Chalchihuitlicue (Chalchiuhtliycue, Chalchiuhcihuatl, Chalchiuhtlicue) (lady of the turquoise skirt) Aztec storm goddess, personification of whirlpools and youthful beauty; wife of her brother Tlaloc, the god of rain and water. According to Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in his Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España, the goddess “had power over the sea and the rivers, and could drown those who navigated on the waters, causing tempests and whirlwinds that would flood the boats and barges and other vessels happening to be on the water.”

However, Lewis Spence, the Scottish anthropologist, observed that Sahagún’s description “appears inexact” since the “Mexicans were not a seafaring people.” In art Chalchihuitlicue was portrayed as a bare-breasted woman wearing a coronet of blue paper surmounted by green feathers. Her dress was of a green-blue tint. In her left hand she carried a large water plant, in the right a vase surmounted by a cross, symbol of the four points of the compass, from which the rain comes.

She was of great significance for rituals, but she plays little part in Aztec narratives.



Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

chalchihuitlicue (chAlchiuhtli-cue, jade skirt, lady precious green) Aztec goddess of rivers, lakes, oceans, storms, and whirlpools. Chalchihuitlicue was the wife of Tlaloc and both the creator and destroyer—by flood, of course—of the Sun of Water. The Sun of Water was the Fourth Sun, or fourth age, in Aztec mythological history. Chalchihuitlicue was considered to be the embodiment of youth and beauty and was thought to watch over the ill and newborns. On an infant’s naming day, attendants rinsed his or her mouth with water as a midwife assured the child that Chalchihuitlicue had washed away evil and misfortune. This practice was not unlike the Christian baptism ritual.

Chalchihuitlicue was sometimes depicted as a flowing river that had a prickly pear tree heavy with fruit growing out of it. She has also been identified as the female aspect of Atlacamanc, the male storm god, and as Chimalma, who was the mother of Quetzalcoatl in his incarnation as Ce Acatl, a god of war. Chalchihuitlicue was known as Matlalcueyeh in Tlaxcala, a small state that stayed independent of the Aztecs. See also



South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z – by Ann Bingham (Author) and Jeremy Roberts (Author)

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