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Author: Lazzybaby PM
I need to test something sorry not a storyRated: Fiction K - English - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,068 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 06-17-11 - Published: 06-16-11 - id: 7089072
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The day-to-day life of an Aztec was relevantly simple and in ways similar to today, but the roles was clearly distinctive. The husband was responsible for providing the family with necessities. The wife's role was to provide the family with clothing and meals. Men would either work on a farm or engage in craftwork. Women would weave and cook. If a woman were good at making designs when weaving they would be praised in their community.
Most aspects of life revolved around the gods: Huitzilopochtli (whets – eel – oh – POCH – tlee), Tezcatlipoca (Tez – cah – tlee – POH – kah), Quetzalcoatl (ket – zal – COH – ahtl), Tlaloc (TLAH – lzok).
Huitzilopochtli was the most favored god. He is the God that the Aztecs say told them where they found an eagle on a cactus is where they should settle. The Aztecs walked for 153 years till they found the eagle in the valley of Mexico.
Tezcatlipoca was the most powerful of the gods. He received his name from his power. He used black mirrors to see visions of the future. They say Tezcatlipoca was locked in an eternal struggle with Huitzilopochtli.
Quetzalcoatl means "feathered serpent". He is the god of wind. As the myth goes Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca got in a fight and Quetzalcoatl left on a raft of snakes. Priests say that he will return during the year of the "Red one" bring the end to the Aztec empire.
Tlaloc is the Aztec god of rain. H could cause deadly floods or droughts. He was feared most feared because he held their survival in his hands.
When the Aztecs arrived in the valley of Mexico they built Templo Mayor as a tribute to Huitzilopochtli. At its base it was 80m by 100m. At its sides were two smaller temples for the good of the sun (left) and the god of the sky (right). Each temple was 30m in height.
A grand temple consisted of a plat form with long, wide, and steep double staircase going up all sides with a barustrades. At the top of every temple was a sacrificial block; roughly 250,00 sacrifices would take place each year. Behind this block was a room that contained the idol of the temple and an antechamber for the priest. The wall on the inside of the room were ornamented with carvings and painted. The roof of poorer temple was thatched with wooden support beams in a style similar to a corncrib so that it got smaller toward the top. Carved pieces of stone would be used to create mosaic geometric designs to decorate the temple.
At Aztec marriages there was a poem recited before the vows:
I know not whether thou has been absent:
I lie down with thee; I rise up with thee,
If my dreams thou art with me
If my eardrops tremble in my eyes
I know it is thou moving within my heart.
As a man an Aztec could not marry until he reached the age of 20. Marriage was arranged between families, the young couple would have little to no say in the arrangement. If two Aztecs were in love and their families okayed it the to could marry.
On the mans side of the engagement he had one requirement to fill; he had to complete his schooling and ask his teachers for permission to leave. To get this permission the young mans family had to give the teacher many gifts. These gifts would include a bouquet, and dishes of tamales and cacao. The most important gifts ax that was presented by the groom's elders. The ax represented the young man cutting his ties with his teachers. When the ax was presented the elders would say " This symbolizes the desire of this young man to cut the ties that bind him to you since he wants in his heart to get married; take this ax and permit our son to be liberated.' The teacher would then accept the ax and remind the man to obey the gods, be pound of schooling and to be a brave warrior.
The ceremony would take place at night at the groom's house. As sunset approached the bride would be bathed by her the females of her family, they would perfume her, decorate her with red feathers and sprinkle her face with yellow and red. She was covered with a huipilli and head cloth.
After the ceremony the boy's family would shower her with gifts and words of welcome. Then she would walk through the streets with the two families singing. When they reached the house the groom would open the door and then tie his cape to her blouse saying "Owners of a face, owners of a heart." At the end of the ceremony there was a large feast.
Recently researchers have found evidence of child marriages in Aztec life.
Below I have a chart of marriage and ages.
Age never married
0 – 200 days
Born last year
2 years old
11 – 14
16 – 19
Age not stated
Technology & War
Many because of their early achievements view Aztecs as mathematic geniuses. Some of these achievements were; Chewing gum, popcorn, chocolate, anti – spasmodic medication, compulsorily education, and a zero numbering system, along with what we now call consensus.
Aztecs were aware of many simple machines like the lever, inclined plane, wheel, and axle. The wheel was used more as a toy than a tool. The Aztecs had no machines that were similar to a pulley. The Aztecs would prepare in case of floods incase of flood they would build dug out canoes.
In Aztec society war and conquering was very important. One of the Aztec Laws was conscription, meaning a man after school had to join the military. War also tided into their religion. According to Aztec religion, an ancient prophecy from Huitzilopochtli stated: "We shall conquer all the people in the un universe. I will make you lords and kings of every place in the world."
A song sung to young Aztec males were as followed;
Loved and tender son
This is the will of the gods
You are not born in your true house
Because you are a warrior. Your land
Is not here but in another place
You are promised to the field of battle.
You are dedicated to war
Your must give the sun your enemies blood
You must feed the earth with corpses
Your house, your future, and your destiny
Is in the house of the sun.
The Aztecs had many weapons. Usually the weapons were made of sidian and chert. The Aztecs were experimenting with cooper and stone when they were defeated.
Some of the weapons were:
Maquahuitl: The maquahuitl is a close combat weapon that is often compared to a sword. There are two types of Maquahuitl; one handed and two handed. This weapon was usually made from oak wood and was about 3-4" wide and 3-4' long.
