalcoatl. We've all heard the name before. "He's that Feathered Serpent of Ancient Mexico". However, that only answers the WHAT. Ask, WHO he was, and you might get an answer along the lines of an unintelligble stare; or the standard response, "Yeah. He was the guy who was suppose to return from the East to reclaim his power, but the Indians mistook Cortés for him instead". Though it might seem a simple enough question, a far more involved and complicated answer is necessary.

First of all, Quetzalcoatl was a god of such importance and power that nearly no aspect of everyday life seemed to go untouched by him. Secondly, as a historical figure, his actions would nor could not be contained by the History and thus eventually evolved into myth. And as a legend, he would signal the end of mortal kingship. An interesting phenomena that distinguished Quetzalcoatl is that despite the fact he is not the most powerful of gods within the Mesoamerican pantheon, or one of the eldest, he is nonetheless an integral part of the system. This was partially accomplished by his ability to integrate himself so securely to attributes of his fellow brethren, to such an extent that it is virtually impossible to tell if Quetzalcoatl was the true originator or vise versa. Hence, to establish a single definitive personality to a god is extremely difficult.

Lastly, it must be kept in mind that despite Quetzalcoatl being an Aztec name, the cultures preceding them had their name for him as well, and applying their own unique attributes to him. Consequently, Quetzalcoatl is related to many names and incarnations, and seems to play a prominent role in a pantheon of virtually all the other Mesoamerican deities. Quetzalcoatl himself goes by the names of Gukumatz, Nine Wind, and Kukulcan among others. These are the most common names found in the general Aztec and Mayan cultures, with Quetzalcoatl maintaining a host of avatars with whom he is intimately connected with or represented by. There are also certain gods that Quetzalcoatl is involved with most of the time as well, such as Xolotl, Tlaloc, Xipe, and Tezcatlipoca. These "upper level" gods are either contrary, complimentary, or both at the same time towards Quetzalcoatl, creating a sense of duality around these myths.

Duality itself runs rampant in myth, as well as being found in the astronomical/cosmological associations between Quetzalcoatl and the heavens and stars. Questions run the gamut from his morning star associations (as Venus) to the possibilities of his connection with Mercury. Ultimately it is this symbolism that runs through the myth and its astrological and cosmological incarnations which raise the questions and hint at Quetzalcoatl's power and pervasiveness. These questions and others will be dealt with in more detail in the labyrinth of our web pages found here.

Toltec

They were also known as the Tolteca-Chichimeca. Their territory spanned from the midpoint of the Sierra Madre Occidental (at Alta Vista) to the end of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain ranges (a little south of Monte Alban); and some of their sitesdid push into Maya lands (e.g. Chichen Itza). However, the heart of their territory was based in the Valley of Mexico.

Their society was militaristic and included several different warrior orders. Originally the society came about through the banding together of different tribes for some inexplicable reason. The two dominant tribes were the Tolteca-Chichimeca and the Nonoalca. It was the Tolteca-Chichimeca who were the more barbaric people, while the Nonoalca were the artisans and scholars. So esteemed were the Toltecs after theircollapse of power that not only did later groups in Central Mexico claim descent from them, but Maya groups did as well.

Mixtec

They lived in the mountainous terrain of the western and northern parts of the Oaxaca Valley, which is located in the southern portion of Mexico, called Mixteca. Occupation began in the Classic with settlements established in the mountains; however,they later moved into the valley (around the end of the Post-Classic).

Socially the were organized as complex chiefdoms. They had no large scale cities, but multiple kingdoms each with their own ruler. Apparently, due to the lack of arable land warfare was constant between the kingdoms. However by the Post-Classic,they reached a state level organization as seen in the conquest of Zapotec territory. (The Zapotecs lived in the southern Gulf Coast region).

Chichimec

A people of nomadic, non-agriculturalists (i.e. hunter-gatherers). A 'barbaric' people by Aztec eyes. They lived to the north of the Aztec Empire. Apparently, two groups of Chichimecs existed -- Teochichimeca and Tamime. The Teochichimeca "lived in caves and clothed themselves in animal skins and yucca-fiber sandals, subsisting on wild fruits, roots, and seeds and on the meat of [small game] like rabbit" (Coe, 130,1993). The Tamime Chichimeca were a step up the social ladder; having picked up language and other forms of culture from their civilized southern neighbors. Their clothing was a little bit more than the animal skins that their Teochichimecas wore and their subsistence strategy did include some farming in addition to hunting and gathering.A state of peace or war existed depending on the amount of rainfall. If it was a bad year, then they would raid their agriculture practicing neighbors.

Aztec

The people that dominated the Central Mexico basin at the time of Contact. They believed that they were descendant of the Toltecs. According to their accounts, they originally came from Aztlan (Land of the Herons'), an island in a lake in the west or northwest part of Mexico. One legend has it that Huitzilopochtli (in 1111 AD) lead them on their journey to the Valley of Mexico. (It seems that Huitzilopochtli knew that this land was fertile). During their migration, Huitzilopochtli gave them a new name --Mexica. However, they were not welcomed when they first arrived and kept wandering throughout the Valley until a prophecy told them to locate on the exact spot where an eagle, holding a snake in its mouth, has perched itself on a cactus.

