The original sculpture, 10 feet
in diameter, is one of the most impressive and important examples of Aztec art.
One of the major goddesses in Aztec mythology, in a mythical representation of
the triumph of the sun over the powers of night, she is personified as a lunar
goddess. Still beautiful and powerful, she is shown decapitated and dismembered
after being slain by her brother, the Sun God, Huitzilopochtli.
Here, bells decorate her cheeks, and in accordance with her ferocious image, she
wears a skull on her belt and serpent armbands with claws attached.
Her name is Coyolxauhqui, which means "She of the Rattles on her
Cheeks". She was also called one who "spoke to all the centipedes and
spiders and transformed herself into a sorceress."
"Goddess of the Milky Way", she is a Moon goddess foremost. After
being killed by her brother and dismembered, he threw he head up into the sky to
become the moon, so her mother might be comforted that her daughter was still
near each night.
She is a major deity in Mesoamerica, living on in other areas in the approach to
worship in all-night prayer vigils ongoing today in central Mexico, fully
clothed in Christian adoration mixed with local ancestral remembrances and
[Temple Mayor Museum, Mexico City. 1400 A.D.]