Tohil  

Posted by Stella Clark

Tohil Cover
Tohil (also spelt Tojil) was a deity of the K'iche' Maya in the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica. At the time of the Spanish Conquest, Tohil was the patron god of the K'iche'. Tohil's principal function was that of a fire deity and he was also both a sun god and the god of rain. Tohil was also associated with mountains and he was a god of war, sacrifice and sustenance. In the K'iche' epic Popul Vuh, after the first people were created, they gathered at the mythical Tollan, the Place of the Seven Caves, to receive their language and their gods. The K'iche', and others, there received Tohil. Tohil demanded blood sacrifice from the K'iche' and so they offered their own blood and also that of sacrificed captives taken in battle. In the Popul Vuh this consumption of blood by Tohil is likened to the suckling of an infant by its mother. Tohil may originally have been the same god as Q'uq'umatz, and shared the attributes of the feathered serpent with that deity, but they later diverged and each deity came to have a separate priesthood. Sculptures of a human face emerging between the jaws of a serpent were common from the end of the Classic Period through to the Late Postclassic and may represent Q'uq'umatz in the act of carrying Hunahpu, the youthful avatar of the sun god Tohil, across the sky. Because of his association with human sacrifice, Tohil was one of the first deities that the Spanish clergy tried to eradicate after the Conquest.

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This entry was posted on 31 March 2008 at Monday, March 31, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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