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Itztapaltotec, as depicted in the Codex Vaticanus B.

In Aztec religion, Itztapaltotec (sometimes spelled Iztapaltotec) is an aspect of the fertility god Xipe Totec. In the Aztec calendar, he is one of the patrons of the trecena beginning with the day One Rabbit (ce tochtli in Nahuatl), alongside Xiuhtecuhtli, the god of fire. Xipe Totec proper is the patron of the trecena beginning with the day One Dog (ce itzcuintli). Itztapaltotec is an obscure figure, known only from tonalamatl (calendars). Brief, confusing information about him is given in two related manuscripts, the Codex Telleriano-Remensis and the Codex Ríos (or Codex Vaticanus A).

Itztapaltotec is depicted with a giant sacrificial knife either as a kind of head ornament, or as part of his body. He wears a flayed human skin, and wields a knife and a rattle-staff associated with fertility. Both the large knife and the smaller one he carries may be anthropomorphized by giving them eyes and teeth. This was often done with such knives, although not those actually used for sacrifice, which were undecorated. According to the Codex Telleriano-Remensis and the Codex Ríos, his mouth is open in order to devour people.

Itztapaltotec is probably related to Itztli, another figure of the Aztec calendar also depicted as a personified knife.

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References

  • Quiñones Keber, Eloise (1995). Codex Telleriano-Remensis: Ritual, Divination, and History in a Pictorial Aztec Manuscript. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-292-76901-6.  

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