Tag Archives: #volcano

The Story of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl


The informant tells of a story she learned about in Mexico through the almanacs or calendars. It featured a picture of a warrior carrying the dead body of a beautiful woman. Both were covered in Aztec cultural dress such as the feathered headgear for the warrior and the woman in a white dress. She was curious as to what it featured so she asked her grandparents. Then they told her of the story of Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl.


The informant states that the story of  Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl follows a war that ensued with the Aztec kingdom. Her grandparents told her that the chief of the Aztecs had a daughter born as beautiful as her mother and named her Iztaccihuatl. She eventually fell in love with Popocateptl, the most handsome warrior, but her father would not allow them to marry. The war began and the chief promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to the warrior if he brought the enemy chief’s head back to him. After many months of the war, a warrior among Popocateptl deceived the chief of the Aztecs by sending a false message stating that they had won the war but that Popocateptl had died. This was obviously false, but when the news reached Iztaccihuatl that he had died, she could not stop crying and died of sadness. As they prepared her funeral, Popocateptl returned from war victorious and found out about his love’s death. He had the warrior who sent the false message killed and took Iztaccihuatl’s body, leaving the city. He walked a long way until he got to some mountains, where he decorated her body with flowers. He knelt down over her body and died of sadness too. The Aztec gods witnessed this love story and converted their bodies into volcanoes. This story is known to the informant as “Amor Eterno” which means “Eternal Love”.


The story resembles the story of Romeo and Juliet as it is denied love which results in a conflict leading to the male’s supposed death. This trick makes the female want to die as she no longer has her love by her side. When the male returns and finds his love dead in his arms, he dies as well to be by her side. This also reflects certain values that are highlighted in Aztec culture such as war and sacrifice. Sacrifice because after the God’s witnessed Popocateptl’s sacrifice, they knew they would honor them both. Additionally, the chief was only willing to give his daughter’s hand in marriage if the warrior helped them win the war