Kukulkan : The Serpent God
At a glance
|Region||Mesoamerica, South America|
|Associated With||Rain, Wind|
Kukulkan, also known as the feathered or plumed serpent god, was associated with the religion and mythology of Mesoamerica, specifically the Yucatec Maya. The multiple manifestations of Kukulkan are all related to the belief that he was a creator who brought rain and winds. He is associated with the Chichen Itza temple, which was built in his honour and Kukulkan also has a powerful symbolic significance in Mexican cultural heritage.
In Mesoamerica, the snake was regarded as a deity that symbolized life above and below the earth, and also associated with the underworld. Because of its living habits, the snakes were also known to have caves, which provided them with access to the underworld. The bodies of these snakes are also featured in various art pieces from the region. The words “sky” and “snake” have the same pronunciation in both English and Maya.
In Yucatan, references to Kukulkan are often confused with those of a person who has the same name. It’s believed that this individual, who was also called Kukulkan, was a ruler or priest at Chichen Itza during the 10th century. Although Kukulkan was regarded as a historical figure in the 16th century, during the 9th century, art pieces from Chichen Itza did not identify him as a human being. Instead, they depicted him as a vision serpent that was tied around the figures of nobles.
The physicality of Kukulkan has been described perfectly in his name. He is a feathered serpent or a snake with feathers and wings. He supposedly can fly into the sky with the help of his wings and talk to the sun. Kukulkan is a popular deity in Mayan mythology, and it’s commonly depicted as a bird-like creature that looks like a human. In some depictions, it’s a standard snake, while in others, it looks like a winged serpent.
Kukulkan was a snake that was born to humans. He grew so large that his sister could no longer feed him, and he had to leave the cave where he was being raised. This caused the earth to tremble, and every year in July, the serpent causes the earth to tremble to let his sister know that he still lives.
He is also referred to as the serpent god Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs and the Toltecs. The god is also known as Gucumatz to the Guatemalan Maya and Ehecatl to the Gulf Coast tribes.
Powers and Abilities
In the vast forests of the Mayan lands, there are numerous pyramids that are adorned with the serpent’s serpentine appearance. These sites were made to appease Kukulkan who was considered to be a vengeful deity. In addition to being built to catch the light, these structures were also painted with blood during the human sacrifice rituals.
Kukulkan brought the four elements to the world, but he kept control of the wind. He is in possession of a great gemstone that’s said to be the source of all air. He also brought a calendar, which is a massive stone disk that dates to a distant future, and presented it to all the humans. Unfortunately, the sacrifices that were made for his benefit were performed in blood.
Modern Day Influence
Kukulkan continues to be a focal point of research and discoveries at various Mayan sites like Chichen Itza and other recently discovered pyramids from the erstwhile Mayan empire. Kukulkan was also featured in an episode of Star Trek the animated series while also being characters in video games like Smite and Tomb Raider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Kukulkan God of?
The Mayan God known as Kukulkan was the god of rain, wind, storms, life and knowledge.
Why was Kukulkan worshipped?
Kukulkan was a deity worshipped by ancient civilizations for his role as the god of agriculture and language. According to myth, he gifted humanity with maize and is credited with the invention of human speech and written symbols. In addition, Kukulkan was also associated with earthquakes.
Is Kukulkan Mayan or Aztec?
Kukulkan was the primary deity of the Yucatan people in Mesoamerica. The Aztec god who is very similar to Kukulkan is known as Quetzalcoatl.
What was Kukulkan's greatest gift to humans?
Kukulkan brought a calendar, which is a massive stone disk that dates to a distant future, and presented it to all the humans. This is known as the Mayan calendar.
In what video games is Kukulkan a character?
Kukulkan is a playable character in the video games Smite and Tomb Raider.