The famous descent of the snake. Quetzalcoatl was the first Mesoamerican religion to transcend the old Classic Period the wisdom of the serpent pdf and ethnic divisions. This cult facilitated communication and peaceful trade among peoples of many different social and ethnic backgrounds. In Yucatán, references to the deity Kukulkan are confused by references to a named individual who bore the name of the god.
Because of this, the distinction between the two has become blurred. This individual appears to have been a ruler or priest at Chichen Itza who first appeared around the 10th century. Although Kukulkan was mentioned as a historical person by Maya writers of the 16th century, the earlier 9th-century texts at Chichen Itza never identified him as human and artistic representations depicted him as a Vision Serpent entwined around the figures of nobles. At Chichen Itza, Kukulkan is also depicted presiding over sacrifice scenes. Kukulkan headed a pantheon of deities of mixed Maya and non-Maya provenance, used to promote the Itza political and commercial agenda. It also eased the passage of Itza merchants into central Mexico and other non-Maya areas, promoting the Itza economy. At Chichen Itza, Kukulkan ceased to be the Vision Serpent that served as a messenger between the king and the gods and came instead to symbolise the divinity of the state.