Biography Of American Actor Seth Macfarlane Essay Example

Seth MacFarlane A native of Kent, Connecticut, MacFarlane is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied animation, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. He was an animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera for several television shows, including Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and Dexter’s Laboratory, before creating his own series for 20th Century Fox entitled Family Guy in 1999. MacFarlane would go on to co-create American Dad! in 2005, The Winner in 2007 and The Cleveland Show in 2009 for 20th Century Fox.

As an actor, he has made guest appearances on shows such as Gilmore Girls, The War at Home and FlashForward. MacFarlane’s interest in science fiction and fantasy has led to cameo and guest appearances on Star Trek: Enterprise and voicing the character of Johann Kraus in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. In 2008, he created his own YouTube series entitled Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. As a performer, MacFarlane has sung at several venues, including Carnegie and Royal Albert Hall.

MacFarlane has won several awards for his work on Family Guy, including two Primetime Emmy Awards, and an Annie Award. In 2009, he won the Webby Award for Film & Video Person of the Year. He has been a subject of criticism from television watchdog groups, such as the Parents Television Council, who regularly condemn Family Guy for its indecency. He occasionally speaks at universities and colleges throughout the United States, and is an outspoken supporter of gay rights, atheism, and the legalization of marijuana.

During his childhood, MacFarlane developed an interest in illustration and began drawing cartoon characters Fred Flintstone and Woody Woodpecker, as early as two years old. By the age of five, MacFarlane knew that he would want to pursue a career in animation, and began by creating flip books, after his parents found a book on the subject. Four years later, at nine, MacFarlane began publishing a weekly comic strip entitled “Walter Crouton” for The Kent Good Times Dispatch, the local newspaper in Kent, Connecticut, which paid him five dollars per week.

As a student at Rhode Island School of Design, he had originally intended to work for The Walt Disney Company, but changed his mind upon graduating. At RISD, MacFarlane created a series of independent films, eventually meeting future Family Guy cast member Mike Henry, whose brother was MacFarlane’s classmate. His senior year at RISD, MacFarlane created a thesis film entitled The Life of Larry, which would eventually become the inspiration for Family Guy. MacFarlane’s professor submitted his film to the animation studio Hanna-Barbera, where he was later hired.

At Hanna-Barbera, MacFarlane worked as an animator and writer for Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Cartoons series. He also worked as a writer and storyboard artist on Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and Dexter’s Laboratory. MacFarlane also created and wrote a short titled “Zoomates” for Frederator Studios’ Oh Yeah! Cartoons on Nickelodeon. In 1996, MacFarlane created a sequel to The Life of Larry entitled Larry and Steve, which features a middle-aged character named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve. The short was broadcast as one of Cartoon Network’s World Premiere Toons.

Executives at Fox saw both Larry shorts and contracted MacFarlane to create a series based on the characters, to be called Family Guy. At 24, MacFarlane was television’s youngest executive producer. Fox proposed MacFarlane complete a 15-minute short, giving him a budget of $50,000. MacFarlane stated that the pilot for Family Guy took half a year to create and produce. Recalling the experience in an interview with The New York Times, MacFarlane stated, “I spent about six months with no sleep and no life, just drawing like crazy in my kitchen and doing this pilot. Bolstered by high DVD sales and established fan loyalty, Family Guy developed into a $1 billion franchise. On May 4, 2008, after approximately two and a half years of negotiations, MacFarlane reached a $100 million agreement with Fox to keep Family Guy and American Dad until 2012. The agreement makes him the world’s highest paid television writer. There are some aspects of the show(s) that I don’t entirely enjoy though. Some of the scenes are repeated way too much and even though funny the first or second time, after the third, fourth, etc. times they do get a bit repetitive.

The Nature Of Conflict In Project-Based Teams

Final Research Paper THE NATURE OF CONFLICT IN PROJECT-BASED TEAMS Northeastern University College of Professional Studies LDR 6110- Leading Teams Fall Term Professor Julia Ivy December 5, 2012 Anh Do, Yishan Chen, Zhu Pinchun Huang, Steven Miller, Yajing Xu, Hana Zhang, Bowen Zheng INTRODUCTION: Our topic on conflict was inspired by the experiences we shared as a team in course LDR 6110- Leading Teams. At the start of the course, we were randomly broken up into teams. The demographics of our class are such that majority of the students are from foreign countries.

In preparing our presentation for our class, we researched the topic of conflict, power and decision making. However, the topic of conflict we found to be the most fundamental and crucial to understand in its own right to better understand the dynamics of power and decision making. Levi (2011, Chapter 7) makes it very clear on the outset that conflict is not all bad and in fact has dimensions that are quite healthy. The fear of conflict, and more so its avoidance for the sake of conformity and preserving the cohesiveness of the group, can lead to the team being resistant to creativity and outside input (Nemeth & Staw, 1989, in Levi, pg)

The healthy and unhealthy components of conflict contributed to a better understanding of our challenges and using conflict as a springboard for greater productivity in our group. This was something we discovered only midway through our team on a five week course. One reason for this is the fact that we had very little time to form as a team. In addition, our team projects forces us to go through stages of Storming (conflict), Norming (establishing rules and responsibilities), and Performing (completing our task) (Tuckman & Jenson, 1977 in Levi, pg. 40) rather quickly.

