Items tagged "Aztec":

  1. medievalpoc:

    The Codex Mendoza

    fol. 070r: Advice on Respectable Careers for Young Men, Contrasted With Examples of Wasted Lives

    Aztec Manuscript Created under Colonial (Spanish) Supervision (1541)

    What you are looking at is a section of the Codex Mendoza that is meant to depict the “daily lives” of the Mexica/Aztec people. The majority of Aztec books were purposely destroyed by the Spanish, and “approved” re-creations or copies were created by indigenous artists and writers, under Spanish supervision and pending their approval of the contents.

    Even those these copies are obviously adulterated, many academics seem content to extrapolate on manuscripts like these as a completely accurate portrayal of pre-colonial peoples in the Americas. The ideas pervasive in pop culture about the indigenous people of Central America is shaped by these works, meant to glorify the colonial objectives of conversion to Christianity, ‘civilizing’ native peoples, and presenting themselves and their actions in a positive or justified light.

    The images above read very much like a “Goofus and Gallant" style etiquette manual from the 1950s, and you could wonder whether such a binary system of valuation and morality was inherent to Mexica/Aztec culture, or if it was imposed on traditional beliefs by the colonizers.

    Description of the images and actions above:

    (1) (upper) At the centre, a ‘Father who counsels his son to be virtuous and not roam about as a vagabond’. On either side, the honorable careers of messenger (left) and singer-musician (right).

    (2) (upper middle) On the left, in the ‘house where they assemble for public works’, sits the majordomo, who asks the two seated youths to perform services with digging-sticks and baskets: they weep at the prospect.

    Bad examples for the youths are depicted on the right: (clockwise) a vagabond with twisted feet and hands, a ball player who bounces a rubber ball from his hip, a ‘player of patolli, which is like dice’ (gambling perhaps with his clothes), and a thief.

    (3) (lower half). On the left, five scenes of artisans teaching their trades to their sons: a carpenter shaping wood with an axe; a lapidary polishing a green stone with a cane tool; a codex-painter (tlacuilo) illustrating a document in red and black; a metalworker blowing to raise the temperature in his brazier for melting gold; and a featherworker preparing coloured feathers for application, his son helping with needle and thread.

    On the right, by contrast, are two further bad examples: the large standing figure, with a glyph of two snakes’ heads above his head, is marked in Spanish ‘person with a vicious tongue, and a gossiper’. Below, ‘the vice of drunkenness leads to thieving’: a man and woman sit on either side of a looted coffer drinking pulque, its potency to be enhanced by the rope-like quapatli root on the right.

    Further context and history of the manuscript:

    A picture-book of European paper and format, with images painted by a native artist and annotated in Spanish, probably for Don Antonio de Mendoza, first Viceroy of New Spain (1535-50), and most likely in the early 1540s. Acquired no later than 1553 by the French cosmographer André Thevet (d. 1592).

    The manuscript is arranged in three parts: I A pictorial history of the Aztec emperors and their conquests from 1325 to 1521 (fols. 1r-16v). Between Parts I and II is an intermediate section (fols. 17v-18r), not belonging clearly to either. II An illustrated catalogue of the annual tribute paid by the towns of the empire to the last emperor, Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, also known as Montezuma II (fols. 18v-55r). III An illustrated account of Aztec life-cycles, male and female, from birth to death (fols. 56v-71v).

  2. Sam Humphries and Dalton RoseSacrifice covers, 2012-13

    Art direction by Dylan Todd

  3. nevver:

    Filed under: still the Aztec/Mexica calendar stone, not Mayan.


  4. Archaeologists find burnt stucco floor related to astronomical event 1,350 years ago


    TECOZAUTLA, MEXICO.- During the excavations in Pañhu, an archaeological zone which will soon open its doors to the public in the municipality of Tecozautla, Hidalgo, archaeologists registered a burn stucco floor, evidence that its main pyramid was desacralized approximately 1,350 years ago. This coincides with an astronomical event which was thought, by its inhabitants, to be a cataclysm.

    Archaeologist Fernando Lopez Aguilar, director of the site’s investigation project promoted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH – Conaculta), informed that there was a solar eclipse at sunrise the 3rd of August in the year 650 AD.

    “To these old societies, the eclipse must have represented a catastrophe which is why they made sacrifices in order to ‘keep the star alive’, since they believed the black sun or hell’s sun had imposed on their sun ‘a giver of life’. Read more.


  5. Huitzilopochtli, Codex Borbonicus 

    Huitzilopochtli is famously a god of war and human sacrifice, elevated from minor Nahua deity to a primary solar god by Prince Tlacaelel in the 15th century. As patron and folk hero of the Aztec empire and its people, he attained comparable status to the more well-known Quetzalcoatl, Texcatlipoca, and his personal equal Tlaloc, god of water, rain, and fertility. It is this important pairing with Tlaloc that is commemorated at the twin temples of Templo Mayor.

    In Mexica (Aztec) mythology, the world was tied to the fate of a god or goddess who ascended as a new sun—our current world being the fifth and possibly last in this succession. Earlier versions depict the aged and humble god Nanahuatl sacrificing his blood and body by immolation, becoming renewed and fierce in the flames of a pyre. In later tradition this was merged with Huitzilopochtli’s unending battle against darkness, represented by his sister and brothers, the moon and the stars. The fifth sun and the world it perpetuated could be aided by the regular offering of human blood and hearts, just as life came from the gods’ self-sacrifice. Without proper worship and offerings, the sun would blacken and the world would be destroyed by earthquakes.

    It is also said that through Huitzilopochtli’s guidance the Mexica were led to Lake Texcoco to found Tenochtitlan, upon which modern Mexico City is built. The Mexican flag and coat of arms still commemorates this event with the omen he gave them: an eagle eating a snake above a prickly pear on the lake.


  6. mothernaturenetwork:

    NASA video crushes 2012 Mayan apocalypse myth
    NASA debunks fear of an apocalypse caused by calendars, incoming planets, solar flares and planetary alignments.

    Good points, but that’s the Aztec calendar stone. Just saying.


  7. iheartmyart:

    Clay sculpture of an Aztec warrior dating back to the 15th century - apart of the Contested Visions exhibition at LACMA