A month in the Aztec sun calendar that represented drought and ritual renewal. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'aztecsandtenochtitlan_com-box-4','ezslot_5',262,'0','0']));One of the most important rituals of Aztec religion was human sacrifice for which prisoners of war were used. The temples were decorated for festivals. One of the greatest Aztec festivals, called the Xiuhmolpili, or "New Fire" celebration, took place every 52 years to help delay the end of the world and begin a new cycle. They even had gods for each day and also for each month. Both these calendars were designed based on the movement of the sun. Profile of Huehueteotl-Xiuhtecuhtli, Aztec God of Fire, Tezcatlipoca: Aztec God of Night and Smoking Mirrors, Tlaloc the Aztec God of Rain and Fertility, Xipe Totec: Grisly Aztec God of Fertility and Agriculture, Tonatiuh, the Aztec God of the Sun, Fertility and Sacrifice, Aztec Sacrifice - The Meaning and Practice of Mexica Ritual Killings, Top 10 Things to Know About the Aztecs and Their Empire, Quetzalcoatl - Pan-Mesoamerican Feathered Serpent God, Chalchiuhtlicue - Aztec Goddess of Lakes, Streams, and Oceans, History of Animal and Plant Domestication, Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California Riverside, M.A., Anthropology, University of California Riverside. The temple house (calli) itself was relatively small, although the more important ones had high and ornately carved internal ceilings. According to Aztec cosmology, the world is divided into three parts, heaven, the world they live in and the Land of the Dead. It had two temples dedicated to gods Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc. To be able to continue creation and survive, both the gods and humans had to sometimes sacrifice themselves. One was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli; this temple was called Coatepec (meaning "snake mountain"), and the other temple was dedicated to Tlaloc. Finally, the military orders, professions (e.g. It seems that the Aztec ruler at that time, Moctezuma II and the Aztecs, in general, referred to Cortés and the conquistadors as "teotl". Tezcatlipoca was also connected to war and sorcery. Gods of Water, Fertility, and Agriculture, AA.VV, 2008, La Religión Mexica, Arqueología Mexicana, vol. The cosmology of Aztec religion divides the world into thirteen heavens and nine earthly layers or netherworlds. Duran also describes lodge members as having the responsibility of raising sufficient goods to host the festivals of their specific patron deity. In order to delay this cataclysmic event, they constantly offered human sacrifice. The sky had thirteen layers, the highest of which was called Omeyocan ("place of duality") and served as the residence of the progenitor dual god Ometeotl. A third monument in the plaza in front of Templo Mayor was devoted to the wind god, Ehecatl, who was an aspect or form of Quetzalcoatl. Additionally, Sahagun refers to classes of religious specialists not affiliated with the established priesthood. In the ceremonial center of Tenochtitlan, the most important temple was the Great Temple which was a double pyramid with two temples on top. Flowers and offerings (including a great amount of blood) generally covered much of the floors and walls near these images. These three divisions were connected by the axis mundi represented on earth by the Templo Mayor. All aspect of human life activities were also influenced by religion including childbirth, agriculture, and the Aztec seasons. He then proceeded to kill his sister by tearing out her heart with a snake, and threw her off of the mountain. This Spanish rendering of human sacrifices reflects the outsider’s view of these ritual traditions. The world, called Tlaltipac, was conceived as a disk located in the middle of the universe. There were five major gods who were responsible for the creation of the universe in addition to dozens of other gods with specific powers. [3], The nature of teotl is a key element in the understanding of the fall of the Aztec empire. That structure was deeply rooted in a widespread Mesoamerican tradition in which concepts of the cosmos, world, and nature were shared across most of the prehistoric societies in the southern third of North America. The Aztec Empire was the last of the great Mesoamerican cultures. At Tenochtitlán, the principal Aztec city, "between 10,000 and 80,400 people" were sacrificed over the course of four days for the dedication of the Great Pyramid in 1487, according to Ross Hassig . Then there is the Tlaxochimaco Festival which celebrates the god of Merchants. Society respected them, and they had a level of authority that sometimes spanned to national levels. Due to the flexible imperial political structure, a large pantheon of gods was incorporated into the larger cultural religious traditions. Of all the many unique layers of history that religion has risen from throughout the world-- the violent and bloody, the peaceful, the outspoken-- the Aztec religion is among some of the most unique religions ever created. For instance, Tlaloc was the rain god of all the Nahuatl-speaking peoples. The most spectacular ritual was the New Fire ceremony which took place every 52 years and involved every citizen of the Aztec realm. [citation needed]. The main deity in the Mexica religion was the sun god and war god, Huitzilopochtli. Sahagun and Duran describe the pairs of high priests (quetzalcoatlus) who were in charge of the major pilgrimage centres (Cholula and Tenochtitlan) as enjoying immense respect from all levels of Aztec society—akin to archbishops—and a level of authority that partly transcended national boundaries. All of the Aztec religious rituals would be headed by priests that performed in order to appease the gods. The Aztec world consisted of three main parts: the earth world on which humans lived (including Tamoanchan, the mythical origin of human beings), an underworld which belonged to the dead (called Mictlan, "place of death"), and the upper plane in the sky. The earth and the underworld were both open for humans to enter, whereas the upper plane in the sky was impenetrable to humans. This number, however, is not universally accepted. He was known as Tlatoani which literally means “speaker”. Like all other Mesoamerican cultures, the Aztecs played a variant of the Mesoamerican ballgame, named “tlachtli” or “ollamaliztli” in Nahuatl. The Aztecs worshipped over a thousand gods, and each place in the Aztec world and each occupation had its own patron god. The Aztecs utilized a 365-day calendar split into eighteen months based on agricultural traditions and different deities. Nanahouatl was the first god who sacrificed himself, becoming the sun. Some were associated with aspects of nature, such as Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl, and other gods were associated with specific trades. Similarly, there were prophecies about the end of the world which they thought would occur at the end of one of the 52-years cycle of the Aztec calendar. But the larger the effort required of the god, the greater the sacrifice had to be. This was particularly true during the final phase of their history, when… ), Handbook of Middle American Indians, University of Texas Press, Austin, Vol. The most important of the Aztec temples was found in the centre of Tenochtitlan and is known as the Great Temple.

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