Multi-Layered Mesoamerican Universe?

Tamoanchan Tree
Four trees at the Cardinal Directions
Diagram of Dante's Divine Comedy
Diagram of Dante's Divine Comedy

The multi-layered universe of the Mesoamerian culture has been taught and appears in books as if it has been proven. Jesper Nielsen’s article Dante’s heritage: questioning the multi-layered model of the Mesoamerican universe questions this notion.

It appears the pre-conquest model of the universe was of the cardinal directions, the center, the upper world and Underworld thus making for a three tiered universe. The different levels were divided into different regions and on each of the levels these different regions correspond to the four cardinal directions.

The number nine is prominent. It is represented by a god in the center and two gods at each of the four cardinal directions. These added up equal nine.

After the conquest, it appears there was a mixture of the cosmological ideas from Dante’s The Divine Comedy brought by the Franciscan friars with the ideas of the native Indian’s resulting in a skewed view of their universe which is how it is taught now and not seriously questioned.

The full article can be viewed at the following link.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply