Mictlāntēcutli

Sulphur

Mictlāntēcutli was known as the Aztec Lord of Mictlan (Land of Dead) and was worshiped across all Mesoamerica.

We found some similarities with the god Yum Cimil from Mayan civilization and we decide to make a bond between them two, since they look alike.
They are both considerer cruel and merciless, taking them to a level close to the Devil from christian belief. Actually, we found out that Yum Cimil ruled the 9 levels of the underground (know as Mitnal for mayans), just like in Divine Comedy, where Lucifer ruled 9 circles. 

They have so much common elements between them, but we tried to focus a little more in Mictlāntēcutli, that’s why we gave his name to this design. Our most important reference was a golden mask depicting him, the same mask you can see in the visual references. 

We seek to follow a very similar composition, respecting the symmetry – which was amazingly good. 

Mictlantecuhtli was usually portrayed as a skeleton or covered in bones. We believed that a very skinny man with undead face should look a little more grotesque and frightful.

For the Headdress we created a composition with owl feathers, ornamented by an animal skulls on front and four other human skulls. These skulls support a structure almost architectural, with aztec/mayan decoration. 

There are snakes coming from the central skull, replacing the horns and associated with Quetzalcoatland – he was the Mictlāntēcutli’s Nemesis. 

These snakes are headless and stuck on the skull, portraying the the tricks and difficult tasks that Mictlantecuhtli set to Quetzalcoatl.

“A tzompantli illustrated to the right” - 1587 manuscript, the Codex Tovar (also called the Ramirez Codex).

“In the Aztec creation myth Mictlantecuhtli attempted to delay the god Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl on his journey into Mictlán. Quetzalcoatl was searching for the bones of the creatures from the previous world of the 4th Sun in order to make mankind.”- ancient.eu/Mictlantecuhtli

In the chest piece we can count the main nine levels of the underworld- his domain- just like the myth described. 

At the forehead we see the symbol of Pluto/Hades god of the underworld in classical mythology. He has lots of stuff in common with this guy (and it’s probably the same entity). 

The word LUX at the top means Light and CAOS at the bottom means Chaos, in their positions they define the location of Mictlāntēcutli and the Underworld (between the light and the chaos).

“gods Mictlantecuhtli and Quetzalcoatl seated back to back” - Page 73 of the Codex Borgia, found by Alexander von Humboldt in 1805.
Zapotec Funerary Urn- MNA, or National Museum of Anthropology.
“Mictlāntēcutli- Gold pectoral of figure with buccal mask and elaborate headdress” 650 to 800 A.D - found in Tomb 7 at Monte Alban, Mexico, 1931.
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