Aztecs and the Solar Eclipse

David Bowles
2 min readApr 6, 2024

As we’re just days from another “Great American Eclipse,” whose duration of totality will be nearly five minutes, I wanted to take a moment to share what that unexpected darkness implied for Indigenous people of Mesoamerica before the Spanish Invasion.

From https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com

The Nahua peoples of the Triple Alliance (“Aztec Empire”) referred to the solar eclipse as “icualoca in tonatiuh” — “the sun’s devouring”—or “in cualo tonatiuh”…

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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. President of the Texas Institute of Letters.