By 1344/1345, two groups of Aztecs existed with their own separate governments; the southerners with their capital at Tenochitlan and the northerners with their capital at Tlatelolco. Consolidation of the two did not take long to occure. In 1367, they become mercenaries for the Tepanec kingdom at Atzcapotzalco. It would be from them that the Aztecs learned how to create a state system and the strength needed in building an empire. During this time,however, they were still an egalitarian society.

In 1427, the current Aztec king, Itzcatl, along with his advisor, Tlacaelel, declare war on the Tepanecs, who had become recently hostile towards them. After their victory, Tlacaelel completely altered the face of Aztec society. It is to Tlacaelel's credit that the Aztecs are remembered as they are today.

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Maya Background

The setting for the rise of the Maya is on the Yucatan Peninsula where the ocean, flatland, and mountains all work together to form a complex topography and geography for climatic conditions. This allows for very small degrees of variation in climatic conditions to create abrupt changes in the weather. The area we are concerned with usually has a summer rainy season followed by a winter dry season, although the amount of rainfall varies from one area of the lowlands to other parts in the Maya territory.

The birds, which are more predominant than mammals, are a natural source of plummage for clothing, decoration, and export as well as food. The limestone is good for construction and can also be used to produce lime plaster. Things of major importance, like salt or obsidian, needed to be had from elsewhere. (Culbert, 1974:11) Undoubtedly the Mayan must have had to adjust socially, politically, and geographically in order to obtain the necessary resources.

The Classic period is where the Maya civilization really takes off in terms of increasingly complexity, organization, and production. It consists of the Early Classic period (250-600 AD) and the Late Classic period (600-900 AD) after which the Postclassic (900-1500 AD) lasted until Spanish conquests in the 1500's. The traditional view of the Maya is a "romantic and impressionistic one based on limited archaeological data from the centers of large sites." (Sabloff, 1990:22) The cornerstone of this view is that the Maya were merely a rural civilization which did not live in the larger sites that archaeologists were finding. The dominant thought at the time said that only priests and rulers of the culture lived in these vacant "ceremonial centers," as they came to be known. Quite to the contrary, these sites were often large, inhabited by multitudes of people, and somewhat akin to full-fledged cities. Regular markets and religious festivals would draw peasantry from all over the region into these "centers" for short periods of time. Until the collapse, these "urban centers" could be considered as cosmopolitan as any other similar sized city, with the same political, economic, and social mechanics as any other.

Quiche Maya

These were a Maya subgroup that occupied the highland valley of Guatemala. Their capital was Utatlan (or Gumarcaj in Quiche Maya). They employed a caste system in thier society. From the top to the bottom: royalty, vassals, merchants, artisans, serfs, and slaves. The state took one of two forms in organization. One: a king, a king-elect, and two captains holding the reigns of power. Two: a quadripartite consisting of four chiefs, one taken from the four dominant royal lineages (out of a total of 24). They claimed descent from the exiled Toltecs; however, Dr. Robert Carmack traces them to "Toltecized Chontal-Nahua speakers (in other words, Putun Maya) from the Gulf Coast of the border region of Veracruz and Tabasco" (Coe, 162, 1993).

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Enthnographic Backgrounds

The Mother culture of Mesoamerica, as the Olmec are sometimes referred to,originated during the middle of the Early Preclassic on the eastern coastal region of Mexico. Their territory spanned as far south as Guatemala and as far north as the Valley of Mexico. However, it should not be assumed that the Olmec had an empire or that all of the land in between the two-most extreme points was inhabited.

What is credited to the Olmecs are the origins of major cultural standards found later on throughout Mesoamerica. These include the calendar, writing, and Quetzalcoatl (possibly). A few archaeologists believe that the origins of the Plumed Serpent began to emerge during the Olmec times though the worship of the actual god did not occur.

Introduction

One of the most important questions concerning Quetzalcoatl is how old he is. Though archaeologists know Quetzalcoatl is old, they do not know if old includes ancient. A few archaeologists believe that Quetzalcoatl's origins can be dated to the Olmec. Others put it much later. Those who believe that Quetzalcoatl is an ancient god state that his origins can be seen forming within the Olmec era, which would place his birth so to speak at approximately 1200 BC. A considerably older date than 800 BC, which corresponds to the emergence of the Maya if it was otherwise.

The problem with trying to identify Quetzalcoatl with the Olmec religion is that much of the Olmec religion is pure speculation. What is known is that there existed a strong ordering to the cosmos as seen in their art and architecture. In addition there existed a principal deity; however, its figure and symbolism are a question of debate.

Jaguar God

Miguel Covarrubius believes that this principal deity was fundamentally an earth god, though his power was not limited to terrestrial matters, and took the form of a jaguar. Alfonso Caso follows Covarrubius' lead while Ignacio Bernal sees the god as having a water-earth persona. Covarrubius, Caso, Beral, and others all see the Olmec principal deity as a jaguar encompassing the forces of life or at least a dominance in its two strongest categories (with regards to Olmec life), water and earth. Roman Piña Chan does recognize that this deity had dominance over all things terrestrial and celestial, but not in a jaguar form or in any form that was exclusive to one being.

