In the Postclassic period (900–1519 AD), the worship of the feathered serpent deity was based in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula . It is in this period that the deity is known to have been named "Quetzalcoatl" by his Nahua followers. In the Maya area, he was approximately equivalent to Kukulkan and Gukumatz , names that also roughly translate as "feathered serpent" in different Mayan languages .
Quetzalcoatl was an important god to the peoples of ancient Mexico. His name means "Feathered Serpent," and he often was pictured as a snake with feathers. He sometimes appeared as a pale man with a beard. That image is one of the reasons that the Aztec people thought that the Spanish soldiers-light-skinned, bearded men-who arrived in Mexico in 1519 were representatives of the god.