The Toltecs

The Quiché title Aj Toltecat is given to anyone who is highly skilled in art, science, religion, and creative endeavors in general. Toltecat refers specifically to the ancient Toltecs, who, under the legendary priest-ruler Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, founded the city of Tula in Central Mexico in the tenth century a.d. Although the city fell some two centuries later, the fame of its people was passed from generation to generation, undoubtedly embellished significantly with each retelling. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the ancient Toltecs had achieved an almost mythic reputation as masters in all the arts.

The Aztecs gave the following description in folio 172v of the Codex Matritensis:

The Toltecs were a skillful people; all of their works were good, all were exact, all well made and admirable. Their houses were beautiful, with turquoise mosaics, the walls finished with plaster, clean and marvelous houses, which is to say Toltec houses, beautifully made, beautiful in everything… Painters, sculptors, carvers of precious stones, feather artists, potters, spinners, weavers, skillful in all they made….

The Toltecs were truly wise; they conversed with their own hearts…. They played their drums and rattles; They were singers, they composed songs and sang them among the people;

Allen Christenson, Carl Waldman, Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya: The Great Classic of Central American Spirituality.

Image 1-Depiction of an anthropomorphic bird-snake deity, probably Quetzalcoatl at the Temple of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli at Tula, Hidalgo.

Image 2 and 3- So called Toltec Warriors at Tula, Hidalgo

Image 4-Tula, Hidalgo