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IX. Hymn to the Goddess of Artists

IX. Xochiquetzal icuic.


1. Atlayauican ni xochiquetzalli tlacya niuitza ya motencaliuan tamoanchan oay.

2. Ye quitichocaya tlamacazecatla piltzintecutlo quiyatemoaya ye xochinquetzalla xoyauia ay topa niaz, oay.

Var. 2. Icotochiquetzalla.


1. Q. n., ompa niuitz ynixochiquetzal tamoanchan.

2. Q. n., choca piltzintecutli quitemoa in xochiquetzal xoyauia no umpa niaz.

Hymn to Xochiquetzal.

1. I, Xochiquetzal, go forth willingly to the dancing place by the water, going forth to the houses in Tamoanchan.

2. Ye noble youths, ye priests who wept, seeking Xochiquetzal, go forth there where I am going.


Xochiquetzal, "plumage of flowers," was the deity of the artists, the painters, weavers, engravers on metal, silver and goldsmiths, and of all who dealt in fine colors. Her figure was that of a young woman with gay garments and jewelry (Duran, Historia, cap. 94). In the Codex Telleriano-Remensis she is assigned as synonyms Ichpochtli, the Virgin, and Itzpapalotl, literally "the obsidian butterfly," but which was probably applied to a peculiar ornament of her idol.

On Tamoanchan see notes to Hymn IV.

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The term atlayauican, which I have translated "the dancing place by the water," appears to refer to the "jar dance," baile de las jicaras, which took place at the festival of the goddess, in the month of October. Duran informs us this was executed at a spot by the shore of the lake. Ceremonial bathing was carried on at the same festival, and these baths were considered to cleanse from sin, as well as from physical pollution.

Next: X. Hymn to the God of Fishing.