Our seven-person team is made up of the following nationalities: American, Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese. The combination of our different cultures, languages, communication and interfacing barriers, and having one older and more experienced member, made for quite a learning experience for all members in terms of leadership and team development. Inspired by the dynamics of our team, we wanted to explore the nature and patters conflicts within similar teams here at Northeastern to see what aspects of the issues we underwent as a team were found in other teams on campus.

We divided clear tasks amongst our team to suit the strengths of each member, identified clear goals and created a reasonable time frame by which each stage of our research and presentation needs to be completed. Even in the collaboration and preparation of this paper, we underwent both healthy and unhealthy aspects of conflict making this study very much alive for each of us individually and collectively as a unit. HYPTHESIS: We predicted that the nature of conflict we found in our team and in the teams we study will fall into similar categories and within the categories discussed in class (Levi, 2011 pg. 14 ). Although we experienced many of these conflicts as a team, and even came to resolve some of them, the nature of our conflicts should correspond to the teams we study. LITERATURE REVIEW: In reviewing the research for our topic, we focused on two areas that address conflict in teams: Causes of Conflict and Approaches to Conflict Resolution. Reasons for Conflict (Wendy) We, as human beings, have our own characteristics. And so does conflict. In team settings especially, we need to understand the role and opportunity that conflict brings.

When conflict is understood, it is easier to find approaches to predict it, prevent it, transform it, and resolve it. Putnam (1988, p. 552) defines conflict as “the interaction of interdependent people who perceive opposition of goals, aims, and values, and who see the other party as potentially interfering with the realization of these goals. ” With this definition, conflict is viewed as a process in which one side senses that its own rights are being confronted or negatively affected by another side. Conflict has been researched since the 1960s and the research has developed over time.

In the beginning, conflict had a negative connotation and was viewed as something to avoid. In the 1970s, conflict research shifted slightly and was seen as more manageable. Nowadays, most research emphasizes the value that conflict can bring to a team. (Putnam, 1988, p. 295-p. 300) I terms of the cause of conflict, Friedman, Tidd, Currall, and Tsai (2000) suggest that “conflict occurs through the communication of a variety of issues including differences of opinion, procedural problems, and disagreements over approaches to work oriented tasks. (PG. # ) James and Ronda (1995) suggest two factors that contribute to conflict; individual characteristics, such as different blood type, personal attitudes, and varied cultures, and interpersonal factors, such as perception of others, communication, behaviors, structures, and previous interactions. (PG. # ) Finally, as mentioned above, Levi (2011) divides the causes of conflict into healthy and unhealthy dimensions. The healthy dimensions include focusing on tasks and legitimate differences of opinion, values and expectations.

Unhealthy conflict include issues of power, conflict in team goals, poorly run meetings, faulty communication and personal grudges against other team members. PINKY- WHERE IS THE ARTICLE/SURVEY BY BRUSKO THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR REFERENCES Approaches to Conflict Resolution (Paris) People can generate different solutions for the conflict they encounter. However, authors have classified the behaviors which people possess when facing conflict into five styles. According to Rahim (2011, p. 26), in 1940, Mary P.

Follett was the first to introduce the five styles of handling conflict. At that time, Follett ranked those five styles by main and secondary ways of handling conflict. The main ways include domination, compromise and integration while the secondary ways include avoidance and suppression. In 1979, Rahim and Bonoma arranged the five styles into the two dimensions: concern for self and concern for others (Rahim, 2011, p. 27). Below are the five approaches to conflict resolution in further detail. Avoidance: According to Levi (2011, pg. 19), avoidance is when people ignore the problem and act like there is no problem. They also retreat from the situation both physically and psychologically (Olekalns, Putnam, Weingart and Metcalf edited by De Dreu, 2008). Rahim (2011) adds that people who possess this style of handling conflict reveal low concern towards both the problem and parties involved. Hence, they will neither satisfy their own concerns nor those of others. One example of avoidance is when members in a team want to keep good relationships; they avoid and ignore the fact that there is an issue.

It is common in teams that if the team members are friends after work or class, that members are less likely to want conflict to negatively affect their friendship. Levi adds that avoidance is also a hope that the issue will disappear on its own, otherwise knows as the ‘cappuccino effect. ’ Accommodation: People who use the accommodation approach to conflict possess a high level of cooperation and a low level of assertiveness. Different from avoidance, accommodation is when people achieve agreement and maintain the peaceful environment by giving up their own ideas and opinions and agree with others (Levi 2011, p. 19). Rahim (2011, p28) calls this approach ‘obliging style’- as one party puts their own self-concern lower than the concern for others in order to satisfy the other party. An example of this style is when there is a hostile member or a member who dominates the team, the other team members tend to agree to keep an amiable environment. Confrontation: This style is called the dominating style by Rahim (2011). If accommodation is when a party give up on its opinion easily, confrontation refers to when a person is aggressive and stands firm to win the conflict.

