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versión impresa ISSN 0185-1659


ESPINOSA PINEDA, Gabriel. El aspecto masculino del arcoíris prehispánico. Cuicuilco [online]. 2008, vol.15, n.43, pp.159-184. ISSN 0185-1659.

In many today's indigenous communities, particularly those with mesoamerican heritage, rainbow is thought to be a very dangerous and agressive being. A fierce and negative entity, its nature shokingly contrasts whith that of the occidental perception. Its strange and violent characteristics, originate in Prehispanic Mesoamerica. A complex being, with a contradictory nature, it had a lot of aspects and faces; its male, celestial and hot aspect was particularly strong among ancient nahua people. Before the Spanish conquest, it has been conceived as a Xiuhcoatl, a fire serpent. The rainbow light was thought to be as arrows or spears; but they also infected or possesed, and maybe made pregnant, the one who was hurt by this powerfull light. The reason for those properties lies in the very nature of its job in the nahua ancient cosmos: rainbow was the fire and light serpent who fought the rainy season and brought on the dry one. This mision required a violent and fiery creature. Its role was crucial to the hydrological cycle, and then to the whole cosmos machinary itself.

Palabras clave : cosmovisión; rainbow; Mesoamerica; etnometereology.

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