The Wind

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Bearing his billed mask, Quetzalcoatl became Ehecatl, 'Wind.' Ehecatl supplied life-giving wind that inspired the earth's and humanity's life. The small statues from the Aztec Great Temple raise their hands above slouching backs, formerly to support a platform. In parts of central Mexico, certain wind gusts and storms are still called ehecacoatl ("wind serpents") or Quetzalcoatl.

National Museum of Anthropology and History

Monkey with Wind Mask

The dancing monkey holds its tail in one hand and wears a buccal wind mask on its face. Quetzalcoatl was long associated with the wind and sky. Later details tell of a billed mask Quetzalcoatl used to breathe wind into the sky. This stone sculpture also shows the monkey dancing upon a swirling pattern that represents the capriciously shifting winds.

National Museum of Anthropology and History

Mixtec Wind God

This is one of the most well-known works of Mixtec pottery. Here the creator deity 9 Wind can be recognized as his face and mask point out to the right. In a sitting posture, he offers a decorated human head to an ancestral deity. The Mixtec also called him Koo Sau, the Feathered Serpent.

National Museum of Anthropology and History

Castillo de Teayo Stele

Castillo de Teayo, Veracruz is renowned for its enormous stone sculptures, including this colossal stele standing over ten feet tall. Most of the relief space is filled with an elongated portrait of the wind god. Here Quetzalcoatl bears a shell necklace, earrings, and pectoral, representing breath and life. The conical priest cap is a hallmark of the Huaxtec peoples from Mexico's northern Gulf Coast.

National Museum of Anthropology and History

Huaxtec Stele

The priest in this stele is offering one of the most sacred substances on earth - his blood. To do this, he has run a branch through the end of his tongue and let the blood drip down its point. His ehecacozcatl or 'wind pendant' features a conch slice that relates him to Quetzalcoatl/Ehecatl: in one myth Quetzalcoatl created life with a conch. Blowing wind through the conch creates a trumpet sound, which it an important symbol of life in Mesoamerica, especially among the Huaxtec and Aztec civilizations. This stele is from Huilocintla, in north Veracruz.

National Museum of Anthropology and History