Using the confrontation style, people are assertive about their concern and have low cooperation to satisfy the concerns of others. According to Levi (2011, p. 119), for these people, winning the conflict is more important than having the right decision as a team. Agreeing with Levi, Rahim (2011,p. 28) adds that dominating members use their power to impose their ideas or opinions upon others. However, confrontation is not necessarily a dictatorial style. In some cases, people who stand up or defend for the side that they think it right are expressing more of a confrontation style. Rahim 2011, p. 28) In the five modes for handling the conflicts from Blake and Mouton (1964, cited by Schwalbe, 2010, p. 239), confrontation is considered the best approach for team members if all members adopt this style. It empowers each member to find the best solution for the conflict. Collaboration: Collaboration is the ideal style of handling conflict, as the team members possess high level of assertiveness as well as cooperativeness, which means they have a concern both for themselves and others. Levi (2011,p. 119) stresses that this solution satisfies both sides with mutual respect.

In Rahim’s book, Managing Conflict in Organizations, he mentions that the integrating style is described as having the same features as collaboration. Using this style, both parties have the space to view the issue from multiple perspectives. This in turn helps them generate a solution that will go beyond the limited vision of each side (Gray, 1989, cited by Rahim 2011, p. 28). This style promotes greater creativity, commitment and relationship among members. (Pruitt, 1986, pg. ) Compromise: People who compromise have medium level of self-concern and concern about others.

In the compromising approach, each member ‘gives in’ to bring about a solution (Levi, 2011 pg. 118). Both sides look for decisions that bring mutual benefit (Rahim 2011, p. 29). There is no winner or loser if members adopt this style as both sides involved in the conflict can have benefit from the concessions of the other parties. According to Schwalbe (2010, p. 240), compromising is effective when the issue and relationship between two parties are of medium importance. However, Pruitt (1983) notes that compromise style is a “lazy” approach in which both parties give half effort to satisfy the interest of the other party.

TABLE 1. 5 below shows the above described approaches to conflict based on the assertiveness or cooperativeness of the group. TABLE 1. 5 (Thomas, 1976 cited by Levi, 2011, pg. 118) METHOD: We created a survey in the form of a questionnaire for student teams on campus that addressed the make up of their teams and conflicts they have experienced (SEE APPENDIX A). The matrices of the questionnaire were based on Levi’s (2011, pg…. ) Causes of Conflict. We also drew upon research in the area of conflict that are included in the Literature Review section.

In addition, we brainstormed other questions that we felt would give us information that would help find patterns and better understand conflict in teams. In the end, we trimmed 25 questions down to seven that would help us identify patterns and analyze the factors that would significantly contribute to any conflicts. Our primary source of information and analysis was provided by the responses to the questionnaires. The data was collected based on one-on-one interviews with students who were chosen randomly at Northeastern. Three members of our team approached over 60 teams on campus of which 40 agreed to be interviewed.

We anticipated that teams would not want to take out of their focused time as a group, so we kept the questionnaire to seven questions which would take an average of two minutes to administer. As a team, each of us also answered the questionnaire to see how our responses would compare with those of other teams. Our primary focus was to identify patterns in causes of conflict. Secondary was to analyze, albeit in less depth due to the nature of our project, how teams went about resolving their conflicts. Our research employed both quantitative and qualitative measures.

The quantitative sources were the numbers of the teams who we interviewed and who shared their conflicts. From these 40 teams, we were able to analyze the nature of their conflicts and how the teams went about resolving their conflicts. The qualitative sources are based on the open-ended questions in the questionnaire. Their candid responses were not only the source of data we compiled, but also gave us a glimpse of the ‘story’ behind some of the conflicts. We believe this contributed towards our research being more true to life, and hopefully more helpful to us as a team and for further study.

All teams surveyed were short-term teams, between 4-10 weeks and had between 3-8 members. In addition, they were told that they and their responses will be kept anonymous. FINDINGS: We choose to highlight the four most significant causes of conflict in both our own team and in teams we surveyed based on the responses we collected. The causes of conflict in our own team were: a- the initial assumptions we made about one another, b- the skills and ability of each members were unclear, c- the knowledge each person had about the topic and expectations, and d- our communication was hindered due to language barriers.

In analyzing the data from our survey to 40 teams on campus, we found that for the most part, the top four causes of conflict were quite different from our own and included time management as a cause; one not listed in Levi. TABLES 1. 2 shows Levi’s causes of conflict and the significant difference in the top four reasons reported by our team members versus the causes of conflicts we surveyed. TABEL 1. 3 shows the breakdown in percentages for frequency of specific causes of conflict reported in the teams surveyed. TABLE 1. 2 Causes of Conflict| ACT-V| Surveyed Teams| Different Value| | ? | Assumption| ? | Knowledge| ? | | Skills & Ability| ? | | The Way We Brought Up| | | Communication| ? | ? | Expectation| | ? | Time Management| | ? | TABLE 1. 3 Below are several examples and cases of what contributed to the more frequently reported causes in the teams we surveyed. The cases highlighted also reported how that particular team approached resolving their conflict. Communication Issues: Examples of conflicts caused by communication included: * Get everyone on the same page in terms of roles and responsibilities * Group decision and lack of agreement * Team members have too many different opinions People cannot understand each other’s ideas. Different values: Examples of conflicts caused by different values included: * People from different countries have different values and ways of expressing those values * There was much confusion about the acceptance of the ideas of other members An example of conflict caused by differing values was one particular team we surveyed who was to participate in a case study about the financial situation of a company. In the course of analyzing their data and presenting their conclusion, team members had different opinions and found it hard to convince and sway others to their own conclusions.

