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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art


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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