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Sacred animals: Mayan and Aztec myths and legends

By Google Arts & Culture

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The top predator in the Maya rainforest was the jaguar. Jaguars came to be identified closely with the sun, and many jaguar gods were venerated by the Maya people.Β 

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These various gods were associated with the underworld, the night, caves, stealth and hunting.

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An Aztec legend says that a rabbit offered its life to feed the god Quetzalcoatl.

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Quetzalcoatl lifted the rabbit to the moon in thanks, where a spot was left in its shape so humans would always remember it.Β 

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The rabbit came to represent the moon to people across ancient Mesoamerica.Β 

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Rabbits were a favourite animal for hunters to catch.Β 

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Bows and arrows were used widely for hunting small game by the Maya people.

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Many legends connect rabbits (or 400 of them) with the intoxicating drink pulque,

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which seems to have originated off the Gulf coast and was later incorporated into the Aztec religion.Β 

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Mesoamerica Symbolia myths

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