Anonymous asked: Wasn't Quetzalcoatl basically a godly feather boa?
sit your butt down quetzalcoatl was one of my favorite mythological deities when i was younger lets talk about this thing
its a mesoamerican god whose name translates to feathered serpent in several mayan languagues (most notably nahuatl) who originated from between 400-600 ce as a main figure in a religion known as cholula, although it didnt gain its name until a while later
in aztec culture it was credited with the creation of mankind, and as it had the power of flight, was a symbol for wind and represented the boundry between earth and sky. it was also the patron god of the priesthood, bringing knowledge to the devout (it symbolized other things as well, but the mythology changed as it was passed through different cultures)
it also had different forms, notably ehacatl, who was the aspect of quetzalcoatl that represented the wind
but of course, its more recognized appearance is
theres actually a lot of feathered serpents that appear throughout mesoamerican history, although not all of them are confirmed to be quetzalcoatl. its interesting to note that the first representations of the god are completely serpentine, and its only as the myth progresses that it gains human features and the ability to take an anthropomorphic form
quetzalcoatl is ALSO the name of a fake looking red and green bird with insanely long tail feathers
and quezalcoatlus is the name of a pterosaur with a ridiculous body and weird ass head
boop doop and now you know
Alright this is great but I’m going to add some stuff because it’s neat and you need to know it because this shit is interesting but also confusing as fuck I swear:
Náhuatl is not a Maya language, it was actually spoken by the people known as the Aztecs (Also known as the “Mexica”).
The Maya are more ancient and had their own separate language, they came to speak hundreds of dialects, the root is commonly just called “maya”, tho.
The name of that bird is actually just “Quetzal”, from the náhuatl quetzalli, which can be translated to “covered in feathers” or “tail covered in feathers” (“cōātl” means “serpent”, hence quetzalcōātl’s name).
As you said there are several feathered serpents, Quetzalcoatl is an Aztec deity:
Kukulkán, for example, is a far more ancient deity, it’s also related to the wind, thunder and rain. “Kukulkán” is a maya deity (k’ukulk’an: k’u’uk’um"feather" and kaan "serpent"), it’s also present in olmec and toltec culture, and it might have been where Quetzalcoatl came from, it’s often depicted as a serpent with its mouth open with a person emerging from inside. Wtf but awesome.
Either way the feathered serpent seemed to be hugely important all through mesoamerican history and became very widespread, each deity has different attributes depending on where they are (water and rain vs the sun and so on), quetzalcoatl did become hugely important all over.
Bonus thing: This is one confusing but amazing thing about mesoamerican deities, if they represent water, for example, they are not just “god of rain” or something like that, they are “the very rain that touches the earth and is absorbed, and also underground water in caves and moisture”, they have incredibly specific attributes and there is not just a single deity per thing ever.
and finally the Quetzalcoatlus is amazing and one of my favorites ever, just look at this huge dork:
I want to ride it forever.