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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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The Legend Of Maize
by May Herz - Inside Mexico
Quetzalcoatl and the Corn Plant

As ancient legend tells the story, the Aztec people ate only game animals and roots before the god Quetzalcoatl arrived. Although corn existed, it was beyond the reach of the people, tucked behind the massive mountains that surrounded the city. Before this time, other gods had attempted to part the mountains to provide access to the food, but they were not successful.

This is when the Aztecs called upon Quetzalcoatl for help. They sent their holy men to ask the god for assistance in reaching the other side of the mountain. He assured the people that he would go and bring back corn not by using force, but intelligence. He transformed into a small black ant for the journey, taking along with him a red ant for company.

A God’s Difficult and Rewarding Journey

The journey was not easy, but Quetzalcoatl was able to overcome the challenge. In his mind, he kept thoughts of the Aztec people and what they needed, and he continued to move forward. Many days passed before the god arrived at the back of the mountain and found the corn. He took a piece of grain between his ant teeth and started back to the Aztec people. When he returned, he gave them the grain of corn to be planted.

From that day forward, the Aztec people were committed to cultivating and harvesting the corn plant. They became powerful and strong, full of riches and skill in building cities, palaces, and temples. This Mexican folklore paints Quetzalcoatl as the protector of people and a cultural hero.

Aztec Empire
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