The resplendent quetzal has inspired all form of art throughout the ages. In pre-Hispanic Central and South America, it inspired deities such as Quetzalcoatl, Xochiquetzal, and Kukulkan, who in turn were interpreted in stone carvings and architecture, including some of the most important temples and palaces in many archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. It is a prominent motif on textiles and ceramics. Dances, songs, and chants were developed in its honor thousands of years ago, and some are still performed today. The quetzal and the deities it inspired have been the subjects of numerous works of literature, including poems by Nobel Laureate Miguel Angel Asturias and the novel The Plumed Serpent by D. H. Lawrence. More recently, the bird figures in adventure and science fiction films, and it is even the subject of video and role-playing games produced in various countries around the world.

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