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Transcript
THE
AZTECS
ORIGINS
•
•
•
•
•
•
Migrants from the north “Aztlan”
One of seven Chichimecan tribes
Mexica vs. Aztec
Looking for eagle with serpent
(legend has it…)
“People without faces”
Took on culture of previous cultures
(e.g. Toltecs)
EAGLE WITH SERPENT TODAY
LANGUAGE
Nahuatl
Many Spanish words derive from Nahuatl
• Tomate/tomatl
• Milpa/ milpa
• Atole/atolli
• Camote/comotli
• Tecolote/tecolotl
Over a million speakers today in Central Mexico (rural)
Place names abound (Xochimilco, Acapulco, Chapultepec,
etc.)
MEXICA WRITING
COUNTING
TENOCHTITLAN
1325
Lake Texcoco
Vision of/from Huitzilopochtli (patron god) in form of an
eagle, with serpent on cactus (Mexican Flag)
Swampy, marshy setting
TEMPLO MAYOR
TRIPLE ALLIANCE
Mexica of Tenochtitlan were most powerful group. Allied with
two other city-states to control most of current-day Mexico:
Texcoco, Tenochtitlan, and Tlacopan
AZTEC RELIGION:
Creation of the
world:
Trial and error,
creation and
rebirth
Creation requires
a god to sacrifice
him/herself for the
sun to exist
Five Suns: Each
ends in a
cataclysmic event
We are in fifth sun
Must keep it
going to survive
Human sacrifice
demanded….
HUITZILOPOCHTLI
•
•
•
•
Aztec God of
War
Associated with
sun in the sky
Often
represented like
a hummingbird
Warrior spirits
said to come
back as
hummingbirds
HUMAN SACRIFICE
• Debt: Return for gods sacrificing selves for creation of
sun, moon, earth.
• Human blood needed to keep the light, the sun, life
• Enemy captives
• Victims placed on special stones atop temple pyramids
• Hearts cut out by special priests, offered up to gods
• Form of intimidation vs. enemies
• One part of larger religious practices, including domestic
altars, non-human sacrifices, music and dance
• exaggerated by Spaniards for own purposes
QUETZALCOATL
•
•
•
•
God of learning and
patron of priests
Plumed serpent
Was tricked by
jealous gods,
drunken, fornicated
with his sister, and
fled to the east in
horror, promising to
return
Aztecs initially
thought Hernan
Cortes was
Quetzalcoatl
returning
AZTEC TIME
Two calendars:
365 day xiuhpohualli (year count)
120 day tonalpohualli (day count) sacred calendar (13 x 20)
AZTEC GOVERNMENT:
NOBILITY
• King (tlotoani)
• Ruled the city-state; selected by council of nobles
• Lords with titles (tecuhtli)
• War heroes appointed to beGenerals, judges,
governors
• Lesser nobles (pilli)
• Warriors (tequiua)
• Priests
AZTEC SOCIAL
ORGANIZATION
Nobility vs. commoners
Nobles (hereditary)
10% (gov’t and economic control
Commoners (90%)
Macehualtin (workers, taxpayers, backbone of Aztec society)
Tlalmaitl (serfs) no land, no taxes
Tlacotin (slaves)
AZTEC STUDENTS
BEING
DISCIPLINED BY
THEIR TEACHERS
AT SCHOOL
(CODEX MENDOZA)
JAGUAR WARRIOR
AZTEC EAGLE
WARRIOR
ARTS AND SCIENCES
Pictographic written language
Poetry
Stone sculptures
Obsidian tools
Astronomical observations
Health and medicine
FEATHERWORK:
MOCTEZUMA II’S
HEADRESS
AZTEC CERAMICS
AZTEC STONE
CARVINGS