the mayan and aztec natives

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  • The Mayans and the AztecBy Amelia Waalkes and Ella Lanser

  • DressMayanSoldiersThe Mayan soldiers wore armor made of heavy quilted cotton and carried with them bows and arrows, a dart and throwing stick, a wooden sword edged with flint, a lance , a sling, a copper axe, and a shield of reeds.

    SlavesThe Mayan slaves wore their hair cut short to show that they were in a lower class than the rest of the Mayans.

    Upper ClassMen from the upper class wore a square cotton cloth around their shoulders that was colorful and had lots of decorations like feathers.

    WomenWomen wore a wraparound skirt, a waist sash, a huipil (like an oversized blouse), a quechquemitl (like a poncho), sandals, and a mantle (a long piece of fabric draped over the head).

    AztecSlavesSlaves wore loincloths made of a fabric of the agave plant called maguey.

    Common peopleThe common people of the Aztecs wore very little clothing and all of it was also made of maguey.

    MerchantsThe merchants had a freedom to wear whatever they wanted so most of them wore fancier clothing.

    Upper ClassThe upper class wore more colorful clothes, lots of times with gold on them. Feathers, furs, and other decorations were often used.

    The MilitaryThe military wore helmets that looked like headdresses and often their costume looked like a certain animal like an eagle or a jaguar. They also carried with them a decorated shield, spears, bows and a maquahuitl (a combination of a sword and a club).


  • RuinsMayanThe Mayan had so many ruins but here are the more impressive onesCaracolThis important city in Belize was hidden in the jungle until 1938. It has many pyramids, tombs, and pieces of art.TikalThis Mayan city in Guatemala is best known for its temple of the two headed snake.PalenquePalenque in Chiapas, Mexico is said to be the most magical of the Mayan cities.Chichn ItzThis city is the largest of the ancient Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula and now one of Mexicos most visited tourist destinations.AztecHere are some of the Aztecs most impressive onesTeotihuacanTeotihuacan was not actually built by the Aztecs, but they were so in awe of the ancient city it still became sacred.CholulaCholula is one of the biggest pyramids in the world. It has many tunnels dug through it to excavate the things inside and now visitors are allowed to go inside of it.TeopanzolcoInside of Teopanzolco the pyramid was never finished and no one knows why.TenochtitlanLittle has been found of this city located under Mexico City.Chichn ItzTeotihuacan

  • Chocolate MayansThe Mayans were the first real chocolate experts. Chocolate was a medicine to cure everything, a part of society, a gift, and part of their myths. Even burial tombs have been found with pots and vases that have paintings of cacao beans on them.The Mayans did not have chocolate bars like we do. They ground it into a coarse paste and mixed it with water, spices, and chiles to make a frothy and bitter drink. Or, the beans were mixed with corn and flavorings to make a porridge-like food.

    AztecsIn the Aztec culture chocolate was reserved for the rich and the nobles.Cacao was so special, it was the Aztecs currency.

    1 small rabbit = 30 cacao beans1 turkey egg = 3 cacao beans1 large tomato = 1 cacao beanThe Aztec people also figured out how to fake cacao beans. They would take empty cacao shells and fill them with dirt.

  • Rituals and SacrificesMayanIn one of the Mayan sacrifices, two warriors go to the sacrifice stone. One of the warriors is the victim. He is chained to the sacrifice stone, and they fight to the death. Of course the one chained to the stone dies. He is now painted blue, and the heart is taken out of him.Another ritual is bloodletting. It is a ritual to the maize gods and to the process of birth. In bloodletting they would cut their skin, let some blood come out, and seal the wound up. They believed this to be healthy for them and a sacrifice to the gods.

    AztecThe Aztec also had bloodletting much like the Mayans.In an Aztec human sacrifice a person would be put up on the sacrifice stone and have their heart taken out and held up to the sun. The body would then be rolled down the stairs of the temple.Another ritual of the Aztecs was the new fire ceremony. Every fire was put out leaving the city in darkness. The priests then climbed Uixachtlan, a sacred mountain. At midnight a human sacrifice was made and the heart was taken out. Then the priest attempted to light a fire in the chest of the victim. Once they lit the fire, torches were passed around and the fires were lit again.

