Coatlicue

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Hoy, 4 de febrero de 2014 se conmemora el 112 natalicio de Manuel Álvarez Bravo uno de los fundadores de la fotografía moderna, es considerado como el mayor representante de la fotografía latinoamericana del siglo XX. Su obra se extiende de finales de la década de 1920 a la de los noventas.

“Lo importante en un fotógrafo es su obra, su sinceridad, su capacidad de trascender el plano documental para alcanzar la plenitud humana…”

Manuel Álvarez Bravo

http://www.manuelalvarezbravo.org/index.php

Coatlicue (pronounced koh-ah-tlee-kweh) is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. She is also known as Toci (Tocî, “our grandmother”) and Cihuacoatl (Cihuācōhuātl, “the lady of the serpent”), the patron of women who die in childbirth.

The word “Coatlicue” is Nahuatl for “the one with the skirt of serpents.” She is referred to variously by the epithets “Mother Goddess of the Earth who gives birth to all celestial things”, “Goddess of Fire and Fertility”, “Goddess of Life, Death and Rebirth”, and “Mother of the Southern Stars.”

She is represented as a woman wearing a skirt of writhing snakes and a necklace made of human hearts, hands, and skulls. Her feet and hands are adorned with claws and her breasts are depicted as hanging flaccid from nursing. Her face is formed by two facing serpents (after her head was cut off and the blood spurt forth from her neck in the form of two gigantic serpents), referring to the myth that she was sacrificed during the beginning of the present creation.

Most Aztec artistic representations of this goddess emphasize her deadly side, because Earth, as well as loving mother, is the insatiable monster that consumes everything that lives. She represents the devouring mother, in whom both the womb and the grave exist.

According to Aztec legend, she was once magically impregnated by a ball of feathers that fell on her while she was sweeping a temple, and subsequently gave birth to the gods Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl. Her daughter Coyolxauhqui then rallied Coatlicue’s four hundred other children together and goaded them into attacking and decapitating their mother. The instant she was killed, the god Huitzilopochtli suddenly emerged from her womb fully grown and armed for battle. He killed many of his brothers and sisters, including Coyolxauhqui, whose head he cut off and threw into the sky to become the moon. In one variation on this legend, Huitzilopochtli himself is the child conceived in the ball-of-feathers incident and is born just in time to save his mother from harm.

A new article by Cecelia Klein argues that the famous Coatlicue statue in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico, and several other complete and fragmentary versions, may actually represent a personified snake skirt. The reference is to one version of the creation of the present Sun. The myth relates that the present Sun began after the gods gathered at Teotihuacan and sacrificed themselves. The best known version states that Tezzictecatl and Nanahuatzin immolated themselves, becoming respectively the moon and the sun. However, other versions add a group of female deities to those who sacrificed themselves, including Coatlicue. Afterwards the Aztecs were said to have worshipped the skirts of these women, which came back to life. Coatlicue thus has creative aspects, which may balance the skulls, hearts, hands, and claws that connect her to the earth deity Tlaltecuhtli. The earth both consumes and regenerates life.

Stephanie Guajardo, Coatlicue

“The Spirit is greater than all differences between languages, peoples, races, places, times. Even greater than the difference between life and death.” 
—Luis Valdez, Founder of Teatro Chicano.

“Coatlicue,” (Primordial Earth Mother, Mexika) by Rodrigo R. Pimentel of MexicoCoatlicue: Nahuatl: “She of the Serpent Skirt.“ Representation of the earth as both creator and of transmutation through death (plants, animals, humans, elements). Her face is of two fanged serpents and her skirt is of interwoven snakes that are a symbol of wisdom, cycles, transformation and the fertility of Mother Earth. Her breasts are those of a woman who has breastfed many children and her necklace is made up of hands, hearts, and a skull signifying her role as both lifegiver and transmuter of life and energy. She has many aspects, including that of Tlazolteotl and Tonantzin, who after the invasion of Mexico by Spain was called Our Lady of Guadalupe by the Catholic Church and whose appearance on the hill of Tepeyac from December 9-12, 1531, is celebrated today on those days with ceremonies and danza throughout Mexico and many places in the United States and most especially on December 12. Tonantzin Tlalli Ipalnemoani.

Heart and Hands of Coatlicue

“The Heart and Hands of Coatlicue” represents the powers of energy manipulation of the curandera, the traditional Mexican healer. In this painting the healer is tapping into the vital force of life through the goddess Coatlicue, the creator and destroyer of life.

Like Coatlicue, the healer must embrace sacrifice in order to manifest change. The healer is seen as a shapeshifter, her body morphing into a different form. A part of her must die to be reborn so she may act as a conduit of the sacred wave of life.

“The Heart and Hands of Coatlicue” was part of the “Curanderas” exhibit at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, MI in 2009.

Artist: Gabrielle Pescador

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Colibrí

El nacimiento del sol en el solsticio de invierno semeja un colibrí, pero además su patita izquierda apenas si puede despuntar del horizonte, huitzlampa es el lugar del Sur, por eso a este colibrí cojito se le conocía como Hutzilopochtli.
Según la leyenda es hijo de la Tierra, Coatlicue y para brotar debió lanzar del cielo a su hermana la Luna, Coyoxauhqui y a sus hermanos las 400 estrellas, los huitzinahuas, a pesar de su minúsculo tamaño el colibrí nació y al lazar sus rayos de fuego, Xiuhcoatl se apoderó del cielo, es esa la alegoría nahuatl del solsticio de invierno.

Info: Marte Trejo.