The World and Man have been created several limes, according to the Aztecs, and each creation has been followed by a cataclysm that has destroyed mankind.

The last time man was created, according to one ot tile myths preserved by Mendieta [Jerfonimo de Mendieta (1525-1604), a Franciscan friar, born in Vitoria, Spain. He came to Mexico in 1554, learned the native Indian languages, and became one of the great defenders of the Indians. He wrote his Historia Eclesiastica Indiana in 1596 or 1597; it was not published until 1870, in Mexico], Quetzalcoatl, the Mexican Prometheus, the beneficent god of all mankind, descended to the world of the dead to gather up the bones of past generations, and, sprinkling them with his own blood, created a new humanity.

Since man was created by the sacrifice of the gods, he must reciprocate by offering them his own blood in sacrifice. Human sacrifice was essential in Aztec religion, for if man could not exist except through the creative force of the gods, the latter in turn needed man to sustain them with human sacrifice. Man must nourish the gods with the magic sustenance of life itself, found in human blood and in the human heart.