Xipe Totec

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Xipe Totec was the Aztec god of spring, of new vegetation and sacrifice; also the patron god of goldsmiths. The statues of Xipe Totec show him wearing a freshly flayed skin; this god wears the skin of human victim as a symbol of the new vegetation. The name means literally "Our Lord who is Flayed".

In his honor, each year in the beginning of spring, human prisoners were sacrificed to him. Priests killed victims by arrows, removed their hearts and flayed the bodies; sometimes the victims were alive when they were flayed.

Aztecs adopted Xipe Totec during the reign of their Emperor Axayacatl (1469-81). Teotihuacán, Zapotec, Huaxtec and Totonac also had this god for hundreds of years.

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