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The Aztec Legend of the Agave and Tequila


Corazon Agave Fields

Agave Fields at San Nicholas Distillery- Tequila Corazon

Photo Credit: ©2006 Colleen Graham licensed to About.com

The legend of how tequila came to be according to the Aztecs…
As told by Brenda Martinez, Tequila Regulatory Council.

The Aztecs believed that when the earth began there was a goddess in the sky. She was called Tzintzimitl but she was an evil goddess and she devoured light. She had the earth in darkness and forced the natives to do human sacrifices in order to give them a little light.

One day Quetzalcoatl was tired of it and he decided to do something about it. Quetzalcoatl believed in honor so he ascended to the sky to fight the evil goddess Tzintzimitl and he started to look for her. But instead, what he found was her granddaughter who was kidnapped by the evil goddess, Mayahuel. Mayahuel is the goddess of fertility, she was portrayed as the goddess with four hundred breasts. He found her and fell in love with her. Instead of killing the evil goddess he brought Mayahuel down to earth to live with him.

When the evil goddess found that out, she got extremely mad and started to look for them. So they were forced to run from one place to another to hide from her. One day they decided that because there was no where else to hide they would become trees. There were two trees, one beside the other one, so that when there was wind their leaves could caress one another.

They lived like that but the evil goddess kept up her search and sent out her light devouring stars and finally they found them. The evil goddess came down and there was a big fight in which Mayahuel was killed. Quetzalcoatl, when he found that out, he was very, very mad and of course very, very sad. So he buried the remains of his lover, flew to the sky and killed the evil goddess.

So the light came back to the earth. But he had lost a loved one. Every night he would go to her grave and cry and cry. The other gods saw this and thought they should do something for him. In the burial site a plant began to grow and they would give special properties to that particular plant. They were going to give it some hallucinogenic properties which would comfort the soul of Quetzalcoatl. From then on he could drink the elixir that came from that plant and have comfort.

That is how the Nahuatl believed that the agave came to be and the properties we now find in tequila to comfort the soul of those who have lost someone dear to their hearts.

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