Axolotl

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2017/#jp-carousel-5113

The nahuatl word “axolotl” describes an animal transformed from the Aztec god, Xolotl, brother to Quetzacoatl.

The axolotl is important in Aztec mythology. The word “axolotl” comes from the native Aztec language, or nahuatl, and roughly translates to: “water slave,” “water servant,” “water sprite,” “water player,” “water monstrosity,” “water twin,” or “water dog.” No one meaning can be considered correct to the exclusion of all others, any one of which is tenable and may have been an accepted connotation in living nahautl, in given contexts.

All of these names refer to the Aztec god, Xolotl, brother to Quetzacoatl. Xolotl was patron of the dead and ressurrected, (where he took the form of a dog,) and had exceptionally broad surveillance over games, twins, and monstrous and grotesque beings, including lifeforms with congenital deformities or other repulsive appearances. Aztec lore states that Xolotl, fearing his imminent sacrifice, threw himself into the water and transformed himself into an axolotl, among other things, to escape banishment from the earth, which would result in his death. As an axolotl, he was ultimately captured, killed, and fed to the sun and moon.

All of the forms Xolotl assumed were monstrous, ugly, or paired. The axolotl fits these themes with its supposed “ugly” features or through its twin relationship, in its aquatic form, to the terrestrial salamander, the two forms seemingly recognized as stages in the life cycle of a single species.

Sources: (Griffiths, Bride, et al., 2004; Majchrzak, 2004; Shaffer, 1989; Smith, 1969)
Image: VirtualWolf

 

Advertisements

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: