The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dragon--South American, Quetzalcoatl

Quetzalcoatl (pronounced ketsalˈkoːaːtɬ in Nahuatl) is an Aztec dragon. The name is a combination of quetzalli, a brightly colored Mesoamerican bird, and coatl, meaning serpent. The ancient Aztecs believed the feathered serpent to be the patron god of learning and knowledge, as most dragons are highly intelligent. Several other Mesoamerican cultures are known to have worshipped a feathered serpent god: At Teotihuacan the several monumental structures are adorned with images of a feathered serpent (Notably the so-called "Citadel and Temple of Quetzalcoatl"). Such imagery is also prominent at such sites as Chichen Itza and Tula.



Description
A South American Dragon is similiar to its Asian Relatives in the fact that they do not necessarily need wings to fly. Although they have brightly colored feathers, these feathers do not assist in flight in any way. These feathery manes serve very little purpose other than giving the feathered serpent its distinctive appearance. The typical Quetzalcoatl has bright green scales that blend in with the jungle surroundings. It is often been debated how many legs an actual feathered serpent has, but the most common portrayal has no legs at all.


Origins
The Feathered Serpent deity was important in art and religion in most of Mesoamerica for close to 2,000 years, from the Pre-classic era until the Spanish conquest. Civilizations worshiping the Feathered Serpent included the Mixtec, Toltec, Aztec, who adopted it from the people of Teotihuacan, and the Maya.


The cult of the serpent in Mesoamerica is very old; there are representations of snakes with bird-like characteristics as old as the Olmec preclassic (1150-500 BC). The snake represents the earth and vegetation, but it was in Teotihuacan (around 150 BC) where the snake got the precious feathers of the quetzal, as seen in the Murals of the city. The most elaborate representations come from the old Quetzalcoatl Temple around 200 BC, which shows a rattlesnake with the long green feathers of the quetzal.

Teotihuacan was dedicated to Tlaloc, the water god, at the same time Quetzalcoatl, as a snake, was a representation of the fertility of the earth, and it was subordinate to Tlaloc. As the cult evolved, it became independent.


In time Quetzalcoatl was mixed with other gods and acquired their attributes. Quetzalcoatl is often associated with Ehecatl, the wind god, and represents the forces of nature, and is also associated with the morning star. Quetzalcoatl became a representation of the rain, the celestial water and their associated winds, while Tlaloc would be the god of earthly water, the water in lakes, caverns and rivers, and also of vegetation. These various 'godly' traits associated with the feathered serpent are understandable due to the various magical abilities of any dragon species.


Religion and ritual
The worship of Quetzalcoatl sometimes included animal sacrifices, and in most traditions Quetzalcoatl was said to oppose human sacrifice.


A special thanks to wikipedia and to gureiduson of deviantart for this slightly stolen image

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

jonrgrover said...

How about doing an article on the Qilin?