Teopanzolco: The Temples of Tlaloc & Huitzilopchtli

Central Veracruz – Tlaloc

This is a statue of the “Rain God” Tlaloc, who was one of the leading deities, if not the leading deity, who was honoured throughout Mesoamerican. His form differs between regions; at Teotihuacan he was normally associated with the jaguar, whereas the Mayans depicted him with a long elephantine trunk.

This statue represents his most widespread form, with google-eyes, long crooked nose and goofy fangs. These oversized features symbolise his powers of sight, smell and eating/taste. Despite being believed to be the God of Rain, he was closely linked to the underground, hence the big eyes, and in particular caves. This may be because the ancient peoples were aware that the water found within caves was rain water collected by the mountains – which would have made it not only clean and cool, but also hold a deep religious importance.

© Robin Heyworth, 30th December 2001

Statue of Tlaloc from Central Veracruz