The Chichen Swallow-Itza-Tail butterfly, (Toltecia Olmecium), thrives in the Central American jungle and subsists primarily on maize. Its image chiseled into Meso-American artifacts represents warfare & sacrifice. Despite its jester like appearance this species will bite and is frequently spotted roosting on the backs of crocodiles in the watershed areas of Tikal National Park. Its natural predators are howler monkeys and archaeologists.
n Aztec mythology, Ītzpāpālōtl [iːt͡spaːˈpaːlot͡ɬ] (“Obsidian Butterfly”) was a fearsome skeletal warrior goddess who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, the paradise of victims of infant mortality and the place identified as where humans were created. She is the mother of Mixcoatl and is particularly associated with the moth Rothschildia orizaba from the family Saturniidae. Some of her associations are birds and fire. Her nagual was a deer.
Violent butterflies! Loved this blog post; first encounter with a butterfly that is symbolic of war and strength! : https://thebutterflydiaries.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/meso-american-butterfly-patterns/
I love this guy; he’s a little on the cartoony side, not my usual style. I think he’s wicked! It is precisely my interest in Aztec/Miztec archeology & artifacts that really sparked my interest in Spanish language & culture.
And then onto Egypt…Nefertiti resplendent with Eye of Ra butterflies and and her standard adorned with scarab beetle.
“The butterflies were presumably one of the pleasures that awaited the deceased in the afterlife, reflecting the Egyptian belief in the immortality of the human soul.”
What I really LOVED about this quirky drawing, (again, a little cartoony derivation from my usual), was this fascinating geometric diagram of the bust of Nefertiti:
Egyptian butterflies do not make frequent appearances in ancient egyptian artifacts… Here is the most widely used example: ‘Neubaum Hunting in the Marshes’…