Movies & TV Shows

10 Mythological Facts About Kukulkan

The highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever just released its latest official trailer and needless to say, it is captivating, astonishing, and even emotional. By the looks of it, Wakanda Forever may be one of the most artistic films of the MCU yet and fans can’t wait for it to be released November 11th, 2022.

The original Black Panther had a beautiful and jaw-dropping artistic influence from Africa’s cultures and it looks like its next film will follow that tradition and will be heavily inspired by other outstanding cultures of Mesoamerica. Namor will be introduced to the MCU as the serpent god Kukulkan, one of the most important gods of mesoamerican mythology. Namor may be a fictional mutant, but Kukulkan was a real mythological character that defined entire civilizations, and there is a lot to know about it.


Kukulkan’s Iconography

Kukulkan is a feather serpent deity whose origins are almost untraceable, however, it appears in many cultures’ books, temples, sculptures, and paintings. In most of its depictions, its shown as a green feathered serpent and has a big mouth and teeth.

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In other depictions, it is shown as a mix between a feathered serpent and a man, which was clearly taken as inspiration for Namor’s feathered helmet. Given it’s one of the most characteristic and important gods of Mesoamerica, it’s gratifying to see the MCU adopting other mythologies that deviate from the very well-known and overused Caucasian ones.

The Mesoamerican Interpretation

Many different prehispanic cultures worshipped Kukulkan. Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs, and Olmecs were part of the multiple civilizations that did, to name a few. Although there are theories, it is still unknown where Kukulkan first appeared, and it is much less known how its figure spread between cultures, but he could be as ancient as humanity itself.

One of its most relevant and solid appearances is in the Popol Vuh, an ancient and sacred Mayan book that could be easily considered one of the most important mythology books that would make great movies. At last, someone noticed how interesting Kukulkan is and decided to introduce it in the MCU, and if Namor makes justice to this fascinating creature, Wakanda Forever will for sure be amazing.

It Has Different Names

Given that many cultures worshipped it, it had multiple names. Namor will be named after its Yucatecan Mayan name, which is Kukulkan, but for the Aztecs, its name was Quetzalcoatl. For the Mayans of Guatemala, it was Gucumatz; and for the Mixtecs, it was Coo Dzahui.

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Its many names prove how long Kukulkan’s presence has been in human history, which fits perfectly with Namor’s story. The mutant of Atlantis may appear in the MCU as one of the very first mutants ever, and Kukulkan was one of the first gods ever registered in Mesoamerica. Undeniably, the match and comparison are ideal.

Ehécatl Or The Ability To FlyNamor flies in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

One of the biggest reveals from the Wakanda Forever trailer was Namor’s ability to fly. Kukulkan had the same gift in many of its depictions, therefore it has multiple feathers. However, the Aztecs differentiated the serpent that flies from the one that sticks to the ground and named this aspect of Quetzalcoatl, Ehecatl.

Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl is the deity that represents Quetzalcoatl’s control of the wind, and Namor has a somewhat similar ability, which could easily make people in the MCU universe confuse him with the god. Namor’s comic-accurate wings on its feet were greatly appreciated by fans, but their link to Kukulkan’s ability to fly is just as cherished.

GucumatzBlack Panther Wakanda Forever Namor Tenoch Huerta

Gucumatz was Kukulkan’s name for Guatemaltecan Maya Quiches, and it is the one that appears in the sacred book Popol Vuh as one of the gods that created the world. If Wakanda Forever follows this premise, it’s safe to say that Kukulkan will be as strong as the most powerful Asgardian gods in the MCU.

However, it is unlikely Namor will be as powerful as the ancient god and will just share some of its features. After all, it will be difficult for any MCU character to face a god of creation, although maybe Shuri’s intellect has what it takes.

Kukulkan’s PurposeNamor sits on his throne in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

It’s clear why Kukulkan was chosen as one of the gods who joined the MCU next as its relevant and fascinating backstory is enough for any fantasy movie to include its figure. However, there are many elements that make it befitting of Namor’s qualities and vice-versa.

In spite of its feathered body, in some cultures, Kukulkan is referred to as a water god. In other depictions, it imparted to humanity its knowledge and taught them about war. Namor easily fits those characteristics. After all, he is an Atlantean who can survive underwater and a warrior who defends his people.

Kukulkan’s Temple Is Chichén ItzáChichen Itza Pyramid

Only an important god like Kukulkan could have a temple in what is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Chichén Itzá is an archeological site located in Yucatan, and its most popular and jaw-dropping pyramid is Kukulkan’s temple.

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Namor doesn’t seem to have anything like it in the upcoming Black Panther 2, but it stands as a real-world reminder of how important its deity was for prehispanic civilizations, and how much Namor should be feared for being compared to it.

Kukulkan Slides Down The Temple Every Autumn EquinoxChichen Itza Equinox Kukulkan

The most important event that happens in Kukulkan’s Temple in Chichén Itzá occurs only during the Autumn Equinox, and it’s celebrated and witnessed to this day. When the sun perfectly aligns with one of the pyramid’s sides, a shadow covers the temple’s staircase in such a way that a serpent can be seen sliding down and meeting Kukulkan’s head at the bottom.

It’s undeniably impressive how prehispanic cultures had such vast knowledge of architecture and astrology that this amazing spectacle was achieved. Although is highly unlikely this place and event will be referenced in Wakanda Forever, this attention to detail within Namor’s underwater structures and scenarios would be a great addition to the film.

Man And God

Although in most times Kukulcan is depicted as a feathered serpent, as was said before, it was sometimes depicted as a man (that usually emerges from this creature). This – among other records that mention an individual that shares the name of the god – led historians to believe and question if there was a real person who performed great deeds and later on was misinterpreted as the serpent deity.

Namor seems to play with this question, as he is a man with supernatural powers and abilities that make him be worshipped as the serpent god, which is the most interesting and wholesome approach the MCU could have taken on this real-life historical enigma.

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