The Lords of the Butterfly Bird God: a new group of the Teotihuacan elite

Los Señores del Dios Mariposa Pájaro: un nuevo grupo de la élite Teotihuacana


This article first discusses who is mortal and who is immortal in Teotihuacan art, then identifies a type of high-ranking character whose iconography suggests they were part of a group that was under the protection of the Butterfly Bird God. These are called Lords of the Butterfly Bird God because that is how we see them in different contexts, in life bearing insignia of the elite, and in death in the form of mortuary bundles. These figures also appear with headdresses bearing images of the Butterfly Bird God’s temple. The text then evaluates whether an exceptional set of ceramic figurines from Tlajinga district, Teotihuacan, represents an elite group led by the Lords with Butterfly headdress.

Keywords: Teotihuacan iconography, myth of the Butterfly Bird God, mortuary bundle, figurines.


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