This conflict of values, caused their team to become unstable and more arguments ensued. One of the team members mentioned that they felt uncomfortable when she participates in meetings and senses a fair amount of negative emotion. In the end, they decided to use the method of voting to decide use which way to analysis the data and give the final conclusion. Another team we studied was made up of members from three cultures- American, Chinese and Japanese. They were chose randomly by their professor at the first class and did not know one another beforehand. Their first team meeting was going well and everyone seemed to enjoy the new group.

However, after several team meetings, the team members became polarized and grew into three independent sub-teams, each from the same country and sharing the same culture. Team members began to keep their discussion to those with their own backgrounds. Their team became more polarized and a lost a sense of healthy cohesion (Levi, 2011, pg. 84). As a solution to their conflict, they confronted their issue through open and direct discussion. Each member then agreed to open communication across all team members. After several weeks, their become more efficient and grew closer as a unit.

The open communication facilitated greater trust and social relations between members (Levi, 2011, pg) Time management Examples of conflicts caused by time management included: * Difficulty finding a time that works for everyone to meet up. * Difficulty to getting in touch with teammates. * Some team members not attending the team meetings. Expectation Examples of conflicts caused by expectations between members included: * Input from all members; Some members have too many wrong ideas, but some members are quite and have no ideas. * Members coming to meetings prepared. * Equal distribution of tasks.

One member of a team we surveyed was a student who worked for a local newspaper. He is part of a multi-cultural team including members from India, Russia and America. This team’s conflict was caused by the fact that team members, in addition to being students, are working as well. Their expectations were that others would cover their responsibilities when needed. This caused increased frustration for those members who were picking up the slack for those who could not see to their roles. This team managed to resolve their conflict in their expectations of one another by building stronger personal relationships between one another.

This facilitated a greater bond and trust, beyond just being teammates, which inspired each person to be more willing to take on greater responsibility when necessary without feeling resentful of others. TABLE 1. 4 below shows how teams went about finding solutions to their conflicts. Solutions range from avoidance- where members ignore or deny the issues in the hopes they will just go away, to collaboration- where both sides of the conflict are considered and the team cooperates to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of all members (Levi, pg 118-119)

TABLE 1. 4 IMPLICATIONS & CONCLUSIONS: COLLECTIVE The process of our working together on a study on the nature of conflict in project-based teams was quite similar to an autobiographical journey. The very issues we were to research and study, were also issues we were experiencing as a newly formed group. Our result of the 40 teams we surveyed turned out to not fully support our hypothesis that what we were experiencing as team would be common of similar teams on campus. Although both we and the teams we surveyed reported collaboration as being he main approach to resolving their conflict, the nature of our conflicts compared to the patterns we surveyed were quite different. We seemed to have shared communications issues as a cause to conflict, but beyond that, we our experienced differed. Where most teams struggled with issues of time management, expectations and differing values as their most common issues, our causes of conflict revolved around the assumptions we made about one another, the knowledge of the task at hand, and whether we had the skills and ability to carry out our roles.

Factors that can contribute to such a discrepancy in our findings could include: a- the fact that many teams did not have enough time to collaborate and further consider their responses as we only had a few minutes with each team, b- the multiple cultures that make up our team versus many of the teams being one main culture (even if that culture was a foreign one), c- the fact that our team had a very strong and experienced leader not commonly found in team on campus. But perhaps there is one more sublime factor that contributed to our team facing very different causes of conflict not commonly found in teams.

And that is the fact that we were studying conflict itself. Upon reflection as a working team, we too had many of the causes we studied in teams, especially differing values and expectations. However, early on we were assigned our topic on conflict. The very exercise of working together on this topic fed directly into our development as team. We found ourselves drawing upon the very topics we were researching and thus identifing the nature of our own conflicts; if they were healthy or not and how our options as to how to go about resolving our issues effectively. We became the very subjects of our own research.

In this respect, our project was truly alive. Our class presentation was a transformative moment in our dynamic as a team. In preparation for our presentation, we spent a significant amount of time outside the class. As Tuckman identifies (in Levi, 2011, pg. 40), we had the time and resolve to go the stages of group development to see each other’s qualities and how they can contribute to our team project. Further research that would be of interest would be to see if there are organizations that actually show how to identify, explain and resolve conflict as part of their initial development as a team.