  • ReligionMayanThe Mayans main gods were the gods of corn, sun, rain and Itza the creator god.The Mayans believed that there were two different worlds--the everyday world and the other world (they lived in the everyday world and their ancestors spirits and gods lived in the other world). The priest was the one responsible for standing between the two worlds. He performed religious ceremonies that the Mayans believed would earn them the favor of the other world.The Mayan rulers were also thought to be partly god and after they died were buried in tombs full of offerings.Tepeu and Gucumatz are the first beings to exist but they want to be worshiped by something so they ask Huracan, one of the gods, to help them make people. He makes animals but with all their squawking they didnt worship their creators, so Tepeu and Gucumatz send them to the forest and ask another god to help. He makes them of mud but they crumble and fall apart. The next god makes them of wood but they have no soul so they quickly forget their creator. Then the gods make people out of corn and their work is complete. That is why corn is not only the cornerstone of the Mayan diet but they think theyre made of it.

    AztecAztec religion had a lot to do with being scared of nature and scared of the end of the world. Most of their rituals were to prevent the end of the world or to ask the gods to keep them safe.

    CreationAccording to the Aztec religion it took the gods 5 tries to make the world. It took them 5 tries because the gods would not agree with each other. After each god was knocked down from his position they would go and destroy the world again.

    The SunAll the gods took turns being the sun but they had a council and decided that one would have to be the only sun god and sacrifice himself. But there was a problem; the sun wouldnt move. So finally they all sacrificed themselves but still the sun was weak. The people had to give sacrifices to keep the sun moving and to repay the gods for sacrificing themselves.

    Mayan corn godQuetzalcoatl

  • CalendarMayanThe Mayans other calendar was actually the Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichn Itz. It had 4 stairways, each with 91 steps, and a platform at the top making a total of 365 steps, the number of days in the year.The Mayan calendar has 3 different dating systems--The Haab (civil calendar), the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Long count.

    AztecThe Aztec calendar was dedicated to the sun god. It was three feet thick and almost 12 feet across. It was buried under Mexico City for almost 300 years.

    Calendar 1The first calendar was called The Xiuhpohualli, the counting of the years a lot like our calendar. It had 365 days but there were 18 months each consisting of 4 five-day weeks. Then 5 unlucky days were added each year. They would also have 4 seasons.

    Calendar 2The Tonalpohualli is the more sacred calendar. It shows to what gods and when to make sacrifices and offerings.Every 52 years the two calendars will align. This could bring disaster on the world so the new fire ritual takes place.

  • The FallMayanSome time in the 800s unknown attackers attacked Cancuen and streamed into its ritual heart. They came in very fast. We can even tell today. Unfinished projects are just sitting there, pots and bowls were all over the kitchen and lying on the floor, and half carved statues are sitting in the open. They killed the Queen, King and the rest of the city. They wonder what the attackers were looking for. Apparently they werent interested in treasurejade, gold, and ceramics were undisturbed--but the attackers message was clear. They had chipped the faces of all the stone monuments and tipped them face first on the ground. The city was ritually killed. Cancuen was one of the last cities to be destroyed. The civilization that had been the strongest for over 500 years was slowly being destroyed.

    AztecsYears before the Spaniards came to conquer Mexico Tenochtitlan had some unusual disasters. Between 1517 and 1519 they had an earthquake and Lake Texcoco flooded the capital city. They believed this to be a sign that the end of the Aztec rule was coming. In 1519 Hernando Cortes arrived in Mexico. He defeated the local tribe of Indians and moved into the capital city. Cortes arrived there with more than 500 soldiers, 14 cannons, 16 horses, and a large number of Aztec enemies. When Cortes arrived the Aztec people gave him gifts of gold and food to encourage him to turn around but he would not. When he entered the city he was given more gifts but he still would not turn around. He had King Motecuhzoma put in prison and had him killed. In 1521 Corts's army had conquered the Aztecs and within two years the Spanish diseases had wiped out everyone.

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