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She personifies death, similar to the Grim Reaper in European folklore.

Unlike her, however, she is associated with positive attributes like healing or protection.

The roots of the belief date back to pre-Hispanic times, with  Mictlantecuhtli  and  Mictecacihuatl , god and goddess of Death, Darkness and  Mictlan  "The kingdom of the dead". Men and women who died of natural causes went there, but the road was not easy. Before presenting oneself before the god and goddess of Death, one had to pass through many obstacles: stones that collide, deserts and hills, a crocodile called  Xochitonal , a wind of sharp obsidian stones, and an abundant river that the deceased crossed with the help of a dog who was sacrificed on the day of his funeral ( Xoloizcuintl ).

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