And if there is a correlation between addressing conflict before teams are forms and how effectively and cohesively those teams function over time. If conflict is not only normal and expected, but also be a tool for greater cohesion and synergy, then perhaps that most effect way to work through it, is to deal with it on day one as a team. LESSONS LEARNED: (Individual) EACH OF US WRITE A PARAGRAPH OR TWO ON WHAT WE LEARNED BY DOING THIS PROJECT ABOUT OURSELVES AS LEADERS, BEING PART OF TEAM AND HOW WE WOULD APPLY THIS TO OUR CARREERS. Steven: Paris Xing: Wendy

Bowen: Hana: APPENDIX A Team Conflict Survey Questionnaire To ask individuals: Hello, I am doing some research on student teams at Northeastern. Are you part of a team in one of your classes? If so, would you have a few minutes to respond to 7 short questions? Your information will be kept anonymous. 1. How long have you been a team? _________________ 2. How many people in your team? _________________ 3. How was your team chosen? ___________________ 4. What is the purpose of your team? ________________________________________________________________________ 5.

Please describe one issue that is challenging for YOU as a team member. ________________________________________________________________________ 6. How did you deal with the issue? ________________________________________________________________________ 7. Does your group have a leader? Yes _____ No_____ REFERENCES Brusko, L. , (2011) Organized Chaos: A Survey of Conflict Management Strategies, Gender Roles, and Status in an Organizational Setting http://www. uwlax. edu/urc/jur-online/PDF/2010/brusko. CST. pdf Friedman, R. A. , Tidd, S. T. , Currall, S. C. & Tsai, J. C. (2000). What goes around comes around: The impact of personal conflict style on work conflict and stress. The International Journal of Conflict Management, 11, 32-55. http://www. stevecurrall. com/pdf/Currall_IJCM_WhatGoesAround. pdf Levi, D. (2011). Group Dynamics for Teams. 3rd ed. California: Sage Publications, Inc. Olekalns, M. , Putnam, L. L. , Weingart, L. R & Metcalf, L. (2008). Communication Process and Conflict Management. In Dreu C. K. W & Gelfand M. (ed. ) The Psychology of Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizations. (pp. 81-113).

New York, NY: Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Putnam, L. L. (1988). Communication and interpersonal conflict in organizations. Management Quarterly, 1, p295-p300 Rahim, M. A (2011). Managing in Conflict Organizations 4th ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers Schwalbe, K. (2010). Revised An Introduction to Project Management, 3rd ed With Brief Guides to Microsoft Project 2010 and @task. Kathy Schwable, LLC. Wall, J. , and Roberts-Collister, R. , 1995, Conflict and Its Management http://www. uk. sagepub. com/fineman/ReadingOn/Chapter08b-WallandCallister. pdf

The Legend Of Quetzalcoatl Short Summary

The Mesoamerican legend of a deity viewed to possess several forms from feathered serpent to human priest-like form is the classic god known as Quetzalcoatl originating from Olmec civilization.

In this paper, the legend is analyzed according to three essential components, namely:

  • symbols of Quetzalcoatl’s imagery
  • contributions of the worship to the cultures involved
  • information imparted to the different cultures that formed part in the worship of the said god.

Quetzalcoatl is initially characterized by a scaly rattlesnake figure with long green feathers from a Quetzal bird forming bird-like serpent figure. Teotihucan culture from the Ancient tribes of Aztec is the known origin of the god’s myth and legendary contexts.

Quetzalcoatl has been acknowledged as a symbolic figure influencing mainly the Latin American cultures most especially the Mexican Chicanos. According to scholarly analysis and Mexican ancient texts (e. g. Codex Telleriano-Remensi, Codex Magliabechiano, etc.), Quetzalcoatl implies several symbolic details ranging from light to human civilization to an earthly human enforced to be a deity. Generally, Quetzalcoatl is acknowledged as the Morning Star giving the identity a significant resemblance to Christian figure known as Lucifer, who also possesses the similar alias. On the other hand, the most concerning contribution of Quetzalcoatl worship to the Olmec tribes is the fact that the culture contributed to the Spanish colonialism brought by Herman Cortes around February 1519. Lastly, the cult of Quetzalcoatl has imparted unique perspectives of creation, heroism, imagery and worship. Currently, modern day worship of Quetzalcoatl has been cited most commonly in the Southern regions of America.

The introductory section states the primary aims o the paper in studying the different symbolisms involved in the legend of Quetzalcoatl. The ancient Aztec deity called Quetzalcoatl originating from the Teotihuacán tribe of the Olmec society is characterized by its long- green feathers derived from a Quetzalli bird and a scaly skinned body of a rattle snake. The deity is religiously worshipped by the Olmec tribe acknowledging the being as a hero destined to bring peace and liberation over their society. In the introductory section, a brief review of the deity’s scriptural account has been provided revealing a unique perspective of creation performed by Quetzalcoatl and acknowledged by the believers of the cult. In the following sections of the paper, the discussion is further subdivided into three subtopics consisting of the imagery of Quetzalcoatl and the symbolisms involved,  historical and social implications of Quetzalcoatl, and the contributions imparted by the legend of Quetzalcoatl to the cultures involved.

