Family Trees & Feathered Serpents at Chichén Itzá: Expanding H.B. Nicholson’s Understanding of Kukulcan
Author(s): Cynthia Kristan-Graham
While H.B. Nicholson’s magnum opus about Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl concentrates on ethnohistory, he acknowledges that some imagery at Chichén Itzá may highlight the feathered serpent’s role as patron. I propose other readings for Kukulcan ("Feathered Serpent" in Yucatecan Maya) at Early Postclassic Chichén Itzá. Linguistic and ethnographic evidence indicates that the feathered serpent symbolizes lineage and ancestry and that rattlesnake physiognomy intersects with fertility. These readings intersect with Nicholson’s interest in language and Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl’s genealogy, and with Chichén Itzá’s visual culture wherein painting and sculpture highlight lineage.
Cite this Record
Family Trees & Feathered Serpents at Chichén Itzá: Expanding H.B. Nicholson’s Understanding of Kukulcan. Cynthia Kristan-Graham. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431148)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14698