Son of the first Emperor of the Triple Alliance, sitting at Mexica-Tenochtitlan,
Huitziláihuitl reigned from about 1395 to 1417 CE. Huitziláihuitl’s name is derived from the hummingbird symbol of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli (the god of the sun and war).
In the image he is dressed in the clothes of the highest priests, a reflection of the fact that the Triple Alliance (the Aztec Confederacy) was in essence a theocracy. The designs on his sandals are associated with the god Quetzalcoatl and with his mythical Toltec ancestors.
As Fray Bernardino de Sahagún observed: the Mexicans “are held to be barbarians and of very little worth; in truth, however, in matters of culture and refinement, they are a step ahead of other nations." We explore the history and legacy of the Nahua and Maya civilizations, both of which challenge our preconceptions.