Hi everyone! Here is my part two of Erika’s Romantic Tuesday challenge. The folktale I’m writing about includes the Aztec princess, Itzaccihuatl and the Aztec warrior, Popocteptl. The story somewhat resembles “Romeo and Juliet.” Throughout the centuries, different versions of the story have been told.
In order to marry his daughter, Itza’s father makes Popo go to war. Her father doesn’t think he’ll survive so he lines up other suitors for Itza. Itza only loves Popo and doesn’t want to marry anyone else. When she finds out what her father has done, she kills herself with a dagger. When Popo returns from war and discovers Itza is dead, he takes her to the top of a mountain. He hopes the cold air will eventually wake her up. Instead, he ends up freezing to death.
God covers the two with snow. The two become volcanic mountains in present day Mexico. Itza’s volcanic mountain is called “La Mujer Dormida” (the sleeping woman). It resembles a woman sleeping on her back. Popo’s volcano was called the volcano Popocteptl. Whenever the volcano erupts, it symbolizes Popo crying for his beloved Itza. The story is told by the Nahua peoples from different regions in Mexico and El Salvador. Various poems and songs are also used to tell the story.
The painting above, “The Legend of the Volcanoes” was originally created by Mexican artist Jesus Helguera in 1940. Throughout the years, the painting has been duplicated by hundreds, if not thousands of artists worldwide. According to Mexico Art, it was reprinted in mass quantities throughout Mexico and the U.S. The painting was mostly included on calendars. Helguera’s art is on display at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.