Americas,  ER,  Mexico

Huixtocihuatl-  Goddess of Salt

Salt has been a source of wealth since ancient times.  The human body must have some form of salt to survive and before the advent of refrigeration it was one of the main ways to preserve food.  Salt was associated with sex and fertility as well for some reason, which has proved fodder for psychoanalysts.  So as a source of wealth and sex, it is natural salt had its own deity.  The Aztecs were no exception.

Huixtocihuatl was a fertility goddess who was patron of salt and salt waters.  She was also the patroness of salt making and the discoverer of salt itself.  Huixtocihuatl was the older sister of the Tlaloques, the Aztec rain gods.  The most important of these was Tlaloc, the Lord of the Celestial Waters.  Legend has it Huixtocihuatl was in a heated argument with the Tlaloques, and they tried to drown her in salt water.  That was how she made her discovery.  Her appearance is described as ears of gold wearing yellow clothes and a fishnet skirt.  She carried a shield which was trimmed with the feathers of various birds and had a picture of a water lily on it.  She wears gold bells around her ankles and carried a cane topped by incense filled paper flowers.

In the seventh month of the Aztec year, a ten day festival dedicated to Huixtocihuatl was held.  A girl was chosen to represent Huixtocihuatl and she danced with women who made salt for ten days.  They paired off holding ropes and dancing and singing hymns.  On the tenth day of the festival, two slaves were killed then the girl representing  Huixtocihuatl was sacrificed.