Name: Tzitzimitl (roughly pronounced Zee Zee Meel) Area of Origin: Central Mexico; The Aztecs
In Aztec Mythology, A Tzitzimitl (plural: Tzitzimimeh) is a female deity associated with the stars. They were usually depicted as skeletal figures, often wearing skirts and decorative headdresses. In the most famous depictions, adorning their bodies are severed hands, and cut-out hearts, and appear to have pointed claws on both their hands and feet. Another odd detail is that they seem to have eyeballs growing out of different joints, such as the ankles, knees, wrists and elbows, though this differs between the different portrayals. They’ve been decribed as demons, though this doesn’t necessarily reflect their function in the Aztec belief system. Because the Tzitzimimeh were female, they were also related to fertility, and as such associated with other female deities such as Tlaltecuhtli and Coatlicue. They were worshipped by midwives and women in labor. Their leader was the goddess, Itzpapalotl who ruled over Tamoanchan, the paradise where these deities resided. Being associated with the stars, when stars would not be seen in the sky during solar eclipses, this was intepreted as Tzitzimimeh attacking the sun. This caused a belief that during an eclipse, they would descend down to earth to devour humans. They were seen as both protectors of the feminine and progenitors of mankind, and as such, were powerful and dangerous, especially in periods of cosmic instability.