Welcome to the Kopilli Ketzalli petition web site.
Kopilli Ketzalli is the Aztec word for "precious crown" and it refers to the sacred feathercrown of Montezuma, the ninth tlahtoani (emperor) of the Aztecs. This headdress has been in possession of the Austrians since 1524. It is currently located in the Museum of Ethnology (Volkerkundmuseum) in Vienna.
Since 1986, descendants of the Aztec Nation have been gathering signatures in the streets of Europe to petition the Austrian government. They want the sacred feathercrown returned to the country of its origin for display in the Anthropological National Museum of Mexico City (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) which is built over the remains of Montezuma's residence. These Indians hold that, when the feathercrown returns to this sacred place, the Indian Sun will dawn over all the planet and teach harmony, peace and respect to all people. To date, they have gathered over 150,000 signatures.
This web site has been created to assist in this effort. As of Sat, 16 Dec 2007 23:59:59 -0700, 337 signatures were gathered by the first petition and you can see them here. A new petition, hosted by thepetitionsite.com is now collecting more signatures. You can read the full petition and add your signature by choosing the petition option from the side bar menu.
Background and history: The Kopilli Ketzalli was the crown of the Aztec emperor, Motekuhzoma (Montezuma in English). It consists of 400 feathers of the Quetzal bird. (See illustration on left side bar menu.) To the Aztecs, the Quetzal is a sacred bird, representing wisdom, fertility, freedom and peace. Its feathers are given only for supreme achievement. The number 400 is the symbol for eternity and immensity. According to Aztec tradition, only the highest person is entitled to wear the 400 feathers of this sacred Quetzal bird.
Originally, the crown also consisted of a helmet of pure gold. After the slaying of Montezuma during the Spanish invasion of Hernando Cortez, the crown was confiscated by the Spaniards. The gold helmet was melted down into bars and the feathered head piece was sent as a present to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain (known there as Charles I). Charles V was also the Archduke of Austria where the Hapsburg dynasty had their residence. It presently resides in an exhibit in the Vienna Hofburg - Museum for Ethnology.
For many years, the Mexican government has been asking the Austrian government to return the feathercrown. Currently, a replica of the head piece can be found in the Anthropological National Museum of Mexico City. This along with other representative items of Mexico's original culture has been offered to the Austrians in exchange for the sacred headdress.
In the early 1990's a cultural association called the Yankuikanahuak a.c. Mexico was formed and recognized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Historia) or INAH, a part of the Mexican government. The Yankuikanahuak are authorized to support the INAH in the recuperation, protection, conservation, promotion and spreading of cultural heritage (letters of the INAH of 07/16/91, nr, 401-1-0685, an d of the 03/04/93. nr. 401-3-0329). Its aim is to revive and preserve the values and philosophy of the ancient native cultures of Mexico.
The founder and leader of this organization is an Aztec descendant named Xokonoschtletl Gomora. He and other members of the Yankuikanakuak have been in Europe for the past 11 years trying to retrieve the feathercrown and to promote an understanding
The descendants of the Aztecs can presently be found in several different countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, the U.S., and part of Belize.
Numerous groups of the American continent (Anahuak) support the request for the return of the feathercrown: The National Congress of American Indians, Chiefs of Ottawa, International Indian Treaty Council, the Resource Center of the Americas, Frente Mexicana por Derechos Humanos, Mayas, Pueblos, Otomie and Tlahuika.
Originally, the Aztec nation was a thriving culture, very advanced in its understanding of astronomy, the art of healing, architecture, philosophy etc. Along with other Native Americans, the Aztecs have their own knowledge, beliefs, values and perceptions. There is much we can learn from these indigenous cultures that can help guide us in our journey into the next millennium. Please support the spirit and the vision of the Yankuikanahuak by signing this "petition".
This petition has been drafted by and belongs to the Yankuikanahuak. In collaboration with the Yankuikanahuak, this web site has been created, implemented and is currently maintained by a group of international volunteers. In the future, all signatures collected by this web petition will appear on this web site and will be used by the Yankuikanahuak in the effort to reclaim the sacred feathercrown.
For further information, you can contact the Yankuikanahuak directly at:
or by mail:
D-84364 Bad Birnbach
Am Pfaffenstiegl 1
or fax Europe 08563 - 975088
Financial support for the Yankuikanahuak is very much needed. Donations can be made to the account:
BLZ 600 700 70
Account Number: 770569200
Deutsche Bank Stuttgart, Xokonoschtletl.
Comments and/or suggestions regarding this web site can be sent to: Yankuikanahuak@deliberate.com