Quetzalcoatl is considered as the god of the Aztecs described as a Plumed Serpent god with varying illustrations per culture. The deity is likened to the ancient Mesoamerican figure known as the Celestial dragon with an exception of its feathery wings and snake-body rather than an overall reptilian figure. Being a hybrid of a bird and a reptile, Quetzalcoatl receives two symbolical representations concerning its identity. According to ancient manuscripts, Toltec tribe attaches the wings of a Quetzalli to connote the high and godly characteristics of the creature, while the reptilian body of a rattlesnake known also as a coatl signifies the earthly attributes of the deity. From 300 A.D., the cult of Quetzalcoatl expanded reaching to the southern and eastern areas of Mesoamerican civilization. This section provides different illustrations and symbolisms from across the cultural backgrounds penetrated by the Quetzalcoatl belief. In Mayan civilization, a dualistic opposition between Quetzalcoatl and its rival deity is the center of the legend, while in Xochicalco, the emphasis is on the human origins of Quetzalcoatl. Other versions of the legend suggest different areas portrayed and represented by the ancient Olmec deity, Quetzalcoatl.

History and social implications of the legend to the succeeding tribes influenced by the belief in Quetzalcoatl have led to several significant Mesoamerican events. Historically, the society governed by the priest-kings and ruler, Montezuma II, has always celebrated the return of the deity in a recurring festivity known as Ce Acatl (One Reed). Due to an absolute coincidence, the Spanish invader Herman Cortes together with his allies has landed at Veracruz in February 1519, which is a year after the Ce Acatl of Olmec tribes; hence, giving the natives the wrong notion that the Spaniard was their expected deity. Cortez has utilized the psychological advantage of incident to facilitate his entry in the lands of the Aztecs.

 Following the incident is the religious invasion brought by the Spanish friars. Upon learning the deity worshiped by the members of Quetzalcoatl cult, Spanish attached various Christian figures, such as St. Thomas and Jesus Christ, to the native’s Quetzalcoatl aiming to convince them about the resemblance of the two divine beings.  Following the religious clash is the chronic evolution of the different religious insights of Olmec society, which gradually altered their religious patterns. However, the evangelical aims of the Spaniards are not entirely successful in annihilating the cultural significance of Quetzalcoatl among the Aztec cultural sects. From and Colonial World to the Contemporary times, belief of the Olmec society to Quetzalcoatl has continued enabling significant contributions in the social milieu of Mesoamericans. The divine belief in the nature of Quetzalcoatl as the symbol of light, creation and culture has enabled distinct advancements in the society of Mesoamericans.

The culture of Mesoamerican has been dramatically influenced by the belief in their heroic deity, Quetzalcoatl. This last section of the paper discusses the contributions of the Quetzalcoatl belief in the Mexican society. From the pre-Columbian era to the modern Latin American civilization, Mexicans and other sub-sectors worshiping in the cult of Quetzalcoatl have maintained the cultural tradition and practices involved. Regardless of the different versions of the legend, Mesoamerican theology has attained unique perspectives on creation, civilized lifestyle, social advancement and divine practices.

The conclusion of the paper answers the different symbolisms implied by the varying illustrations of Quetzalcoatl, historical and social milieus influenced by the belief, and the contributions handed down by the believers of Quetzalcoatl.

 One of the major deities of Aztec culture – Quetzalcoatl – acknowledged as the “feathered serpent” has influenced the historical and social evolution of Latin American culture as implied by various images depicting the Plumed Serpent god. Meanwhile, socio-historical analysis of Quetzalcoatl worship and culture reveals different symbolisms and ancient functions involved in the Aztecs’ practices towards the god.

Historically, the legend of Quetzalcoatl has originated from the Teotihuacán culture of Olmec society around 300 B.C. by the time of rigid theological perspectives between Christianity and Paganism[1]. According to Aztec legends, Quetzalcoatl was acknowledged as an earthly hero and acting ruler of the Toltecs for sometime. Stories narrate that Quetzalcoatl was tasked by the higher command of Toltec tribe to gather the remains of the ancient people of Aztecs after the end of the Fourth Sun or Aztec Era[2]. Eventually, the legend has ultimately spread throughout Mesoamerica covering the Latin and Middle American societies.  Meanwhile, other ancient texts acknowledge Quetzalcoatl as a fallen god of the Aztecs. Toltecs of Teotihuacán tribe has found moral preoccupations of time, nature, power and survival in the legend of Quetzalcoatl leading to dramatic influence in the beliefs of Olmec to the vast South American heritage.

Quetzalcoatl is commonly illustrated as a great feathered serpent in the art and architecture of various tribes (e.g., Teotihuacán, Chichimecs, etc.) and cultures (e.g., Olmec, Maya, etc.) involved in the worship of the deity. As far as symbolism is concerned, the image of Quetzalcoatl is likened to the classic Mesoamerican mythical creature known as the Celestial Dragon, which symbolizes the heritage and culture of both American Indian and Chicano especially during the 1970s. The ancient feathered deity is characterized by the hybrid attributes of a bird and a reptile; although, the murals and images illustrating the characteristics of Quetzalcoatl vary according tribe and culture.

