San Diego State Reveals Zuma As New Supplemental Character

Sept. 4, 2010

Aztec Kids Club

SAN DIEGO - With the pride of the Aztec spirit and the history of San Diego State, the University unveiled a supplemental character to the Aztec Warrior called "Zuma" before Saturday's season-opening football game against Nicholls State at Qualcomm Stadium.

Zuma, a jaguar, will be seen at Aztec home football and basketball games and joins the Aztec Warrior, dance and cheer teams in interacting with San Diego State fans.

According to Aztec mythology, Tezcatlipoca (tes-cat-lee-poh-ka) was considered the god of magic and darkness. He was vividly illustrated in Aztec lore and depicted as a warrior. The animal most closely associated with Tezcatlipoca was the jaguar.

Tezcatlipoca was a strange looking being. He is portrayed with very black hair and usually drawn or painted with a large black stripe or a black and yellow stripe across his face. He carried four arrows (signifying the four directions) for the punishment of man's sins, a shield, a battle weapon and wore 20 gold bells around his ankles.

Tezcatlipoca was an all-important God to the Aztec people. One of his most revered attributes was the ability to shape-shift, usually into a jaguar. The jaguar was described as noble and the ruler of animals. The jaguar was a symbol of authority and one's prowess in hunting and battle.

Like the Aztec Warrior, the jaguar is integral in depicting Aztec culture. The cat is also part of the culture for what was Normal College, before it became what is now known as San Diego State University. As far back as 1915, the Wampus Cat or Normal Cat, was anything but normal as a mascot with six legs. Normal College athletic nicknames were the Wampus Kitties or Normal Cats.

In 1925, the Aztec symbol came into play as part of the athletic culture just as Normal College became State College. In June of 1925, "Aztec" was voted the official name for State College and the student newspaper became the State College Aztec. In 1941, "Monty Zuma" was named the school mascot.

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