Not a Jaguar God

Roman Piña Chan believes that the Olmec principle god was a half-jaguar, half-serpent being. The jaguar represents the Earth Mother with the serpent representing the water, thus combining to represent life. He then argues that as the Olmec developed, this principal god underwent a metamorphosis. The Jaguar god was spilt into Celestial and Terrestrial counterparts. The Celestial was portrayed by the rattlesnake which later evolved into a bird serpent. This transformation occurred, according to Piña Chan, because the rattlesnake, a land serpent, could have been transformed to represent rain clouds on the ground; the rain being the source of fertility for their crops.

Piña Chan's basis for this belief is a bas-relief (at right) at Cerro de la Cantera. Portrayed is a man in the mouth of a snake (seen in profile). The man is most likely a priest and as such acts as a link between the Heavens and the Earth. The priest, who in Olmec religion (and those coming afterwards) represented the god in his mortal form and was held to be the god. His headdress forms the shape of "jade circles and bars that symbolize raindrops" (Piña Chan, 176,1989) signifying his link to the Heavens whereas his position in the snake's mouth links him to the Earth. Seen as a whole, we have one god but with two distinct realms he encompasses. In addition, Piña Chan points to Monument 19 (below) at La Venta as proof of the growing symbol and power of the rattlesnake. 

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Proto-Quetzalcoatl

Another who believes that a proto-Quetzalcoalt existed is Jacques Soustelle. Soustelle points to a bas-relief on Altar 14 at San Lorenzo as proof that Quetzalcoatl's roots are indeed ancient. Portrayed in the bas-relief is a man whose ears are adorned with pendants that end in a hook shape, while his necklace of two quadrangular plaques has below it a seven pointed pectoral that could represent a shell cross-section (Soustelle, 50, 1984). Soustelle brings up the point that all these ornamentations belong to the god Quetzalcoatl's regalia. The pectoral is especially important as its design, the shell cross- section, is better known as the ehecacozcatl (wind jewel), which is always equated with Quetzalcoatl.

Soustelle also presents Michael Coe's belief that Quetzalcoatl existed during Olmec times as a part of the principal Olmec god, a jaguar god associated with rain. His evidence is at Las Limas in a jade statuette. Apparently on each of the shoulders and knees of the figurine are engravings that represent a different god. The right shoulder is Xipe Totec (Note: a Post Classic name), the god of spring; the left shoulder is the god of celestial fire; the left knee is the god of death, and the right knee is Quetzalcoatl (Soustelle, 186, 1984). The key to distinguishing Quetzalcoatl is the eye, which is the Olmec cross (a.k.a. St. Andrew's cross) and the nose is tubular like that of when he is in his wind avatar persona. However, Soustelle counters with the fact that the Olmec cross is not limited to reptilian and serpentine creatures as seen with its associations to were-feline creatures. In addition, Soustelle reminds us that Quetzalcoatl as a wind god did not emerge until Teotihuacan (Soustelle, 188, 1984); with Teotihuacan not emerging until the Early Classic.

Groundwork

The deity Quetzalcoatl finds various incarnations among the Maya. To start a discussion about his pervasiveness we should look at a genealogy of him (or his various forms). It seems that there are multiple versions of Quetzalcoatl's creation myth which vary from city to city. At Chichen Itza, the deity Quetzalcoatl is said to have been born to Mixcoatl (Cloud-Snake) and Chimalman (Shield-Hand) out of a spear throwing match which got Chimalman pregnant. (A similar story is found among the Toltecs) At Palenque, a similar story appears and Quetzalcoatl (equated at Palenque with Nine Wind) has a mother whose numerological, long-count associations match her up with Chimalman. This goddess' name is Lady Eight Ahau or Eight Flower. A more detailed discussion of these long-count connections is given by D.H. Kelley, but with this information we can see that Quetzalcoatl has at least some continuity throughout the Mayan world. (Kelley, 1985:237)

It seems that Chichen Itza is a major center for Quetzalcoatl from the Terminal Classic, c.a. 867 AD, to the early Postclassic, with its abandonment around 1200 AD. After this steady decline in Chichen Itza's power, the conquest states of Mayapan and the Quiche arise with the former holding power in the north and the latter in the south. It is the Quiche who eventually come to write the Popol Vuh and give us the lineages found there; a history written relatively soon after contact with Europeans.

The Popol Vuh leaves out accounts of Quetzalcoatl's creation, but a god Sovereign Plumed Serpent resides in the primordial sea with the other gods and takes part in the creation of man. As mentioned in this site's intro, Quetzalcoatl has many names and the literal translation of his name is "plumed serpent." In the Popol Vuh we see a Quetzalcoatl with a long history as a deity, both in the story itself and in the cultural constructs from previous societal groups in Mesoamerica from before the Quiche had their power. The connections that all these plumed serpents have is one of the various goals of our project here. There is also the Quetzalcoatl who is a man, a god-king who is a physical manifestation in this world. Now what validity and power this god-king actually has in relation to the myth and/or truth is another important goal of this project.

Looking Back

When looking at places like Chichen Itza, there is an archaeological history which reaches back to earlier myths and motifs. Quetzalcoatl, or Kukulcan in this instance, is the typical feathered serpent in the representations there, but also shares a similarity with other figures. Linda Schele mentions that feathered serpents abound everywhere in the art at places like Chicen Itza, but the Feathered Serpent becomes the symbol of the divinity of the state and the cult of Kukulcan is one of nobility. Also, the Feathered Serpent is artistically analagous to the Vision Serpents of Maya kingship from earlier times, and its symbolic signifigance is carried over as well. (Schele, 1990:395) The representations of Vision Serpents as analgous to the role and signifigance of Quetzalcoatl are worth investigating.