Quetzalcoatl resembles to the figure of an ancient Aztec figure known as Nahuatl representing symbols of plumage of the Quetzal bird (Quetzalli; connotes the high value of the serpent) and a snake (coatl; symbolizes the negative nature of the being). Olmec culture (1150 to 500 B.C.) regards “serpents” as representations of agricultural and land resources, but the tribe of Teotihuacán (200 C.E.) illustrates their serpent (specifically rattlesnake) with attached long green feathers of Quetzal. Meanwhile, Maya Indians from Mexico and Central America regard Quetzalcoatl as a symbolical serpent that appears to have risen out of the sea to bring the crucifix.

According to historical and social analysis, the imagery of Quetzalcoatl provides a different perspective of creation born from chaos and fear with the Pagan cliché of gods being the prime teachers of human civilization. According to the latter adapting tribes (e.g., Chichimecs, Mayans, etc.) after the destruction of legend’s origin tribe – Teotihuacán, Quetzalcoatl has become the cultic representation of light in opposition to the Mesoamerican cosmological deity – Tezcatlipoca – who governs evil and darkness. Further implications of the myth connote that vast humanly inventions in the fields of architecture, music, agriculture and other basic fields have all originated from their god, Quetzalcoatl. In the tribe of Xochicalco (700 to 900 C.E.), Quetzalcoatl has been illustrated in a human form possessing immortality and other god-like characteristics.

For Mayan culture, Quetzalcoatl is regarded as an immortal god characterized by its snake identity, which represents a cyclical renewal of spiritual and material forces through its natural process of shedding[8]. Meanwhile, Aztec Images of Quetzalcoatl obtained from codices, carvings and paintings reveal the god’s distinctive jewels made from conch shell, conical hat resembling as an Ehecatl (wind serpent), and mask projecting towards the blow of the wind. The representations of Quetzalcoatl in the Mesoamerican society reveal the dynamic evolution of their god figure from mythical creature derived from the age of pagan animism and mythology to human form.

Meanwhile, in different versions of the legend, Quetzalcoatl have been given several humanly attributes leading to the downfall of the god’s rulership. In Chichimecan version, Quetzalcoatl has fallen into alcohol seduction plotted by Tezcatlipoca making the latter commit incest with his sister. On the other hand, some scholarly versions (e.g. Jorge Acosta’s, etc.) suggest that Quetzalcoatl forced himself to deity position leading him into disgrace. In an effort to resolve the god’s guilt, Quetzalcoatl sets himself into fire with his ashes ascending into the heavens as the Morning Star or Lord of the Dawn.

The latter name is relevant to the Christian figure – Lucifer – who has also received the similar aliases. According to the scholarly analysis of Fray Juan de Torquemada and various scholars (e.g. Las Casas, Acosta, etc.), Quetzalcoatl has been regarded as a demon worshiped by selected Indian tribes (e.g. Cholulans, etc.). Contrary to the latter statements, the pre-Toltec culture has been falsely exaggerated by earlier archeological investigations enforcing its practices cultic practices (e.g. human sacrifices, militaristic cults of war, etc.). According to the sculptural representations and ethnohistoric background of Quetzalcoatl cult, the god is regarded as the symbol of peace and light governing the aspects of learning, advancement and creation. Regardless of the differences in representations of Quetzalcoatl, symbolisms and function of the god have great influenced the history and society of various Mesoamerican cultures.

Archeological evidences found in the Teotihuacán basin of Mexico suggest the existence of Quetzalcoatl worship even during the early Olmec before 800 B.C and by 300 A.D. The cult of Quetzalcoatl, however, has been born at Xochicalco, Morelos in approximately 800 A.D. and eventually carried to Toltec Tula by his priest-kings. Eventually, the cult of Quetzalcoatl has expanded across the eastern and southern highlands of Mexico reaching to Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala. Pre-Toltec cultures and associated Mesoamerican tribes believe in the role of Quetzalcoatl in advancing their society.

Influences of the cult have gained significant hold in the society of Ancient Olmec society expanding to the general Latin America. Eventually, the intense affinity of the ancient Aztecs to their Quetzalcoatl cult practices has led to the historical Spanish colonization. A political and religious Aztec priest known as Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl played an essential role in the maintenance of connection between Tula of Mayans, Teotihuacán and Xochicalco. Ancient compilations of Toltec history frequently reveal the role of the priest king in response to the founding of Toltec civilization. Archeological evidences scrutinizing the actual identity of Topiltzin fail to conclude whether the person depicted by Ancient Mesoamerican texts and images is the god or actual Quetzalcoatl. Historical accounts suggest that Topiltzin revolutionized Toltec society from nomadic to civilized civilization with acceptance of Toltec cultural and religious traditions.

Unfortunately, according to historical evidences analyzed by several critiques, the natives’ belief to Quetzalcoatl’s return provided the Spaniards led by Herman Cortez the advantage to enter Veracruz. Legend of Quetzalcoatl included a promise of god’s return known as the year of Ce Acatl (One Reed), which recurred every fifty-two years. By an absolute coincidence, Cortez arrived in the date of Ce Acatl around February 1519 giving him the psychological advantage over the believers of Quetzalcoatl legend. Upon Cortez’s arrival, Olmec society led by Montezuma II welcomed Cortez with his Spanish companions unaware of the foreigners’ true intent, while at the same time overshadowed by their expectations of the legend’s fulfillment. Eventually, Toltec society unexpectedly participated in the goals and aims of Spanish friars of Christian preaching and enforcing their theology. In the pre-Columbian times, Spanish religious expansion was the primary aim.

