Ometeotl

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Ometeotl (Two God) is a name sometimes used about the pair of god Ometecuhtli/Omecihuatl (also known as Tonacatecuhtli and Tonacacihuatl) in Aztec mythology. Whether such a deity existed among the Aztecs and what was its meaning is a matter of dispute among scholars of Mesoamerican religion.

Miguel Leon-Portilla interprets the name "Ometeotl" as "Lord of the Duality" and argues that Ometeotl was the supreme creator deity of the Aztecs, and that the Aztecs envisioned this deity as a mystical entity with a dual nature akin to the European concept of the trinity.[1] He argues that the Aztecs saw Ometeotl as a transcendental deity and that this accounts for the scarcity of documentary references to it, and why there is no evidence of an actual cult to Ometeotl among the Aztecs. Leon-Portilla's arguments have largely been accepted among scholars of Mesoamerican religion.

Other scholars however, notably Richard Haly (1992) argue that there was no "Ometeotl", Ometeuchtli or Omecihuatl among the Aztecs but rather that the names should be interpreted, using the Nahuatl language root "omi" "bone" rather than "ome" "two", and that Omitecuhtli was another name for Tonacatecuhtli and Mictlantecuhtli both gods of the other related to the creation of humans from dead bones. He argues that of the five sources used by Leon-Portilla to argue in favour of the existence of a single creator god among the Aztecs none contain a clear reference to a god of duality .

Sources

In the chronicle of the Franciscan friar Juan de Torquemada it is stated that the "indians wanted the divine Nature shared by two gods". In his translation of the Cantares Mexicanos Leon-Portilla introduces a reference to the "God of duality" where it is not found in the original text, but rather a Spanish loanword "dios".[2][3] Another example given by Leon-Portilla is from the Historia-Tolteca Chichimeca where the text actually has "ayometeotl" but where Leon-Portilla glosses as Ometeotl without comment. Haly argues that this should rather me translated as "juicy maguey God" as the text talks about the imbibing of pulque. The Codex Ríos has a representation of a god labelled "hometeule" - iconographic analysis shows the deity hometeule to be identical to Tonacatecuhtli[4][5]. The fifth source is historia de los Mexicanos por sus pinturas which Haly shows does not in fact write ometeotl, but rather omiteuctli which is explicitly stated to be identical to Huitzilopochtli who was born as a fleshless skeleton, a Bonelord.

Notes

References

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