TheVision Serpent goes back to earlier Maya conceptions, and lies at the center of the world as they conceived it. As can be seen in the cosmology section of our web site, the Vision Serpent is in the center axis atop the World Tree.  While discussing these motifs, Schele notes that essentially the World Tree and the Vision Serpent, representing the king, created the center axis which communicates between the spiritual and the earthly worlds or planes. It is through ritual that the king could bring the center axis into existence in the temples and create a doorway to the spritual world, and with it power. (Schele, 1990: 68) In thinking of Quetzalcoatl, Schele argues similarities in the myth and the idea that the power of ritual creates real world power that can be used by real people. The roots of Quetzalcoatl the myth and Quetzalcoatl the man could possibly be found in the rituals as seen here in Chichen Itza as well as at other major power centers throughout Mayan, Central, and Northern Mexican lands.

Stylistically, the vision serpents found on various temples develop into symbols which look even more like the Feathered Serpent which we are familiar with. According to Schele, the deity seems to function in multiple capacities; such as creating gateways to gain access to spiritual power, bringing the ancestors to communicate with the king and priests, and foretelling the future. (Schele, 1990: 69, 207, 276) Ultimately for the Maya, Quetzalcoatl is a deity which brings status and power to royalty and religious figures. And when Chicen Itza was the power center for the Maya, we see how Quetzalcoatl was canonized in the artwork and iconography.

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Quetzalcoatl the Myth

God

Quetzalcoatl is the god of human sustenance, penitent, self-sacrifice, re-birth and butterflies. He is patron of the city Cholula and of the trecena to 1 Ocelotl. In his iconography, his body is painted black in accordance with the priesthood he established.

However, Quetzalcoatl originated as a water god. The first myth he appears in, he is called "Precious Serpent" and was "the spirit of the waters which flowed along the winding bends of rivers" (Fernandez, 68, 1984). Sometime afterwards, the idea of a snake representing both the Terrestrial and Celestial comes about; and later developments allow for Quetzalcoatl to emerge. This is first evidenced at Teotihuacan circa 3rd century AD; however, there always remains the possibility that Monument 19 at La Venta refers to him.

-- Ehectal:

Depending on who you read, Quetzalcoatl either picks up Ehectal early on in his development or during the Late Postclassic. As a separate deity, Ehectal is the wind god and is commonly associated with Tlaloc. He is the one that sweeps the path for his arrival. He is patron of the second trecena, 1 Jaguar. In his amalgamated form, Ehectal-Quetzalcoatl, he is often found in the myths relating to Creation and the deeds that would label him a cultural hero. His temples were circular with conical roofs and often had serpent maws acting as a doorway.

Also Known As:

Kukulcan in Maya

9 Wind in Mixtec

Edahior Eke'emaxi in Otomi

Gukumatz and Tohil (?) in Quiche Maya

Regalia

ehecailacozcatl:the "wind jewel"; the symbol of divine breath.

Buccal mask: red and bird-like.

belt: green with a blue disk representing chalchiuatl ("precious blood"), the human blood drawn during penance.

xoneculli:serpent-shaped; either an incesory or a scepter. The symbol of purification.

A bag of copal (incense)

ocelocopolli:cone-shaped, tiger(?)-skin headdress decorated with precious stones. The symbol of the sun and Venus (Fernandez, 82, 1984).

epcololli:twisted shell earcaps that represent a womb thus acting as a fertility symbol.

chimalli:a shield [optional]

a headdress made of black crow and red macaw feathers: a reference to the Night or Dead Sun ( as is interpreted from the Boriga Codex); or a reference to Tlilli Tlapalla, the land of wisdom (ibid.).

The Son of ...

Ometeotl (or Tonacatecuhtli), when he breathed upon the Earth. [Hence the connection of breath meaning wind].

Tonacateuhli and Tonacihuatl, as one of the four Tezcatlipocas.

Mixcoatl and Chimalman.

Cultural Hero

-- Myth has it that Quetzalcoatl did the following for humanity:

Named all of the landmarks of the Earth (mountains, seas, etc.)

Discovered maize

Created fire (in the guise of Mixcoatl)

Established the maguey culture -- octli brewing and ceremonial drunkenness

Gave instruction of music and dance

Cured eye ailments, blindness, coughs, skin afflictions; gave the priests the practice of curandero, the diagnostic casting of lots ( a sort of medical divination )

Helped with fertility problems

Sired royal lineages

Established the priesthood -- gave proper instruction of sacrifice and created the Tonalmatal (Book of the Destiny Days)

Domesticated animals.

Creation of the Fifth Sun

Version 1.0: Four roads were created in the center of the Earth by four creatures. The Four Tezcatlipoca with the help of the four who created the roads then raise the remnants of the previous sky. Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl transform into two trees to give added support to the four skybearers.

Version 2.0: Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca enter the body of the earth monster Tlaltecuhtli, meeting at Tlaltecuhtli's heart. There with the help from the other gods they raise the heavens. [it is assumed, then, that the Earth and the Heavens resided in the body of Tlaltecihtli].

