From Mexican and Central American Mythology by Irene Nicholson

Tezcatlipoca - God of Heaven
and of the Four Quarters of the Heavens -
Came to Earth and was sad
He cried from the uttermost depths of the Four Quarters
'Come, O Wind! Come, O Wind! Come, O Wind! Come, O Wind!'
The querulous Wind scattered over Earth's sad bosom
rose higher than all things made;
and, whipping the waters of the oceans
and the manes of the trees
arrived at the feet of the God of the Heaven.
There he rested his black wings
and laid aside his endless sorrow.
Then spoke Tezcatlipoca;
      'Wind, the Earth is sick from silence.
      Though we possess light and colour and fruit
      yet we have no music.
      We must bestow music upon all creation
      To the awakening dawn,
      To the dreaming man,
      To the waiting mother,
      To the passing water and the flying bird,
      Life should be all music!
      Go then through the boundless sadness
      Between the blue smoke and the spaces
      to the high house of the Sun.
      There the Father Sun is surrounded by makers of music
      Who blow their flutes sweetly
      And with their burning choir,
      Scatter light abroad.
      Go, bring back to Earth a cluster, the most flowering,
      Of those musicians and singers.'
Wind traversed the Earth that was plunged in silence
and trod with his strength of breath pursued
'till he reached the heavenly roof of the world
where all melodies lived in a nest of light

The Suns' musicians were clad in four colours
White were those of the cradle songs;
Red, those of the epics of love and of war;
Sky blue the troubadours of wandering clouds;
Yellow the flute players enjoying gold
milled from the Sun from the peaks of the World
There were no musicians the colour of darkness
All shone translucent and happy, their gaze turned forward.
When the Sun saw the Wind approaching, he told the musicians;
      'Here comes the bothersome
      Wind of Earth;
      Stay your music!
      Cease your singing!
      Answer him not!
      Whoever does so
      Will have to follow him back down there into silence.'
From the stairway of light
of the House of the Sun,
Wind, with his dark voice, shouted;
      'Come, O musicians!'
None replied.
The clawing Wind raised his voice and cried;
      'Musicians, singers!
      The supreme Lord of the World is calling you'
Now the musicians were silent colours;
they were a circling dance held fast
in the blinding flame of the Sun.
Then the God - he of the Heavens Four Quarters - waxed wroth.
From the remotest places,
whipped by his lightning lash
flocks of clouds whose blackened wombs
were stabbed and torn by lightning
assembled to besiege the House of the Sun
His bottomless throat let loose the thunders' roar
Everything seemed to fall flat in a circle
beneath the Worlds' mad roof, in whose breast
the Sun, like a red beast, drowned.
Spurred on by fear,
the musicians and the singers then ran for shelter
to the Winds' lap.

Bearing them gently
least he should harm their tender melodies,
the Wind, with that tumult of happiness in his arms
set out on his downward journey, generous and contented
Below the Earth raised it's wide, dark eyes to Heaven
and it's great face shone, and it smiled
As the arms of the trees were uplifted
there greeted the Winds' wanderers
the awakened voice of its people,
the wings of the Quetzal birds
the face of the flowers
and the cheeks of the fruit.
When all that flutter of happiness landed on Earth,
and the Suns musicians spread to the Four Quarters,
then Wind ceased his complaining and sang,
caressing the valleys, the forests and seas.
Thus was music born on the bosom of Earth.
Thus did all things learn to sing;
      the awakening dawn,
      the dreaming man,
      the awaiting mother,
      the passing water and the flying bird,
Life was all music from that time on.


   The Wind, Ehecatl, enters masked as shown in codices and statues with a conical hat, snout and false beard. he has huge black wings like those of a bat, a powerful and frightening god in itself in Pre-Columbian beliefs. art of his robe beneath can be seen showing the sacred Quetzal bird whose feathers were used for decoration and in ritual. The Quetzal was associated with the god Quetzalcoatl of whom Ehecatl was considered to be an aspect.
   Ehecatl folds his wings and they fall to the floor revealing the first cloak in its entirety. It is a representation of the Earth without music. The people are sad or asleep and the waters are clouded and stormy. Even the colours of the Quetzal bird are dulled. The central tree is bare and contorted. The tree is reminiscent of the four trees that hold up the heavens as well as the tree that the wind himself was temporarily transformed into when he fled to earth with his lover.
   As the god, Tezcatlipoca, commands, the Wind flies to the house of the sun and Ehecatl turns to display the second cloak. This is bright and cheerful with the four groups of musicians represented by their respective colours and by symbols alluding to the descriptions in the text of clouds, cradle songs, war and flute playing. The House of the sun itself is shown as a temple from one of the codex on top of the pyramid of the sun from Mexico and its order can be seen in the symmetry of the design. The whole is preside d over by the disc of the Sun God himself.
   In order to disrupt the Suns' house Tezcatlipoca sends a great storm and at its climax the cloak falls to reveal the third picture. This uses the Mixtec emblem of the House of the Sun, a patterned ring, to illustrate the fracturing of harmony. As the musicians run into the arms of the Wind he gathers them to him and turns raising his arms to show the final design, the world full of music.
   The last cloak is similar in lay out to the first. It has a male and a female figure, a central tree with a Quetzal bird and the waters of the earth are there as well. However, the colours of this cloak are bright and vibrant. The people are awake and smiling and covered in flowers. The tree has fresh green leaves and the Quetzal bird is made up of shiny, brilliant colours and gold. Even the waters are clear and calm.


