Day Of The Dead Origins Essay

779 words - 4 pages

The Legend
The Aztec celebration of day of the dead all started because of the Aztec belief of how human life came to be. According to one of the versions of the legend, humans had been made from bones of the previous life. Aztec believed that there has been five worlds created, four of which were previously destroyed killing the human raise. After the firth world was created (the world in which we humans live in now) the god Quetzacoatl wanted to once again create human life that had been previously abolished with the destruction of the fourth sun. To once again create human life Quetzacoatl when on a passage to the underworld with his guide dog Xolotl. He wanted to retrieve human bones from the 9th circle of the underworld which was guarded by Mictlantecuhtli- the Aztec god of death and the ruler of Mictal. When he got there Mictlantecuhtli was reluctant to give him the bones, so he gave him a task to achieve first. After he had completed the task Quetzacoatl started gathering the human bones but Mictlantecuhtli refused to allow him to gather bones, so she sent people after him to stop him. Quetzacoatl managed to forcefully take them and escape but not without dropping and breaking some of the bones. He then took the bones to Cihuacoatl the goddess of fertility who mashed up the bones with some of Quetzacoatl blood. From this the human race was made. This explains why humans are of different sizes while also explaining the Aztec belief that life comes from death, as it shows humans were made from the bones of dead individuals.
Death Shouldn’t be Feared
The indigenous people lived linking with earth and nature; they cared for it and appreciated it. They didn’t fear death, as to them it was all part of the cycle of life. This cycle consisted of conception, birth, growth, maturity, and death. “The indigenous people embraced death [as they] considered it as ‘moving-on’ to a higher level [of] consciousness”(Murillo) To them death was a necessary part of life that could not be over-looked, without death there was no new life, and without life there was not death. They also believed that were died three times. The 1st time being when our body no...

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