Basic Information

Title: The Lord of the Dawn
Type/Species: Amphiptere
Origin: Toltec and Aztec Mythology

About Quetzalcoatl / Kukulkan / Ehecatl

This was the Aztecs great feather serpent god. (Kukulkan was the name used by the Mayans for this creature.) As one of the most popular gods, this creature appeared in many forms of art as well as in tales. Not only this, but he was the only god that did not require human sacrifices. [1]

In addition to his popularity, he seems to have been god of many things. He was a Creator god, the god of twins, the god of the Evening and Morning Star, protector of craftsman, a rain maker as well as a fire-bringer, teacher of the finer arts, and the god of twins. As Echecatl, he was the god of winds. Furthermore, he is know as the god that created the calendar. [1]

Often, he was seen soaring throughout the sky creating a rainbow. Occasionally, he would take the form of a man or the sun, and eclipses were said to be caused by the Earth Serpent swallowing him.

The Quetzalcoatl was opposed to regular human sacrifices. So much so that when the god of war, Tezcatlipoca, appeared and asked for sacrifices, the Quetzalcoatl tried to dissuade others from agreeing to it. He failed, however, and decided to leave. [1]

How and where the Quetzalcoatl left has a bit of mystery to it. There are different variations of this tale. In one version, it is said that he proceed to the Gulf of Mexico and there burned his body. After which, he was reborn as the planet Venus. [1]

The more common ending is different. It has been suggested that the Spanish used this ending to aid in their conquering of the Aztecs. It said that the Quetzalcoatl left, promising his most loyal that he would return. He left on a raft that was supported by snakes. With this, he headed East.

It is believed that the second version was used by the Spanish because there are many depictions of the god becoming Venus, but slim to none of them depict him on a raft. [1]

Physical Description

This creature was an amphiptere, meaning the creature only had two wings and no other limbs. Also, this creature possessed multicolored scales and feathers. Occasionally, The Quetzalcoatl would shape-shift to become a man. [1]

Related Articles


  1. Macmillion Profiles: Myths and Legends

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.