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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Chicomecoatl

Mythic, worshipped by the Aztecs of Central America, 1248–1521

Literally “seven serpents,” Chicomecoatl was the Aztec corn goddess, which by extension also made her a goddess of fertility, since corn, as the staple food of the Aztecs, was venerated for its life-giving properties. Every year in the month of September, a young girl was sacrificed by decapitation, her blood poured on a statue of Chicomecoatl and her skin worn by the attending priest. Chicomecoatl is usually depicted in three ways: as a girl carrying flowers, as a woman who brings death, or as a mother holding the sun as a shield.

Chicomecoatl. From Rig Veda Americanus (Philadelphia: D.G. Brinton, 1890)

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