Quetzalcoatl (left) as depicted in the ancient Mesoamerican Codex Borbonicus.
Quetzalcoatl is Nahuatl quetzalli “tail feather of the quetzal bird” and coatl “snake”0), the Feathered Serpent–major deity of ancient Mexico. He was regarded as the god of winds and rain and as the creator of the world and mankind. He was identified with the planet Venus. As the Morning and Evening star, Quetzalcoatl was the symbol of death and resurrection. On Izapa Stela 5, the man-bird with raised serpent from his shoulder overhead is the supreme god of Izapa, Southern Mexico.
Stela 25 (right) at Izapa pictures the Venus bird image of Quetzalcoatl perched on a 7-branched staff with a long tree serpent entwined up around the staff and the great bird. The Venus aspect represents birth and resurrection of Quetzalcoatl with the first Morning Star appearance of Venus.
An ancient Mexican Mixtec calendar has a beginning base date of 1 BC.
An empire spread from Teotihuacan, Mexico (50 BC – 600 AD) throughtout Mesoamerica. Ancient chocolate trade from the region of Izapa, Mexico revealed the extent of this Empire (Michael Coe, October, 2015). Quetzalcoatl reigned in the first Century AD.
At Teotihuacan, Mexico, Maya representations are of feathered serpents. The earliest surviving representation of Quetzalcoatl is from the Olmec (1500 BC – 400 BC) civilization with a carving at La Venta (MM 19) of a beaked snake with a feather crest flanked by two quetzal birds and a sky band.
As the god of learning, of writing, and of books, Quetzalcoatl was particularly venerated in the calmecac, religious colleges annexed to ancient Mesoamerican temples, in which future priests and sons of the nobility were educated (Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, Cholula – Mexico).
Quetzalcoatl’s calendar name was “One Reed”. The belief that he would return from the east in a One Reed year led the Aztec sovereign Montezuma II to regard the Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes and his comrades as divine envoys, because 1519, the year they landed on the Mexican Gulf coast was a One Reed Year. http://www.britannica.com/topic/Quetzalcoatl.
A feathered Serpent deity has been worshipped by many different ethno-political groups in Mesoamerican history.
Quetzalcoatl is also equated with the Hummingbird, symbol of creation & resurrection among Mesoamerican & North American native tribes.