Size: 80x150cm; 2.6x5ft
Weaver: Gregorio Gutierrez
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Materials and methods: criollo sheep wool hand dyed with colorfast aniline dyes using an exhaustive method. Handwoven on a Zapotec style loom of the 16th century adapted from European styles. Woven using a 7 threads per inch reed.
Design, patterns and symbols.
This pattern derives from the diamond shape of the rattlesnake skin. This particular set of a myriad of diamonds represents the snake skirt of the earth goddess Coatlicue. She is known as Tonantzin Tlalli Coatlicue, the mother earth, the mother of Gods, the mother of the moon and the 400 (many) stars in the milky way.
Coatlicue was married to Mixcoatl (storm god) they had many sons that were known as Centzon Huixnahuac, the southern stars. The myth says that her husband cheated on her so she killed him. Then as punishment, the elder Gods took away her beauty and youth; she then spent time repenting by sweeping the Teocalli (Sacred site) and when she begged for pardon there was a miracle in the form of a humming bird coming from the sky. The humming bird dropped a bundle of jade colored feathers for her, Cihuacoatl stored it in her breasts and moments later realised that she was pregnant. The earth Godess was in union with the sky world again with the hummingbird; she went on to tell her sons and daughters about this miracle but they didn't believe her and were affraid that their divine mother would be publicly ashamed. One of her son's warned her that her daugther Coyolxauhqui (Moon Godess) was leading her sons to kill her; it was then that her son Hutizilipochtli spoke to her from the womb that he will protect her. When her daughter and her 400 brothers came to kill Coatlicue her son Huitzilipochtli was born as a grown up warrior dressed in armour and war regalia. Huitzilopochtli had a snake thunder weapon in his left hand, he represents the Sun God and the God of the flowered wars, he stroke and killed his 400 brothers forgiving those who implored forgiveness, at last he killed the Moon Goddess and after dyeing they all returned to the sky where they are still to this day. This myth alludes to the theory of a comet hitting the earth to create the moon and the the 400 brothers ending up as shooting stars.