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Aztec sun and war god. He was usually portrayed as a hummingbird or as a warrior with a helmet of feathers and a turquoise snake staff. His animal disguise was the eagle. His mother was an earth goddess, his brothers stars in the sky, and his sister a moon goddess. Some myths presented him as the divine leader of the tribe during the long migration that brought the Aztecs to the Valley of Mexico. The 15th month of the ceremonial year was dedicated to him, and human sacrifices were made in his honour, in keeping with the belief that he needed human blood and hearts as daily nourishment.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Huitzilopochtli, visit Britannica.com.
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