In Aztec mythology, Chantico ("she who dwells in the house") was the goddess of fires in the family hearth and volcanoes.
She broke a fast by eating paprika with roasted fish, and was turned into a dog by Tonacatecuhtli as punishment because paprika is a banned food in such fast breaking customs. She also takes the form of a red snake.
Red is the dominant color of both Chantico’s clothes and her face. Red lines appears on her yellow face, red paint covers her mouth, and a red shirt and headdress make up the chief elements of her attire. Chantico’s headdress displays military attributes: a crown of poisonous cactus spikes, related to danger and aggression; a crest of aztaxelli, green warrior’s feathers, connecting her with warfare. At the nape of her neck is a band that forms the alt-tlachinolli, or water-fire, a symbol for warfare and pestilence. From her head flows a stream of blue water intertwined with red fire. Chantico possesses both masculine and feminine qualities. She wears a man’s loincloth, bordered with eagle feathers, in addition to a female’s skirt, which is black and decorated with bundles of white down feathers. Her earrings are fashioned from circular, trapezoidal, and triangular forms. Chantico also wears a skull back-buckle. According to the Codex Vaticanus A, Tonacatecuhtli turned her into a dog when she broke fast during a religious celebration by eating roasted fish and paprika. She is seen with the teeth of a dog. In some manuscripts, she wears a turquoise nose ornament.
- Kroger, J., and Patrizia Granziera. Aztec Goddesses and Christian Madonnas: Images of Divine Feminine in Mexico. Surrey (Reino Unido): Ashgate, 2012. Print.