JCB Archive of Early American Images
JCB call number:
Idole de Viztzilipuztli.
Place image published:
[Compagnie des libraires]
plate; vol. 1, following p. 348
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Scene of worship and human sacrifice at a native American or Mexican temple. The victim's heart is cut out before an idol or statue by a priest with a knife. The priest's assistants hold the victim by all four limbs. Includes feathered headdress, statues of men in feathered headdresses and garments, and an alcove holding the idol who holds snakes, arrows, and a feathered shield.
Solis, Antonio de, 1610-1686
[Historia de la conquista de Mexico. French] Histoire de la conqueste du Mexique ou de la nouvelle Espagne, par Fernand Cortez ...
Source place of publication:
Par la compagnie des libraires
M. DCC. IV. 
Huitzilopochtli, whose name means "Blue hummingbird on the left," was the Aztec god of the sun and war. The turquoise or fire serpent (xiuhcoatl) was his mystical weapon. The offering of the victim's heart to the gods satisfied the Aztec belief that the sun would rise again nourished by the hearts of men. This image is derived from Theodor de Bry's America, Pt. 9, plate 8. See also Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, [Historia general de los hechos de los castellanos], Antwerp, 1728 (07376-9), for a later version of this image.
Acquired before 1870.
Owner and copyright:
©John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Brown University, Providence, R.I. 02912
Artifacts, industry, and human activities
Indians of Mexico--Rites and ceremonies