Maquahuitl were very strong and sturdy. The Spanish had said they could chop the head of a horse in a single blow. Although they could not me thrusted like a sword the Aztecs knew how tool work them to be just as deadly.
Cuauhololli: The cuauhololli was a wood tool with a ball carved at eh end. The cuauhololli could crush a several of things. Sometimes this was embedded with volcanic glass like the maquahuitl.
Tepoztopilli: Spears were extremely sharp and could reach up to as long as 7 feet! When you think of a spear you think of a stick with a point but that was not the case for the Aztecs. Spears were built with 1' wide blades made with smaller blades. The blades were said to be able to pierce Spanish armor.
Atlatls: Atlatls is used to throw spears longer distances. The Atlatls is used by many cultures through time and even today. The Atlatls' were very important and were made by the greatest artists. One was given to Cortes form Motecuhzoma II.
Tlahuitolli and Yaomime: The Aztec bow and arrow, but they hay different names. Tlahuitolli was bow, Yaomime was arrow and mixiquipilli is the holder.
Tematlatl were slings that were able to send stones flying with unbelievable power and presion. Even a solider in full armor would have serious injuries. The stone were not picked up in the mist of battle but prepared before hand. If carved right a stone could fly about 650'.
Researchers aren't quite sure how the gigantic temple was built with the limited knowledge on building. One theory is that they used many logs to roll the wall piece to place then lever it up into place. This is much similar to the Gödekli Tepe theory.
A Time of Change
Spain was low on reasorces like gold and silver, so they sent Christopher Columbus to look for places with high gold. He landed on the America's. He wrote a letter saying that he had found lots of gold when in fact there was only a little.
When the king and Queen of Spain read the letter the were excited. They sent a larger voyage commanded by Velázquez. When they reached land they started conquering villages and towns one by one. His Second in command Hermando Cortéz soon betrayed him taking his men and sailing to what is now Haiti. Once there he sent back on boat of gold to Spain to show his loyalty and sunk the rest.
It wasn't long before the Aztecs heard rumors of this growing threat. Rumors of the foreigners pale face and weapons that shot fire. Many thought these were the gods, but the emperor Motecuhzoma wasn't sure he sent two men to go and meet with these pale faces. In the meantime the Spanish had conquered a village with a girl who could speak several of the native languges including Nahuatl the official language of the Aztecs. They taught her to speak Spanish and converted her to the catholic faith.
When the two cultures meet they exchanged speeches and the native girl interpreted for both of the parties. In the Spanish's speech they said to the Aztecs "We love you greatly." As the Aztecs were leaving the Spanish set off their guns and cannons showing off their power. If there was nay doubt in the messengers minds it was gone now, for they must be gods they can control thunder.
Motecuhzoma II invited Cortez to Tenochtitlan and showed him the market and the vault. They gave Cortéz many gifts and Cortéz thought this was great, but he had to go meet with Velázquez and his army leaving his second in command in charge. While he was gone the Aztecs threw a parade but his second in command had the dancers massacred. Shocked and confused the Aztecs attacked back. When Cortéz came back he found the people rioting and his second in command hiding. Cortéz killed the Emperor hopping to show his superiority but it didn't work the Spanish had to flee and hide for awhile.
Soon the Aztecs soon fell sick with the small pox. Seeing this Spanish destroyed all the farmland and took away all of the water supplies cause many of the people to die and even more weak. Seeing an easy victory the Spanish attacked. They rode in on horses wearing iron armor swing steel swords and holding muskets. The Aztecs were shocked having never seen horses; still they put up a good fight against the Spanish. They still were no match against the advanced weaponry and health.
In the roads lie the broken spears…
Without roofs are the houses
And red are their walls with blood. Maggots swam in the streets and squares…
The water has turned crimson, as if they were dyed
In shields was our defense
But shields could not hold back desolation
We have eaten…lumps of abode,
Lizard and rats.
Soil turned to dust, and even worms.
This is an Aztec poem that was written after the Spanish conquer. You can hear the misery in the writing. Many of the living Aztecs began to doubt their gods and even more felt that they were abandoned. So when the Spanish went to destroy all the temples and codex's no one tried to stop them.
Soon missionaries came and started settling into new Christian churches and converting the Aztecs. Men of Spain were sent over to colonies New Spain. Remaining Aztecs became slaves for these Spanish. When these colonizers' came they signed a contract and received a certain amount of land and slaves.
The Spanish crown was afraid people wouldn't want to stay in New Spain so he invented the marriage law. The marriage law was that if you had a spouse in Europe they had to bring them to New Spain if they were single they had to marry an indigenous women. He did this so the people would feel more tied to the land.
What They Are Now
What is Left and what is to come
After 100 years of being dependent to Spain, they broke off. New Spain was renamed Mexico.
Modern day Mexico Culture is a fusion of Indigenous, Mestizo, and Spanish traditions. Although Spain introduced Catholicism to Mexico Church festivals today include Aztecs traditions.
These can be seen mostly in the colors and feathers used in parades. Roman Catholic is still the dominant religion. Did you know that you can see Aztec Traditions most in the Roman Catholic ceremonies?
Mexico has changed as has the rest of the world but they still hold on their traditions and culture that many other cultures have seemed to have forgotten. As to say what will happen to them in the future is had to tell. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.