Tezcatlipoca was held to be the highest of these, and at the festival of all the gods his footsteps were expected to appear in the flour strewn to receive this sign of their coming.
As is related in the legends, Quetzalcoatl came into the land to teach men to till the soil, to work metals and to rule a well-ordered state; the two gods played their famous match at the ball-game, and Tezcatlipoca persuaded the weary Quetzalcoatl to drink the magic pulque that sent him roaming to the distant ocean, where he embarked in his boat and disappeared from among men.'
For the great festival of Tezcatlipoca, the handsomest and noblest of the captives of the year had been chosen as the incarnate representative of the god, and paraded the streets for public adoration dressed in an embroidered mantle with feathers and garlands on his head and a retinue like a king; for the last month they married him to four girls representing four goddesses; on the last day wives and pages escorted him to the little temple of Tlacochcalco, where he mounted the stairs, breaking an earthenware flute against each step; this was a symbolic farewell to the joys of the world, for as he reached the top he was seized by the priests, his heart torn out and held up to the sun, his head spitted on the tzompantli, and his body eaten as sacred food, the people drawing from his fate the moral lesson that riches and pleasure may turn into poverty and sorrow.
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