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Home life, cooking, weaving, women, and children The Aztecs, main staple was maize(corn). The maize was ground into tortillas and used in multiple dishes. Aztecs liked spicy foods and many of the dishes they ate were flavored with hot chili peppers. They also ate and cooked beans, fish, tamales( which has corn in it), turkey, duck, and deer. some other foods they ate were insects, and a cake made from algae, and all of the foods they grew. The nobles got to drink a special drink called Maguey which has alcohol in it(see agriculture,crops,etc to see how they made it). The marketplace was not just a place to sell goods. It was a place to socialize and hear the latest news. The market place was divided into certain sections so jewelry was in one spot and food was in another. There were inspectors who would walk around the market and make sure no one was stealing or cheating at a game. Thieves would use the shells of cacao shells and put saw dust in them and use them as fake money. Another rare thing that was worth even more then cacao seeds was a quachtli( lengths of cotton cloth). Six hundred quachtli could buy a jade necklace. Besides going to the market to sell the stuff they made, women cooked, weaved, made clothes and other crafts, and cleaned the house.


Religion, priests, and rituals Aztecs worshipped about 200 gods, each for different reasons. Some of the most important gods to the Aztecs were Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the symbol of the sun, Quetzalcoatl, the god of wind, Centon Hutznahua, the goddess of the springs, Chalchiuhlicuc, the Earth goddess, and Mictlanteccuhtli, the god of the underworld. The Aztecs used picture writing for keeping records and writing about their religion and history. There was no joy in being an Aztec priest. It was very hard. The only reward was gaining respect from other people. Priests conducted the ceremonies and sacrifices to feed the Aztec gods. The Aztecs believed in human sacrifice. The Aztec priests would slash open the person who was being sacrificed and tear his or her heart out, believing that the heart was a gift to the gods. The reason Aztecs had human sacrifice was because they believed that their gods gave up their lives to have the Aztecs live, so the Aztecs gave up their lives to help the gods.

† WHO WERE THE AZTECS? ¢ The Aztecs were a group of Native Americans who formed an empire. They had certain ways of doing things. Sometimes they were vicious and gory and other times kind.The Aztecs spoke a language called Nahuatl, which is still spoken today. At the height of their power the Aztec empire reached all the way across Mexico from the east coast to the west coast. Some of the people in the empire were not Aztecs.They were people from other tribes that were conquered by the Aztec army.The prisoners had to pay tax to the empire. They also built huge temples to worship their gods in.

Agriculture, crops, and farmers

Merchants, craftspeople, artists

Most people in the Aztec world were farmers. The Aztecs lived on very wet ground, and usually traveled by canoe to get places, instead of walking down a road. A lake isn’t good for growing corn, so the Aztecs built chinampas. A chinampa is a small, rectangular area of fertile land to grow crops on the shallow lake beds. Crops grown on chinampas were maize, squash, amoranth, tomatoes, chili peppers, and flowers. Corn and beans were the Aztecs’ main crops grown and eaten. The maguey cactus was also important. They made the sap of the leaves into a fermented alcoholic drink that nobles drank during ceremonies. Chinampas were built from reeds and branches, and covered with thick, black, mud scooped up from the lake bottom. A strong willow fence kept the mud from being washed away. The crops that they grew were corn, beans, tomatoes, avocados, onions, squash, sweet potatoes, and chili peppers.

The Aztecs showed a love for poetry, and they were also skilled at trading, art, music, dancing, stone working, feather working, mosaics, and making knife handles. They prized precious stones. Jade was the most prized of all. They also made rings and peandents. Both were cast from gold. Aztec artists also made beautiful statues of warriors and gods out of clay. They made gold into ornaments and other treasures. The Aztecs also developed ways to work with materials from the land such as obsidian, which is a black shiny glass formed from volcanoes. Lots of Aztec arts still remain as part of the Mexican culture today. There were several levels of Aztec trading. Some people sold in local markets, and others traveled long distances between city-states. Many of the items they traded in markets were pottery.„g

Astronomy The Aztecs had two calendars. One is called Xiuhpohualli, it had 365 days and described the rituals and seasons. It could be called the agriculture year. The other calendar is called the Tonalpohualli it only has 260 days in it. The way the Tonalpohualli works is, imagine two wheels connected. One has the numbers 1-13 and the other has 20 symbols on it. The two wheels go around until both are at either the number 13 or the 13th symbol. Then the number wheel starts over at one, while the symbol wheel continues on from the 14th symbol. Once 260 days have passed, they start back at the beginning. The Aztecs had a base-20 counting system. The numbers 1-19 were represented by dots and the number 20 could be represented by fingers, flags, a shell, a bag, feathers, or even a vase of grass. For example three flags could equal 60 (20+20+20= 60). Or two feathers could be 400 (20x20=400). They used the number 20 in a lot of things. A standard bag of cacao beans (cocoa beans) has 20 cacao beans in it. tenochtitlan/

warriors There were two categories of warriors: the first were commanders-- these were simple people of the battle field, and there were many of them. The second were Pipiltin: Highly advanced warriors/nobles. Their ranks were based on skill and how well they did on the battlefield. The Aztec empire was always expanding by conquering city states. They gained wealth and land by doing so. Both men and women were in the Aztec army, making the Aztecs one of the few tribes that had an army of both genders. Soldiers were trained from an early age. Being in the army was one of the only methods of getting a higher status. The highest classes of soldiers were the Jaguar and Eagle Soldiers. They dressed in jaguar pelts and eagle feathers.

Aztec brochure