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Tlalok vessel from the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan.

The twelfth month of the traditional Mexika calendar system is known as Tepeilwitl, “the Feast of the Mountains.” It is believed that the Teteoh known as Tlalok, along with his helpers the Tlalokeh reside within the mountains and misty caves that dot the Mexican landscape. Tlalok and the Tlalokeh are responsible for the rain and are venerated heavily in Mesoamerican cosmovision.

The feast of Tepeilwitl is held in honor of the mountains, Tlalok and the Tlalokeh, and the people who had died water-related deaths. It was thought that those who died by drowning had been selected by Tlalok to join him in Tlalokan, “the place of Tlalok.” The festival also honors the Teteoh known as Xochiketzal, who is considered the female counterpart of Tlalok. …


Kurly Tlapoyawa

(Chicano/Nawa/Mazewalli) Archaeologist, filmmaker, and founder of the Chimalli institute of Mesoamerican Arts. Professor of C/S at Colegio Chicano del Pueblo.

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