the god of the Great Bear constellation
and of the night sky.
Tezcatlipoca's animal disguise, was the jaguar, the
spotted skin of which was compared to the starry sky.
Tezcatlipoca was usually drawn with a
stripe of black paint across his face and an obsidian (black glass ) mirror in place of
one of his feet (his name means Smoking Mirror).
Sometimes drawings show Tezcatlipoca
with his mirror on his chest.
In it he saw everything, he knew all the
deeds and thoughts of men.
He was said to appear at crossroads at night to challenge warriors.
He presided over the telpochcalli
("young men's houses"), district schools in which the sons of the common people
received an education and military training.
He was the protector of slaves, he
severely punished masters who ill-treated "Tezcatlipoca's beloved children." He
rewarded goodness by giving riches and fame, and he punished wrongdoers by sending them
sickness (e.g. leprosy) or by giving them poverty and slavery.
Every year, during the
fifth month, the priest selected a young and handsome war prisoner. For one year he lived
in princely luxury, pretending to be the god. Four beautiful girls dressed as goddesses
were chosen as his companions. On the appointed feast day he climbed the steps of a small
temple while breaking flutes that he had played. At the top he was sacrificed by the
removal of his heart! What a price to pay!