Version 3.0: Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca wrap themselves around Tlaltecuhtli and split her in half; one half creating the Earth, the other the Heavens. Angered by their deeds the gods try to comfort Tlaltecuhtli, but she wants a greater tribute, the sacrifice of human blood and hearts.

First Light

Two versions of this tale exist. One comes from the Florentine Codex. The other from the Historia de los Mexicanos por sus Pinturas.

Book 7, chapter 2 of the Florentine Codex:

At Teotihuacan, the gods convened to discuss the next sun; all was is in darkness and the dawn had yet to break. They asked for volunteers, Teuciztecatl stepped forward but they wanted an additional god; however, the rest were afraid. Spotting Nanauatzin,they asked him to volunteer and he accepted. The two did penance for the four days and nights, the physical remains of their remnants became the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. When it came to be thrown onto the bonfire, Tecuciztecatl was first but hesitated (four times). Nanauatzin was next and without hesitation plunged into the fire (becoming the sun). Afterwards, Tecuciztecatl does the same; however, Tecuciztecatl shone as brightly as the sun so the gods decided to correct this.

But the light shone all around and the gods were perplexed as to which direction the sun would come from. A small group of them, which included Quetzalcoatl and Red Tezcatlipoca, postulated that the sun should come from the East. The gods took a rabbit and hit him with it, dimming his brilliance. The sun, meanwhile, had not moved and the gods decided to kill themselves in order to make him move. But it wasn't enough, and Quetzalcoatl gathered all of his strength and blew such a fierce wind that the sun was blown on the right course.

Historia de los Mexicanos por sus Pinturas

The story is basically the same except that it is Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc's sons that play the roles of Nanauatzin and Tecuciztecatl.

Birth of the Human race

Despite the fact that each Mesoamerican culture had its own lore about the creation of humanity, there exists a common element in all of them -- Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl is either directly involved in the actual process or acts as humanity's protector. Though we do not wish to make the other myths less significant, only the Aztec and Quiche Maya myths will be discussed here for the sake of efficiency.

Quiche Maya:

In the Popul Vuh ( a religious doctrine that traces the creation of the Earth, humanity, and gives a genealogy list of the important royal lineage's), Quetzalcoatl as Tohil, is humanity's savior. After the creation of Earth and the legendary accounts of the Hero Twins, the gods make a fifth attempt at creating man. It is Tohil that gives fire and proper instruction in the worship of the gods (i.e. human sacrifice). [Note that Brundage interprets Tohil as Quetzalcoatl; while Miller and Taube see Gukumatz as Quetzalcoatl and Tohil as Tlaloc or the Schellan God K.

Aztec:

After the destruction of the Fourth Sun, Quetzalcoatl descends into the underworld (and in one version is accompanied by Xolotl). After enduring certain trails inflicted on him by the god of death, he retrieves the bones and ashes of the previous humanity that are needed to make the new one. The remaining element needed is the blood of the gods; however, in one version Quetzalcoatl is the only one to perform autosacrifice which turns out to be all that was needed.

His place among the gods

Tlaloc: The two share a close relationship in his guise as Ehectal. In this manner, Quetzalcoatl can be seen as subordinate to Tlaloc. After all, it is Ehectal that announces the coming of the rains. It is then a great irony consisdering that in some myths Quetzalcoatl is older than Tlaloc and, furthermore, is said to have created Tlaloc (along with other gods).

Tezcatlipoca: Out of all the gods, he is the one that Quetzalcoatl is most intimately associated with. In one account, Quetzalcoatl is no more than an aspect of Tezcatlipoca; the White Tezcatlipoca. However, typically it is far more complicated than that. For whatever reasons they may havefelt, the people decided long ago tha these two would be confined to a yin-yang existence. The two gods would forever act out their polarity on the cosmic stage On the one hand, they work together in creating the Earth and the Heavens; while on the other hand, they are constantly hostile to each other. They seem to forever trying to destroy one another and they usually succeed, though Tezcatlipoca is usually more victorious. The clearest example of their relationship is seen with the Legend of Quetzalcoatl the Man. It can hardly be coincidence that it is Tezcatlipoca's followers who initiate the religious strife in Tula that leads to the banishment of Topiltzin.

One explanation of their enduring conflict is in the nature of their being. As mentioned earlier, Tezcatlipoca is a sorcerer par excellence. As a result he is unpredictable, which is dangerous combination in light of the fact that Tezcatlipoca is also considered omniscient and omnipotent. Quetzalcoalt in comparison is humanity's savior. He is not as powerful, but he need not be. His deeds are what matter. They are in the end more powerful, due to their importance to the people, than any of the spells and illusions Tezcatlipoca can cast. In the end, it could have been a matter of who the people held closest to their hearts. For no matter all the strength and power Tezcatlipoca had, people feared him where as they felt indebted to Quetzalcoatl.

