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"The Smoking Mirror"

Tezcatlipoca - The Smoking Mirror

    Quetzalcoatl's enemy was Tezcatlipoca. He represented the light, opposite to Tezcatlipoca's darkness. The Mexica, as well as many other cultures throughout the world, believed that creation was the result of conflict between complementary oppositional forces. It was said that the interaction and exchange between Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca resulted in the creation of our world.

    Quetzalcoatl has also been called White Tezcatlipoca, to contrast him to the black Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca is usually depicted black with yellow stripe painted across his face and is often shown with his right foot replaced with an obsidian mirror or a snake.

    Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca came together as allies to defeat the great caiman Tlatecuhtli. They transformed themselves into giant serpents and descended to the waters where Tlatecuhtli dwelled. When they found Tlatecuhtli, each serpent grabbed a hand and a foot. They pulled in opposite directions, tearing the great caiman apart. The dismemberment of Tlatecuhtli supposedly resulted in the creation of the Earth. This act by Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl angered the other deities. To console the mutilated caiman, the deities decreed that all the tribes of humankind would live on her rugged back. All plants needed for human life would grow from her body. From her hair were fashioned trees, flowers and herbs. From her skin came the grasses and small flowers. Her eyes became the sources of wells, springs and small caves. From her mouth came the great rivers and caverns, and from her nose came the mountain ridges and valleys. The Earth had been formed.