MEXICO CITY – In the pantheon of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic gods, most Aztec deities are depicted as brutal, blood-thirsty beings only appeased by human sacrifices.
But Mexico’s Templo Mayor museum on Friday put on display for the first time an exhibition dedicated to Xochipilli, the Aztec god of singing, dancing and the morning sun.
The Aztecs usually sacrificed quails to Xochipilli, rather than still-beating human hearts. And he was worshipped at vast poetry and music festivals, rather than martial displays.
Museum director Patricia Ledesma says the display is meant to show another side of deities worshipped by the Mexica people who inhabited the Aztec empire.
In her words, “This is part of what we wanted to show, that the Mexicas didn’t just do warlike or bloody things, but also artistic things.”