According to legends, Quetzalcoatl departed due to disgrace brought by the Spanish friars’ brigade and for having his cult struggles leading the god to the heavenly realms to become the planet Venus. From the Colonial World to the Contemporary times, the legend of Quetzalcoatl had consistently retained its symbol of Mexican oppression and banishment. Quetzalcoatl’s concept of regeneration and immortality provided the idea of return and triumph among the Mesoamerican culture; thus, representing the hopes of Mesoamerican in the return of their Golden Age.

With the Spanish invasion of the Mesoamerican societies, Neo-Mayas influenced by both pagan Quetzalcoatl cult and Christianity have formed their indigenous iconography wherein Quetzalcoatl is likened to “JesuChristo”. Meanwhile, Spanish interpretations of Quetzalcoatl provided scholarly conflation between the mentioned god and St. Thomas revealing an example of syncretism between cosmological myths of Mesoamerican culture and Christianity. The idea is later adapted by Mexican societies most especially the Chicanos. Social implications of Quetzalcoatl’s illustration to Latin Americans and cult believers are symbolized using festive costumes and native patients. In social festivities, Quetzalcoatl’s identity of being a feathered serpent is rather expressed through the costumes of the priest-king.

Quetzalcoatl is commonly represented by a prototypal priest characterized by a black body of a priest with face painted with black, red, and gold. The legend of Quetzalcoatl has played an important role in tracing the social evolution of Mesoamerican civilizations from Toltec ancestors to Contemporary Neo-Mayans. According to archeological evidences, Mesoamerican ways of agriculture, calendar-making, writing, astronomy, astrology, medicine, trade and commerce, and arts have significant attachments to the legendary Toltec hero and mythical feathered bird, Quetzalcoatl. Ancient manuscripts, such as Nahuatl texts, reveal social practices, religious perspectives and civilized transitions of lifestyles obtained by Toltec to Mayan societies from their distinct affinity towards their deity.

Scholars and archeological revelations acknowledge the role of Quetzalcoatl in revolutionizing the Mesoamerican society from 300 B.C. to the contemporary Latin America. The information imparted by the legend of Quetzalcoatl lies in the roles of the myth as religious innovators and Mesoamerican cultural symbol. The legend of Quetzalcoatl provides the Latin American culture a different perspective towards creation drastically apart from the traditional theistic belief. Unlike Christian, Muslim and other monotheistic religion, Olmec’s Quetzalcoatl is believed to be the symbol of education for the Mesoamerican culture. Quetzalcoatl’s legend and its affinity towards the Mesoamerican civilization describe the characteristics of divinity prevailing during the ancient Toltec, Mayan, Olmec and other Aztec cultures. Cult of Quetzalcoatl has imparted a completely radical perspective of creation and outlook on material-spiritual forces among Latin Americans.

According to modern socialist perspective, the legend of Quetzalcoatl has been greatly idealized by the modern Latin America most especially the cultural sector of Chicanos. In the Ramirez Codex, Quetzalcoatl linked with the Christian figure of St. Thomas creates a sense of messianic identity for the Mesoamerican culture to expect. Meanwhile, the god has also been attributed to the bringer of light (symbol of education, learning, advancement, etc.) necessary to the formation of civilization. Quetzalcoatl cult may have possessed several versions; however, the legend is able to maintain consistent impact in the religious traditions of contemporary and even modern Mexicans. The legend of Quetzalcoatl contributes to the idea of associated Mesoamerican cultures’ dualistic yet monotheistic divine perspectives. In the event of the myth’s progression and reign in the modern Mexican society, the image of Quetzalcoatl has significantly imparted the symbol of Mexican ancestry remembered even by the succeeding generations. As implied by the different symbols of Quetzalcoatl, culture, divinity and traditions have become the major contributions of the deity to the modern Mesoamerican culture.

In conclusion, Quetzalcoatl is a serpent creature known to possess the valuable long green feathers of a Quetzalli. According to legends, the deity is initially an earthly human who became a hero after enforcing himself to the level of deities. Quetzalcoatl has attained several alternative names, such as Morning Star, Lord of the Dawn, symbolizing his role in the society and evolution of Mesoamerican cultures. Originating from the Toltec era, Quetzalcoatl has become the acknowledged symbol of culture, light of learning and education, peace, and civilization. Archeological studies of ancient texts record the role of Quetzalcoatl’s practices in the entry of Spanish invaders led by H. Cortez. By an ultimate coincidence, Cortez has penetrated Veracruz during the year of expected return of Quetzalcoatl celebrated by the Indians of Mesoamerican civilization. Eventually, the legend has been attributed to several Christian orthodox figures, such as St. Thomas, Jesus Christ, etc., linking the pagan deity to Catholicism. Throughout time, the historical and religious significance of Quetzalcoatl has been part of the Mexican society, especially the Chicanos, religiously acknowledging the contributions played by the deity in the evolution of Mesoamerican cultures.

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