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Centzon Totochtin: The Innumerable Rabbits


A group of Aztec gods –whose physical appearance is that of an innumerable group of rabbits—associated with drunkenness and intoxication. They are sometimes referred as the “Four-hundred Divine Rabbits” but in this context four hundred is meant to represent an "innumerable" amount.


These naughty bunnies are the children of Mayahuel, the goddess of Pulque (traditional Mexica alcoholic beverage made from agave), and its large number indicates the many degrees of intoxication one can attain when drinking. Complete drunkenness was represented by 400 rabbits.


Cohuatzincatl, Ome Tochtli, Papaztac, Patecatl, Quatlapanqui, Teatlahuiani, Tepoxtecatl and Tequechmecauiana are some of these Pulque gods. It was said, that the more rabbits were to materialize in the physical realm –let’s say crashing the Equinox Celebration’s in the spring— the more severe the intoxication of the party-goers.

They were generally depicted with faces painted in red and black, wearing the yaca-metztli (a crescent-shaped nose ornament), long earrings, and carrying a shield.


In many Aztec figures recovered from ceremonial temples and common households, the Centzon Totochtin is represented as a rabbit atop of a human warrior, probably to indicate that even the fiercest warrior is vulnerable to the delights of Pulque.

References:

-Molina, Fray Alonso de Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana, preliminary study by Miguel León Portilla, 4th edition, Editorial Porrúa, 2001, Mexico City, Mexico.

-Sahagún, Fray Bernadino de Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España, Prologue by Angel María Garibay, 6th edition, Editorial Porrúa, 1985, Mexico City, Mexico.

-Smith, Michael E. The Aztecs, 2nd edition, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, 1996

#HUnderworld #TDeity #RMesoamerica #MAztec #AAllure

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