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Az: Tezcatlipoca

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  • Heather Hess
    Does anyone know which foot of Tezcatlipoca s was replaced with a Smoking Mirror? Yolohtzin
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 1 6:52 AM
      Does anyone know which foot of Tezcatlipoca's was replaced with a
      Smoking Mirror?

      Yolohtzin
    • Jorge PĂ©rez de Lara
      ... Tezcatlipoca is usually represented with a SERPENT foot. I can t recall if such a serpent foot was either the right or the left or if there was any
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 1 7:52 AM
        Regarding Yolohtzin's question:

        >Does anyone know which foot of Tezcatlipoca's was replaced with a
        >Smoking Mirror?

        Tezcatlipoca is usually represented with a SERPENT foot. I
        can't recall if such a serpent foot was either the right or the
        left or if there was any preference for one over the other, for
        that matter. As far as I know, however, none of Tezcatlipoca's
        feet was ever replaced by a smoking mirror. It is the name of
        this deity itself that actually means "smoking mirror", but I
        cannot recall whether that was shown graphically in
        representations of it.

        If a Maya reference is of any use, however, the Maya deity
        K'awiil could be thought of as a possible early origin of the
        later Tezcatlipoca. K'awiil is often depicted with a serpent foot
        (sometimes in the most dramatic fashion, as in many a Codex-style
        vessel where the dominant character in a scene is often the
        enormous serpent foot which opens its jaws to vomit a variety of
        deities or coils inside and out whole buildings). One of its most
        ubiquitous representations is the so-called Mannequin Scepter,
        which is nothing but a K'awiil effigy that is wielded as a symbol
        of royal power. To the Maya, nevertheless, it seems there was no
        preference as to which leg turns into a serpent (on Yaxchilan
        Lintels 1, 3 and 42, for example, K'awiil's serpent foot is the
        right, while on Stela 11 and Lintel 32, the serpent is shown as
        emerging from the left leg). As to the smoking mirror, K'awiil is
        always shown with a mirror on his forehead, from which either a
        smoke scroll, an axe or a smoking torch emerges.

        Jorge P=E9rez de Lara
        Mexico

        jorgepl@...
      • Justin Kerr
        To All, It looks like the left foot. Since I don t know if I can attach files to Aztlan, I have posted a drawing fron the Codex Fejervary-Meyer at
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 1 11:11 AM
          To All,
          It looks like the left foot. Since I don't know if I can attach
          files to Aztlan, I have posted a drawing fron the Codex
          Fejervary-Meyer at www.mayavase.com/tez.html. The drawing is
          lifted from The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya
          by Mary Miller and Karl Taube.

          Justin Kerr
        • D. M. Urquidi
          ... It is the left foot but it is not a mirror. In the Nuttall page 9... Tlaloc/Tezcatlipoca with the mirror leg, is emerging from a cog rimmed sky wheel
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 1 1:13 PM
            >To All,
            >It looks like the left foot. Since I don't know if I can attach
            >files to Aztlan, I have posted a drawing fron the Codex
            >Fejervary-Meyer at www.mayavase.com/tez.html. The drawing is
            >lifted from The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya
            >by Mary Miller and Karl Taube.

            >Justin Kerr

            It is the left foot but it is not a "mirror."

            In the Nuttall page 9... Tlaloc/Tezcatlipoca with the "mirror"
            leg, is emerging from a cog rimmed sky wheel with nineteen units
            of 20 degrees or the circumference of a circle 360 degrees.

            The jaguar headdress indicates that he is a sky person, his
            red/white eyes says a star... how the stars were seen by mortals
            was in pools of water.. The great ball game is a star game (as
            the constellations pass around the sky).. The water viewing of
            the stars is in the next picture below it and it shows that the
            leg (as above) is in a bowl or cauldron of water... The cauldron
            shows up in the Madrid more than once as a location of a star
            god... and its abreviated form is an reversed arc with two "teeth"
            in the center hanging down and a circle on either side of the
            "teeth"... the same image as an upright cauldron in that codex.
            The Maya and Aztecs did not have telescopes but water magnifies
            the stars...except when the moon is full and it will supercede
            the stars, filling the whole area with its whiteness.

            As a note to previous statement that "flowers were not considered
            to be stars"

            Burr C. Brundage (The Fifth Sun) states in his book that the stars
            of the Milky Way were thought of as flower branches on the tree...
            but the gods destroyed the tree (by cutting it through) and
            scattering the "flowers". Of course there is a break in the Milky
            Way which is filled with stars but most are obscured by the gasses
            of the comet or asteroid that passed through the area at one time.