[With particular relevance to the deities mentioned in the 'poem ' and the art work used for reference in the designs]

   Both the text and artwork for this project date from the civilisations of Mesoamerica during the two and a half thousand years before the conquest of the Aztec - Mexica by the Spanish in 1521.
   The race called the Nahua lived and roamed the central highlands of what is now New Mexico. Nahua means 'Those who live by Rule' to distinguish them from the less civilised tribes of the region. They were the foundation of the civilisations of the Toltecs, Mixtecs and Aztecs spanning a period from around 1200 BC to the invasion of the Spanish in the 16th century.
   In the pre-classical period [ BC 1200 - AD 250 ] civilisation spread first to tlatilc in the valley of Mexico and Tlapacoya to the east.
   The city of Teotihuacan [AD 0 - 750] became one of the largest cities in the world covering over 20 square kilometres with a population of about 200,000.
   After it's collapse, smaller cities rose to prominence and the Toltecs [AD 50 - 1250] became the dominant culture of the Central Highlands. Toltec art was to serve as a model for the nomadic warrior group from the north, the Aztec - Mexica.They settled in the valley of Mexico in the late Post - Classic period and created a huge empire.From their city of Tenochtitlan they governed millions of people all across Mesoamerica.
   In the Oaxaca valley the Pre - Classical culture of the Zapotecs, which traded closely with Teotihucan, was taken over in Post - Classical times by the Mixtecs from western Oaxaca [ post 900 AD] They themselves were conquered in the 15th century by the Mexica. Both art and beliefs were freely exchanged and copied between races.
   The great god of the Nahua parthenon was Tezcatlipoca or Smoking Mirror. He was originally the god of the air and, like Jupiter after him, could raise storms and wind. His rival in many myths was the god Quetzalcoatl or Feathered Serpent. It was to this god that the Quetzal bird with its magnificent plumage was sacred. He also had many aspects including Yolcuat, the Rattlesnake, Tohil, the Rumbler and Ehecatl, the Wind.
   The Mayan race further south flourished from the 3rd century to around the 10th. Cities such as Tikal and later Palenque and Copan contained highly worked monuments, ritual architecture and fine wall paintings. For unknown reasons possibly including climate, politics, and the decline of Teotihuacan, the classic Mayan civilisation collapsed during the 9th century.
   In the north cities such as Uxmal and Chichen Itza flourished even after the Toltec invasion in the late 10th century and became the centre of a new hybrid Toltec/Mayan art. Their mythology too included deities closely connected with both the gods mentioned previously. The Mayan Kukulcan was identified with Quetzalcoatl and their Ek Chuah with Tezcatlipoca.


Ancient Mexico.....Henri Stierlin Ancient Mexican Design.....M Noble
Aztecs.....Royal Academy
Aztec Herbal.....William Gates
Beyond The Andes.....Pino Turolla
Codex Borgia.....Diaz & Rogers
Codex Mendoza.....Aztec Manuscript
Feathered Serpent And The Cross.....J. Milton
The Gold Of El Dorado.....Royal Academy
Mexican And Central American Myths
Mexico And Peru.....Spence Maya Monuments.....Nigel Hughes
Mayan Prophecies.....Cotteral
Painting The Conquest.....Serge Gruzinski
Pre-Columbian Mythology.....D. Mackensie
Peoples Of The Sun.....C A Burland
Ruins Of Time.....D. Adamson
Templo Mayor De Mexico Teotihuacan.....Readers Digest
Warriors, Gods And Spirits.....Gifford & Sibbick
Worlds Mythology.....V. Irons
Larousse World Mythology.....Hamlyn
Magic Symbols.....F. Goodman
The Art Of Ancient Mexico.....A Guide From The Hayward Gallery, South Bank