Kukulkan - Quetzalcoatl.

Essay by st31College, Undergraduate September 2005

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The feathered serpent god is one of the great mysteries of ancient Mesoamerican cultures. He was called Kukulkan by the Mayas and Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs, but this deity also appeared in other Prehispanic cultures. He (and in some cases his 'men') was described as being a bearded Caucasian man in some writings, and as a man with white skin, hair on the face and stunning emerald eyes in others. Kukulkan was both a real person and a myth. The Mayas believed that he came from heaven to earth, for this reason he was represented as a feathered or plumed serpent in the majestic ruins of Mexico's archaeological sites.

Kukulkan was born out of a sort of Immaculate Conception. His mother was the virgin Coalitque and his father was Mixcoatl. By some accounts, he also had a foster father named Hurakan.

As it is common in the mythologies of other cultures, Kukulkan has both human and divine characteristics.

Kukulkan was considered to be half man and half god in one same being. In this sense, the quetzal bird represented heaven, the serpent represented earth. White-skinned and bearded, Kukulkan was also the god of life and divine wisdom. He brought love, penitence, and exemption from the usual rituals of sacrifice and blood offering. Kukulkan was a benevolent god and it was only necessary to provide one human sacrifice a year on his behalf.

Kukulkan used to say: "ytzeen caan, ytzeen muyal," which in ancient Mayan means: "I am the dew and substance from heaven." He was a mystical god who received people from distant places, and had the power to heal the sick and bring the dead back to life. When he departed for the east, traveling the ocean on a raft of serpents, he promised his followers to return...