Coiled serpent with human face, feathered body, earspools.

The Feathered Serpent Diety, Quetzalcoatl

Aztec culture, Tenochtitlan, Mexico, Pre-Columbian


Many ancient Mesoamerican rulers associated themselves with the god Quetzalcoatl. One story tells of a Toltec king named Quetzalcoatl, whom a sorcerer tricked into committing incest with his sister. Quetzalcoatl sailed away, promising to return in the year 1 Reed. When the ship of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés arrived at the Aztec capital in 1519 (1 Reed), they believed Quetzalcoatl was returning and thus treated Cortés initially as a god.

  • Titles The Feathered Serpent Diety, Quetzalcoatl (Descriptive)
  • Artist Aztec culture, Mexico, 1325 - 1521
  • Medium stone
  • Dimensions 7 3/4 x 5 x 8 in. (19.7 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm)
  • Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. Keith Merrill, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. F. Dixon Brooke, Jr., the bequest of Mrs. G. F. McDonnell, Mrs. Margaret Steeves, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Grisham, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Jacks, the Hess Endowed Fund, and the Acquisition Fund, 1989.144
  • Work Type sculpture
  • Classification Sculpture
  • On View