For the Aztecs, who flourished in the lands that are now Mexico and Guatemala, feather-working was considered a higher status occupation than gold-working, and the rarest feathers, including the iridescent green feathers of the quetzal bird
, were reserved for the Aztec emperor himself.
In the sedges and reeds of Chaleo is the house of the gods, where day and night a thrush trills, shining, while the petaled water stretches out among the flowers, and there the quetzal bird
sings too as the intoxicating
Top right, a Quetzal bird
. Right, an Australian Paradise Parrot - the species is now extinct PICTURES: GAVIN TRAFFORD
poem, Xochiquetzal ("flowery quetzal bird
Show students pictures of the quetzal bird
(www.mayanmajix.com/quetzal.html) and the black diamond rattlesnake (srelherp.uga.edu/SPARC/trip17.htm), the two creatures Quetzacoatl comprises.
A young girl named Bella loves chocolate; curious to learn more about it, she uses a magical pendant to call her friend, a beautiful and magical Quetzal bird
. The Quetzal bird
takes her to visit the Ghana countryside in West Africa, where she helps the local children harvest chocolate--collecting fruit, opening its pods, scooping out the pulp, gathering the cocoa beans, leaving them covered with banana leaves for a week, finally drying them in the sun and packing them in sacks.
In contrast, the court rejected the plaintiffs' First Amendment religion claims against 1) the Ganesha story activity (no purpose or effect of enhancing or inhibiting religion; lack of coercive pressures), 2) the crystal rocks presentation (lecturer did not teach the students that the rocks had occult or supernatural powers), 3) the Buddha and Quetzalcoatl activities (lack of promotion of religion; quetzal bird
, unlike Ganesha, not a religious symbol), 4) the "messed-up" poems (no promotion or disparagement of religion, although "very poor poetry"), 5) Rev.