Aztec Culture and Society

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The Aztec Empire’s capital city was Tenochtitlan which was founded in 1325. In the 15 and early 16 centuries ruled the empire which is now southern Mexico. Aztecs are so called from Aztlan which can also be called White land.

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They often referred themselves as Culhua-Mexica they call themselves this because they link themselves with the Colhacan. They were suggested to be a tribe of hunters and gathers. In 1428-1440 when they were under the ruling of Itzcoatl the Tenochtitlan formed alliances with the states of Texcoco and Tlacopan. Soon they had become the dominant power in central Mexico. The population of the Aztec had started off with a low number of people. In 1519 there were around 25,000,000 Aztec people. When the Spaniards came they killed many and also brought many diseases. The Spaniards brought diseases such as smallpox, mumps, tuberculosis which they did not have the right medicine to treat these diseases. The Aztec religion was syncretistic. It shared some of the cosmological beliefs from the earlier people. They also did human sacrifice they particularly did it by offering up the humans heart they sacrificed they heart to Tonatiuh. Their calendar which had eighteen months with twenty days in each month. In the center of the calendar there was usually was the face of the sun. It elaborated round rituals and ceremonies. At least once a month they had a to honor a god or gods. They mainly worshipped the sun god. They also sacrificed animals.

Some of the animals they sacrificed were cats, birds, fish, snakes. They also sacrificed jaguars they did this rarely because this was considered a powerful religious symbol. Aztecs valued music. They used it also for their religious reasons. They used instruments sucks as horns, drums, whistles, rattles and bells. They were also hunters and gathers. They hunted deer, boars, birds, and they also fished/trapped other marine animals. They kept things such as turkey and ducks. They used these for eggs and meat. They also grew crops such as corn, chilies, pigweed, and beans. They drank water and polque. They had big markets. They used these markets to buy, sell, and trade things. They also had judges in case of theft or is any arguments to place. Some things they would trade were baskets, pots. Also they had luxury goods’ they would sell or trade some of them were cocoa beans, animal skins, and gold. Live animals were also sold at the market. Some of the Aztec merchants would travelon long trips to go get goods from distant lands. They often made their art for religious reasons. They made stone sculptures of their gods.

They love to use colorful feathers. They used the feathers for headdresses and to decorate their shields.

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