The ancient peoples of Mesoamerica enriched their opulent tlatollotl (history) with numerous mythical stories, often related to cocoa. Cocoa was considered the favorite food of the gods. Moreover, according to the myth, the god Quetzalcoatl gave cocoa to people. Precisely because of its divine origin, cocoa was often used when performing religious rituals.
One of the most beautiful mythological stories in the history of chocolate has further anchored the role of cocoa in the Indian religion, in which the protagonist is the chocolate goddess Ixcacao:
“Once upon a time, at the dawn of the 5th age of men, the goddess of chocolate, Ixcacao, arrived on Earth. Walking among men, she listened to their suffering, and provided them with food, abundance and wisdom. Women at that time were pillars of society: they cared on agriculture and the family. However, change soon came. The society became more complex, kings appeared, who together with the patriarchal elite took control of the society. They expelled Ixcacao from the field, and forced her to marry the god of trade, Ek Chuaha. then it became money. Chocolate was forbidden to women and children, and it became the exclusive privilege of kings, warriors, and gods. Ordinary people became unhappy and hungry again. Ixcacao sympathized with their grief, especially with those who became human sacrifices to the sun god. She gave these victims chocolate for strength, on their way to the place of sacrifice, on a large mountain.
One year, as the ritual approached, she wondered if she could still watch so many human sacrifices. Then the goddess of love, Huitaca, appeared to her, offering her help in restoring human happiness. They made an alliance. Ixcacao thus taught all people to prepare a love potion of chocolate. Thus, cocoa brought people love, passion and lust. Soon the god Quetzalcoatl returned to the capital and, sacrificing his life, ended human sacrifices to the sun god (at least temporarily). Huitaca then, as a token of gratitude, showered Ixcacao with white flowers. Ixcacao has since become a goddess of fertility, love, and passion. People became satisfied again and did everything with love. ”
The Indian peoples, moved by this story, have faithfully worshiped this chocolate goddess for centuries. They made special figurines in her honor, like the one in the picture. The Chocolate Museum Zagreb proudly preserves one such original specimen, offering visitors this interesting story about the chocolate goddess.
Martina Hukavec Vlašić, mag. hist., 25.05.2021
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