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Art in Embassies Mexico
December 9, 2022

Serpiente Emplumada

Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent, first appeared in early Mesoamérica and is often found in Teotihuacan, Tula, and Tenochtitlan.  The Mexicas believed that the god, Quetzalcóatl, transformed into a feathered serpent.  Therefore, he was commonly represented as a rattlesnake covered in the green and iridescent feathers of the quetzal, a bird adored by Mesoamericans.  In this Mexica sculpture, Quetzalcóatl is covered in feathers, coiled into a tight knot, with a flattened head and a forked tongue.

Serpiente Emplumada,

Late Post-Classic (1200-1521) Sculpted Basalt, 20 1/2 × 19 7/8 × 17 11/16in. Courtesy of Colección y Archivo de Fundación Televisa