Fifth World


Title: The Fifth World
Tribe: Toltec
Region: Central America
Object: Sun, Earth

Five worlds and five suns were created, one after the other. The first world was destroyed because it's people acted wrongfully. They were eaten by ocelots and the sun destroyed. The second sun saw it's people turned into monkeys due to lack of wisdom. The third sun had it's world destroyed by fire, earthquakes, and volcanoes because the people didn't make sacrifices to the gods. The fourth world perished in a flood that also drowned it's sun. Before creating the fifth world, our world, the gods met in the darkness to see who would have the honor of igniting the fifth sun. Tecciztecatl volunteered. The gods built a big fire on top of a pyramid and the volunteer prepared to throw himself into the flames. He was dressed in beautiful hummingbird feathers, and gold and turquoise. Four times he tried to force himself into the suicidal fire but each time his fear drove him back. Then the lowliest of all the gods, Nanautzin, dressed in humble reeds, threw himself into the fire. Teccitztecatl was so ashamed that he too jumped into the fire. The new sun rose into the sky giving light to the fifth world.


Background was created by Brad Snowder of the Western Washington University Planetarium .
Legend from Starlore of Native America, assembled by Brad Snowder. Used with permission.

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