Miscellanaous but Important

The four winds:

North = Mictlanpaehectal (the wind from the land of Mictlan)

South = Huitzlampachecatl or Uitztlampa (the wind from the place surrounded and overrun with spines)

East = Tlalcalotl or Tlalociutl (wind that comes from the land of Tlalocan)

West = Ciuhalamupaehectal or Ciuatlampa ( wind from the place of women)

The Four Tezcatlipocas:

The four of them in some instances are seen as aspects of one god, Tezcatlipoca. According to lore, either Ometeotl or Tonacatecuhtli and Tonacacihuatl gave birth to the four Tezcatlipocas. After they are born, they do nothing productive for six hundred years. It is after this time has passed that Quetzalcoatl and Huitzalopochtli create a half sun, fire and the first human couple (Oxomoco and Cipactonal). After this they go about creating the Heavens and water. In doing so they use the cipuctli (the ancient crocodile monster)to create Tlaloc, Chalchiuhtliue. Cipuctli is also used to make the Earth. In order of their birth:

Red = Xipe or Mixcoatl

Black = Tezcatlipoca

White = Quetzalcoatl

Blue = Huitzilopochtli (the Sun god and most important god in the Aztec pantheon)

Footnotes

1. The Hero Twins of Maya lore tell the tale of two sets of twin brothers. The first set is summoned to the Underworld by the Lords of Death to play a match of the ball game. They lose due to the trickery of the gods; however, one brother manages to impregnate a daughter belonging to one of the Lords. The second set of brothers is safely born and grow to maturity. But like their father and uncle, they are challenged by the gods to a round of the ball game. They succeed, however, in avoiding the traps given to them. In the end they manage to trick the gods into sacrificing themselves.

2. The Schellan gods are named after Paul Schellan, who was the first person to decipher the identities of the Mayan gods in the Dresden, Paris, and Madrid codicies. He labeled the gods using the Latin alphabet, and go from A to P with the exclusion of J.

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The Legend

As told by a Daughter of Mesoamerica:

Quetzalcoatl, Our Prince, had brought religious reform to Tula. He believed that human sacrifice had to be stopped and so it was done. But others were not pleased, those who had followed Tezcatlipoca were angry. Their god had demanded the nectar of human blood as his tribute. Thus those who followed Tezcatlipoca had plotted to do away with Our Prince. Death, unfortunately, was not to be. For in death, they believed that Quetzalcoatl would gain more followers and then his teachings could not be silenced. No, they sought to destroy him in such a manner as to discredit his message, which would be more painful than death.

Hence they set out to trick Our Prince. They held before him, one day, a mirror and to his astonishment Quetzalcoatl had seen how old he was. Falling into despair, he wondered what to do. His enemies then said to him that they could make him young again, and produced for him a cure. Believing this was his salvation, Quetzalcoatl had taken this offering. But this cure was pulque, which his lips had never touched before. The pulque racing in his blood caused Quetzalcoatl to act not like himself. He had relations with a woman that he would have never committed before.

And when word spread about Tula, the people were shocked and ashamed. Seeing his people's faces and hearts, Our Prince decided to flee. Across the land, he and some of his loyal followers went. Until they reached Tlillan Tlapallan where Our Prince was then no more.

And so greatly did (the Toltecs) believe

in their priest Quetzalcoatl,

and so greatly obedient

and given to the things of their god were they.

and so fearful of god

all believed in Quetzalcoatl

when he left Tula...

And so much did they trust Quetzalcoatl,

that they went with him, they entrusted upon him

their wives, their children, their sick ones.

They stood up, they set off,

the old men, the old women,

no one ceased to obey,

all set off.

Suddenly he went towards the center of the sea,

toward the land of red,

and there he disappeared,

he, our prince Quetzalcoatl...

Taken from a translation of the Chimalpopoca Codex

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Man

"The Flight from Tula" is a legend related to both the man Quetzalcoatl and the god Quetzalcoatl. Due to this circumstance, establishing who the legend should properly be associated with is rather difficult. It is in all likelihood that the god Quetzalcoatl did have a such a myth in his repoitre; especially if one considers his relationship with Tezcatlipoca. Unfortunately it is also quite possible that "The Flight from Tula" occurred first and was later intertwined with the god.

Just the Facts

According to the Chimalpopoca Codex, which is a genealogy of Toltec rule, Quetzalcoatl the man entered the world in the following manner:

His father, Mixcoatl, conquered Teotihuacan and the surrounding area,established Culhuacan as the new capital. During his campaign, he entered the land now called Morelos and encountered Chimalman; and produced a child with her, Ce Actal Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl. However, Quetzalcoatl never knew his father, who was assassinated.

Safely taken away, Topiltzin was reared in the way of the god of his namesake, Quetzalcoatl. When he reached adulthood, the remaining followers of his father persuade him to return to Tula to take the throne. Though Nicholson claims that Topiltzin acts on his own accord; claiming the throne by avenging his father's death. Either way, he does enact religious reform. Blood sacrifice is to stop while butterflies,birds and serpents (all connected to the god Quetzalcoatl) are decreed to be the only things sacrificed. Brundage agrees with Nicholson on the point that Topiltzin was trying to establish reform, but also suggests that he tried to instill a new religion with Quetzalcoatl as the god.

And as in the legend, backlash mounted against Topiltzin with the followers of Tezcatlipoca being at the forefront. Other cults opposed the reform, because like Tezcatlipoca their gods relied on a steady stream of blood; however, Tezcatlipoca's cult was the most blood thirsty of them all. Continuing to parallel the legend, Tezcatlipoca's followers got Topiltzin drunk, whereupon he commited unsavory acts with a woman (and according to Brundage the woman is his sister).

