Huitzilopochtli (wēˌtsēlōpōchtˈlē) [key], chief deity of the Aztec, god of war. He is said to have guided the Aztecs during their migration from Aztlán. Usually represented in sculptured images as hideous, he was the object of human sacrifice, particularly of war prisoners. He was also god of the sun, and it was believed that he was born each morning from the womb of Coatlicue, goddess of earth. His temple at Tenochtitlán was a great architectural achievement of pre-Columbian America.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.