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The Quetzal, a symbol of patriotism

Published: 2016.03.12 - 11:37:51   /  luis.amador@renciclopedia.icrt.cu  /  Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez
  

The Quetzal, a symbol of patriotism There is a bird in Central America that when taken out of its country, saddens and dies. Tradition has consecrated it as a symbol of patriotism, and it is on the coat of arms and flag of Guatemala. The Quetzal, as it is called, is the sacred bird of the Americas.

Its plumage is very soft with beautiful iridescent colors, where green and red predominate. Its tail is long and is decorated with a small crest and delicate feathers on top of the head. It was worshiped as an idol by the original inhabitants of Mexico and Guatemala: the Aztecs and Mayans.

A Quiché Mayan legend tells that a tree sprang from the spoil of some blue butterflies and the Quetzal, radiant and beautiful as a sign of domination and power, appeared on its highest branch. Its name among Aboriginal people is Emerald.

Another curiosity: Legend has it that in a primitive Mexican village, the Toltec, the Quetzal rose from the ashes of a divine monarch named Quetzalcoatl, who was burned in the character of Orizaba to purify his soul, which was transformed into a beautiful and divine bird: the Quetzal. (By Juan Blas Rodríguez)

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