Tezcatlipoca: Trickster and Supreme Deity

Tezcatlipoca: Trickster and ultimate Deity brings archaeological proof into the physique of scholarship on “the lord of the smoking mirror,” essentially the most vital Aztec deities. whereas iconographic and textual assets from sixteenth-century chroniclers and codices have contributed vastly to the knowledge of Aztec spiritual ideals and practices, members to this quantity display the various methods fabric facts expands on those conventional assets.

The interlocking complexities of Tezcatlipoca’s nature, a number of roles, and metaphorical attributes illustrate the level to which his effect penetrated Aztec trust and social motion throughout all degrees of past due Postclassic critical Mexican tradition. Tezcatlipoca examines the result of archaeological investigations—objects like obsidian mirrors, gold, bells, public stone monuments, or even a mosaic skull—and finds new insights into the superb deity of the Aztec pantheon and his position in Aztec culture.

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Xi Tezcatlipoca Introduction Symbolizing Tezcatlipoca Nicholas J. Saunders and Elizabeth Baquedano A presence of absence defines the ambivalent nature of Tezcatlipoca, the superb deity of the overdue Postclassic Aztec pantheon. at nighttime ephemeral mirrored image of his obsidian reflect and the temporary sound of his ceramic flower pipes lies the sensuous nature of a god who mediates materiality and invisibility with omniscience and omnipresence. those features are glaring not just for the Aztecs but additionally for students this present day. As Michael Smith (this quantity) issues out, just recently have we began to maneuver past the written phrases and painted photos of the codices to evaluate a distinct type of Tezcatlipoca’s fabric traces—the gadgets during which the numinous turns into tangible. in a single experience, Tezcatlipoca used to be a reification of age-old Mesoamerican styles of symbolic suggestion, which abstracted supernatural connotations from the flora and fauna. in particular, Tezcatlipoca emerged as a supernatural embodiment of cultural attributes encouraged via, and bestowed upon, elements of local geography/geology and native fauna by means of the overdue Postclassic, pre-Aztec cultures of the Valley of Mexico that have been formed by means of analogical symbolic reasoning and political exigencies (see Umberger, this volume). might be nowhere is that this extra obtrusive than within the deity’s dating with obsidian (itztli) and the jaguar (ocelotl)—two ordinary forms imbued with ideational importance throughout Mesoamerica, recombined in metaphysics, and given actual expression in a particular form of fabric tradition: obsidian mirrors (Smith, this volume). those reflective units have been powerfully ambiguous, now not least simply because they shone with a “dark mild. ” They partook of what has been referred to as a pan-Amerindian DOI: 10. 5876/9781607322887. c000 1 2 I ntroduction : S y mbolizing T ezcatlipoca “aesthetic of brilliance,” which accorded sacredness and tool to a multimedia assemblage of glossy objects—the fabric metaphors of entry to and keep an eye on of the gleaming spirit realm from whence prestige and political strength flowed (Saunders 1998). Baquedano’s (this quantity) research of Tezcatlipoca’s golden ornamentation, the place brilliance and the sounds of bells (symbolic of struggle) toughen this conceptual organization, is epitomized by way of Durán’s description. Tezcatlipoca was once therefore a manufactured from either a conceptual panorama that drew upon the actual surroundings (and what was once made up of it metaphorically) and a cultural panorama composed of the ever-changing political milieu during which he operated, from the past due Postclassic to the Early Colonial interval (Saunders 2001, 225–27). Hitherto, apart from Guilhem Olivier (2003), a sustained research of Tezcatlipoca has been lengthy past due. This quantity starts off to redress the stability and makes a speciality of a wide selection of techniques to 1 of the main exciting and intricate deities of the Mesoamerican international. during this short introductory essay, we strive an interdisciplinary evaluate, construction at the volume’s expert contributions yet extending into the world of what's known as “material tradition stories” (e.

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