“Sweeten thy spirits, handsome man,

You will see the face of your Father on high.

No need to return here to Earth

Under plumage of the little Hummingbird

Or under the skin.”

  • (Songs of Dzitbalche 1980: 357)

An old codex tells us that when upon the hill of Coatepec, where the god Coatlicue was sweeping, out of thin air a beautiful ball of feathers fell upon her head. Amazed by the beautiful discovery, he plucked them up and tucked the feathery treasure by her left breast.

After she finished sweeping her abode, she wished to contemplate once again the beautiful plumage that she found. Reaching for it tucked away in her breast, the treasure she sought was nowhere to be found. Immediately, she realized that this was a sign she became pregnant.

Her 400 children, the Surians, felt disgraced by this discovery and conspired to kill her. Coatlicue, saddened, then hear a voice emanating from her heart.

  • “Mother, it is me, Huitzilopotchtli. Do not be afraid, for I know what I have to do.”

As Huitzlilopotchli spoke and reassured his mother Coatlicue who was frightened by the vision of the children who would murder her. Huitzilopotchli stayed within his his mother until the 400 Surians approached them; he then was born and donned his armor, raising a shield of feathers and a turquoise spear. His face pained with diagonal stripes and plume of feathers, ready to defend his mother.

Thus, Huitzilopotchli, whose name means the leftmost hummingbird, was the one who defended Coatlicue till the end. He never gave up until she was safe and until no enemy was left to harm them. As he consoled his mother and assured her no one else would harm her, he sang like hummingbird the following poem:

Not one is equal to me,

Not in vain have I put on the yellow feather garment,

Because through me the sun has risen,

And the time of sacrifice has come.

  • (Song to Huitzilopotchli, Florentine Codex)

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