The Road Less Traveled

Following his disgrace, Topiltzin and a group of followers either voluntarily leave Tula or are banished from it. Brundage says that the route, which is consistent throughout all the different versions of this myth, is as follows:

The Great Basin onto Tzapotlan then Morelos followed by Cholula and Cuachquechollan continuing until the Coast whereupon crossing the water arrives at Acallan with the final destination being Tlillan Tlapallan.

Demetrio Sodi postulates that Tlillan Tlapallan, which is a legendary land (the name meaning "the land of black and red, of wisdom"; Sodi, 1982:62), is in actuality none other than the Yucatan. He points to the fact that this part of Maya territory has already been exposed to Nahutal influences due to the Toltecs at Chichen Itza. (Note: Nicholson claims that Chien Itza was founded by Topiltzin) Upon his arrival in this land, Ce Actal Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl is now known as Kukulcan (the direct Maya translation of Quetzalcoatl). He is later credited as establishing the royal dynasties in Guatemala (Quiche Maya territory). But he is not only the progenitor of legitimate royal rule in Guatemala, in Mixteca territory where Quetzalcoatl is known as 9 Wind, he is also said to have done the same.

Multiple Quetzalcoatls

Nicholson raises an interesting point when referring to the historical persona. Since Quetzalcoatl is known to be used as a title of rulership (in addition to denoting the priesthood), there lies the possibility that there may have existed more than one Quetzalcoatl the man. He claims that "there may have been other rulers who earlier bore this same title and played a similar role, whose lives and deed may have fused with the [my italics] Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl of Tollan, i.e., the protagonist of the basic tale current at Contact - perhaps even at Teotihuacan"; an event that is highly probable when considering the fact that Mesoamericans did enjoy acting out mythical tales, as seen with Mixcoatl. (Nicholson, 1976:39) If one also considers that myth and history often merge within the surviving texts on Ancient Mesoamerica, the possibility cannot be easily denied.

Death?

However the demise of Topiltzin, unlike his life, is not so easily known. There exists more than one version. One says that upon arriving in Tlillan Tlapallan he disappears. Another (Mexica in origin) claims that he built a raft of serpents and birds and sailed away toward the East, while leaving a prophecy behind-- he or one of his sons would return from the East and re-claim the throne. It is this version that explains why when Cortez arrived, Montecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (a.k.a. Montezuma) had received Cortez as Quetzalcoatl and resigned his throne to him so easily. Still other accounts sway toward the mythical. Topiltzin upon reaching the Gulf, builds a bonfire and throws himself on top of it. After which he is transformed into either the Morning Star (Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli) or the Evening Star (Xolotl).

Historical Footnote

Interestingly enough, the Maya do make reference to the arrival of Kukulcan on their shores (possibly the Campeche shore); however, it is nothing like the Mexica perspective. (Coe, 1993: 142) Apparently, when Kukulcan did arrive he was not alone as most stories say. Those who followed him, though were not , peaceful religious men. As seen in a relief at Chichen Itza's Sacred Cenote and Temple of Warriors, the coming of Kukulcan is the onset of Toltec domination.

The scene first depicts the Maya on their rafts coming out to engage the Toltec who are in war canoes. The Maya lose the battle due to their inferior technology. Next is the scene of a pivotal land skirmish; again the Maya lose. The scene's final act is of the Maya leaders' hearts being sacrificed to Quetzalcoatl.

Afterwards, Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl establishes Chichen Itza. In doing so though, he attempts to recreate the glory of Tula. Consequently, the city is a mixture of both Maya and Toltec as best seen in the architecture. A prime example is the Castillo, which is dedicated to Kukulcan.

All of this is reported to have happened in the year Katun 4 Ahua, which in one calculation is equivalent to the year 987 AD. But Michael D. Coe, in following Ralph Roys' perspective, says that "... the accounts of this great event are seriously confused with the history of a later people called Itza, who moved into the peninsula during the next Katun 4 Ahua, in the thirteenth century, and gave their name to the formerly Toltec site of Chichen" (142,1993).

In the end, however, the Maya did not end up resenting the arrival of Kukulcan. However, this interpretation could just easily be a result of the Toltec conquest. It was undoubtable the Totlec who decorated the Sacred Cenote and the Temple of Warriors. They wanted a permanent record of their victory as well as reinforce the Maya and what better way than with a mural depicting the glorious victory. Over time as those who remember the war have died off the next generation sees it as nothing more than a piece of history to which they have no connection to. Having grown up under what religious and administrative doctrines Kuklcan established, they have accepted their way of life. Inevitably, Kukulcan is not portrayed as a ruthless conqueror, but an enlightened religious man.

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Chronological Chart

The History of Tula According to the Chimalpopoca Codex Year Possible Corresponding Western Year(s) Event

1 Tochtli 726 778 830 The Toltecs begin to count their years.

1 Tecaptl 752 804 856 Mixcoamazatzin begins the Toltec Kingdom.

1 Calli 817 869 921 Mixcoamazatzin dies and Huetzin is enthroned.

1 Acatl 870 922 974 Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl is born.

12 Acatl 870 922 974 Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl comes to Tollanzinco.

3 Acatl 873 925 977 Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl is King of Tula.

1 Acatl 895 947 999 Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl is expelled from Tula and Matlacxochiti is enthroned.