            D. M. Urquidi

            D. M. Urquidi
            P. O. Box 49485
            Austin, Texas 78775-9485
            http://www.mayalords.org/
          • jim gomez
            Listeros: Re: The Severed Foot/Leg of Tezcatilpoca I wonder what theogonic significance attaches to which foot of Tezcatlipoca is the severed one? Does Heather
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 4 7:53 AM
              Listeros:

              Re: The Severed Foot/Leg of Tezcatilpoca

              I wonder what theogonic significance attaches to which foot of
              Tezcatlipoca is the severed one? Does Heather have any
              suggestions?

              Some Listeros have suggested a right severed foot for
              Tezcatlipoca, others the left, depending on which depiction of
              the god is being discussed. But as Thompson (Notes on Middle Am
              Ar & Eth 1942:48) once noted, sometimes Tezcatlipoca is shown
              with both feet intact! This leaves us with a problem of
              describing the traits of this god that J. Paddock (Ethonohistory
              1985:309) tried to wrestle with in trying to pin down his
              definitive attributes, as opposed to his frequent, and occasional
              traits.

              The contention is that since Tezcatlipoca is sometimes depicted
              with both feet intact, the severed foot characteristic may not by
              itself be sufficient to identify the god, nor the "smoking mirror"
              which frequently replaces the missing foot which is the glyph
              (Thompson) for the god's name. Paddock then warns of the logical
              circle that awaits anyone who tries to securely classify this
              deity in simple trait terms. But I think if one looks at the
              god's apparent life history, as one ordinarily is said to acquire,
              or even lose certain traits, this puzzle may be resolvable.

              More recently, Mary H. Helms (Jour of Latin Am Lore 1997:307)
              connects the severing-foot theme with the broaching and contacting
              of barriers or boundaries; e.g., Cipactli rising to the surface
              of the water, and Tezcatlipoca (the jaguar) dangling his foot
              into the water in the basic myth. Also of interest in this
              connection is her mention of Tezcatlipoca's birth (2 Acatl) from
              Flint (i.e., Ometeotl) as shown in the codex Borgia showing one
              leg of the god emerging from a stone knife and the other leg with
              missing foot over the waters -- said to be expressive by all
              things that coil around themselves in spiral fashion (e.g., the
              rotation mentioned by Sam Edgerton). This also recalls the
              recounting of the Birth of Flint as it extends into the Maya
              region (see Ritual of the Bacabs).

              Helms also notes that Huitzilopoctli (hummingbird on the left),
              as a personification of Tezcatlipoca, was portrayed with the left
              leg as withered, or in serpent form. This complication involves
              the entire leg, not just the foot, and brings to mind God K, the
              Maya counterpart to Tezcatlipoca mentioned by Jorge de Lara. This
              in turn can be compared to the well known carvings in the Temple
              of the Warriors at Chichen Itza depicting five persons with
              severed legs above the knee (Thompson), perhaps signaling the
              "arrival" of the god at Chichen Itza.

              As an interesting sideline, various Yucatec Maya are said to
              still honor God K (as wind god) in a special celebration on
              January 21 using turkeys as offerings (cited in Helms) -- any
              Listeros have the details on this celebration?

              One final observation, it has been noted that in the Codex
              Vaticanus A there is a physiological connection between the left
              foot and the fourteenth day sign Ocelotl which is appropriate for
              Tezcatlipoca whose the nagual is the jaguar (see e.g.,
              Tepeyollotl in Codex Borbonicus 3).

              -Jim
            • D. M. Urquidi
              A slight correction to my math... one can tell I am not a mathematician. the 20 units in the circle are 19.94 degrees each which make up a 360 circle. He is as
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 4 11:54 AM
                A slight correction to my math... one can tell I am not a
                mathematician.

                the 20 units in the circle are 19.94 degrees each which make up
                a 360 circle. He is as Jim Gomez inferred... that he is shown
                without a foot because it indicates that the god is coming out of
                the water.

                Water and pools of water were used to measure the stars (See the
                wall mural of Atetelco... there are two representations of the
                measuring pools with black vs white sections for measurements).
                And if Tezcatlipoca is the night sky, the water base is just to
                say that he (the skies) can be seen in the waters (and measured
                as such).

                DMU
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