Flying on the West: the Butterfly Imagery in the Aztatlán Iconography: Meaning and Worldview.

Author(s): Susana Ramirez-Urrea De Swartz

Year: 2017


The Aztatlán Tradition is a widespread cultural and economical system in West and Northwest Mexico from AD 850 to 1300. The Aztatlán iconography is remarkable, not only because it is rich in the variety of images and icons related to the codices, but also because it reflects a concept related to the worldview of the Aztatlán groups (and others in Central Mexico and the Mixteca-Puebla region). Butterfly imagery seems to be part of it. Some of the ceremonial vessels used in rituals or found as part of the burial offerings present representations of butterflies. Also in the codex style, they might appear as icons or as part of the dresses, headdresses, or as adornments such as nose rings of some lords, priests or gods or goddess such as Mixcoatl or Iztpapalotl. It has been observed that some butterfly representations seem to have feathers, which could be related to birds. This preliminary study first explores the presence and distribution of the butterfly imagery in the Aztatlán Tradition, second, the possible meanings in the worldview of the groups, and third, whether it was an ideological concept limited to the rulers and/or priests.

Cite this Record

Flying on the West: the Butterfly Imagery in the Aztatlán Iconography: Meaning and Worldview.. Susana Ramirez-Urrea De Swartz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429463)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16765