10 Tochtli 930 982 1084 Matlacxochitl dies and Nauhyotzin is enthroned.

12 Calli 946 998 1050 Nauhyotzin dies and Matlaccoatzin is enthroned.

1 Calli 973 1025 1077 Matlaccoatzin dies and Tlicohuatzin is enthroned.

9 Tochtli 994 1046 1098 Tlicohuatzin dies and Huemac is enthroned.

6 Calli 1018 1070 1122 Human sacrifice begins. Seven years of hunger.

13 Acatl 1063 1115 1167 War begins.

1 Tecpatl 1064 1116 1168 The Toltecs are disbanded.

7 Tochtli 1070 1122 1174 Huemac commits suicide in Chapultepec.

A Matter of Perspective

However as mentioned in the Mixcoatl discussion, Davies argues that this historical event occurred at the Fall of Tula, not its rise. Using genealogies from a number of sources, he has managed to cross reference them all to arrive at an accurate chronological account.

Footnote

Ce Actal = 1 Cane, Topiltzin = Our Nobel or Precious Prince, and Quetzalcoatl = Plumed or Feathered Serpent. Thus his name in translation means Our Nobel/ Precious Prince 1 Cane Plumed/Feathered Serpent.

source

The most famous American dragon. happy.gif

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mypaddedroom
Fake.  This could have easily been photoshopped.  They look like CGI.

780751[/snapback]

I agree 100%

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aquatus1

Seriously, they are glaciers.

Google for pictures. They are identical.

Frozen streams winding around mountains. Curves on the inside, where the ice moves faster.

They are glacial rivers.

Edited by aquatus1

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Nadal
“It really looks like the dragons in fables, and I really hope it is.”

this is exactly why people believe ridiculous things... because they want to... its very highly unlikely for there to be giant flying dragons in tibet, unless there were many sightings of these I'd have to doubt its authenticity... this is most likely fake.

781041[/snapback]

I disagre..I believe their might be a scientifical explaination...every culture has had tales of Dragon or Flying Reptiles.. along with vampires,ghosts, and visitors from the sky. Something has to give.

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Brother_werewolf
“It really looks like the dragons in fables, and I really hope it is.”

this is exactly why people believe ridiculous things... because they want to... its very highly unlikely for there to be giant flying dragons in tibet, unless there were many sightings of these I'd have to doubt its authenticity... this is most likely fake.

781041[/snapback]

I disagre..I believe their might be a scientifical explaination...every culture has had tales of Dragon or Flying Reptiles.. along with vampires,ghosts, and visitors from the sky. Something has to give.

781960[/snapback]

Yes it's farfetched to believe that they were all just making it up and it was also said that REAL HISTORICAL KINGS slaid them in Europe. A large reason they are considered fables is because of their ability to breath flames and even that can be explained scientifically.

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Raptor

Just go over the whole of Tibet with Google Earth and we can confirm if its part of the landscape or not ph34r.gif

Better yet, scan the landscape near airports, seeing as the shot was supposed to be taken near one.

Edited by T-Nemesis

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Iron Aden

Very fake.

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dragonlady_mothman

John Keel in one of his books talked about a horse that had been found dead. first they said it might have just been struck by lightening. then they said it had been dipped in acid. So now we have two theories:

1. An unnamed group of miscrients snuck into the feild at night, killed the horse, built a tripod, and used it to lower the horse into a vat of acid big enough to fit it, then packed up and left, leaving no trace of themselves behind.

or

2. Some aliens expiremented on the horse and did it.

Which is easier to beleive? huh.gif

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Brother_werewolf

Huh? What does that have to do with this photo?

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dragonlady_mothman

Which is easier to beleive, cultures all over the world with no contact made up similar stories, or there was once a parasitic creature and a giant lizard species that existed worldwide?

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Brother_werewolf
Which is easier to beleive, cultures all over the world with no contact made up similar stories, or there was once a parasitic creature and a giant lizard species that existed worldwide?

782141[/snapback]

I see of course LISTEN TO DRAGONLADY!

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Xyfer

Well you would be amazed with how quick information like this could spread around, but I believe you got a point Dragonlady. I'm not very good at determining a real pic from a fake pic unless it was painfully obvious and with this one I'm just not sure..

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__Kratos__

That is an awesome picture. original.gif

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Boff

Cool pic but, but certainly not real. And anyone who thinks thats a real dragon should probably take their heads out of the clouds.

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Deaths Hand
tongue.gif Nah dude not even its just Falkor from "The Never Ending Story" lol  grin2.gif

user posted image

781222[/snapback]

oh my God, thats like the best movie ever!!!

EDIT: i was thinking the same t cuz he doesnt have any apparant wings. he just glides through the air like a snake. very cool

Edited by Deaths Hand

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Brother_werewolf
tongue.gif Nah dude not even its just Falkor from "The Never Ending Story" lol  grin2.gif

user posted image

781222[/snapback]

oh my God, thats like the best movie ever!!!

EDIT: i was thinking the same t cuz he doesnt have any apparant wings. he just glides through the air like a snake. very cool

782446[/snapback]

I hated that movie am I the only one?

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recon_soldier

Hahah, if thats a dragon, than this picture must be of real UFO's?

post-10933-1123660156_thumb.jpg

Edited by recon_soldier

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Ruby

It looks like clouds to me, bu hey who knows it could be a dragon grin2.gif

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