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Knight, E.H. (1982). The Deformed Leg in Pre-Columbian Mexican Mythology. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:473-481.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:473-481

The Deformed Leg in Pre-Columbian Mexican Mythology

Edward H. Knight


The major Mexican Aztec deity Huitzilopochtli is reported in practically all sources as having a stylized deformed leg. The origin and antecedents of this god are described and related to cultural developments and conflicts of the Aztec. Some other mythological figures with a deformed or injured lower extremity, especially the heel, are compared as to their cultural position and significance. This special symbol or iconograph appears to be related to the culture conflicts of a change from nomadic barbarism to settled urban social life. It also represents the wish for possession of maternal omnipotence and a denial of the father influence through symbolic self deformity.

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