Huitzilopochtli (also Mexitli), in Mexican mythology, is the supreme deity of the nation, the bloodthirsty god of war. The two sons of a widow, Coatlicue, observing that their mother was pregnant, and being afraid of the disgrace of an, illegitimate birth, resolved to murder her. Just as they were in the act of doing so, Huitzilopochtli sprang out of her body, a god of war, carrying in his left hand a shield, and in his right a spear. He soon conquered his mother's murderer, and pillaged their houses. When the Aztecs left their dwelling-places, travelling for one hundred and sixty-five days, to find a more southern country, they were directed by this god, whose idol they carried before them, to the valley of Mexico. Here they built a wooden temple, which later became the site of one of stone. In this temple his image stood, frightful and terrible. The most horrible sacrifices were made in honor of this god. Hundreds of slaves and prisoners were offered to him. At the dedication of his temple, seventy thousand human beings were sacrificed, by opening the breast when yet alive, tearing out the heart, and offering it to the idol on a golden spoon. SEE MEXICAN RELIGION.

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