IN History & Culture ON
You might be wondering what is Aztec? One small correction before I answer your apparent question. It's not WHAT is Aztec; it is WHO is Aztec?
Okay so here is the answer:
The Aztec was a group of ethnic people located in Central America who spoke the Nahuatl language. They ruled the Mesoamerican lands from 14th to 16th century. However, the Aztecs called them Mexica rather than Aztec. Aztec was a term bestowed upon them by the Europeans. The term Aztec means 'belonging to Aztlan,' a mythological land of Nahuatl speaking people. Aztec was one of the most influential and also the last civilization of post-classical Mesoamerican chronology. Now don't expect me to reveal everything in the description part.
Scroll down to find more.
Human sacrifice was an important part of the Aztec ritual. Nearly 500-700 humans were sacrificed each year by the Aztec to placate their deities. There is more to this, the body parts of the people sacrificed had to be eaten. Without this, the ritual was not deemed complete.
Tenochtitlan, the capital of Aztec empire, was the cleanest and largest city during those times. It was built on a 7 square mile island in the lake Texcoco and had around 2,00,000 citizens. Tenochtitlan is now known as Mexico City.
The Aztec used to sell their own children in order to settle their debt. However, the slaves could buy their own freedom if they could manage to run from their master and reach the temple before their master caught them.
Child sacrifices, in their own words, were special sacrifices done by the Aztec. There was a different theory behind it. Tlaloc was the God of water and during the time of drought, children were sacrificed because it was believed that their tears would please the water God and this whole cycle would bring rain. Plus, the skin of the children sacrificed was worn by the priests for at least two days to complete the ritual.
Cocoa beans were used by Aztec as the means of exchange i.e. currency. Wow! Yummy!
Ullamaliztli was a popular sport played by Aztec. It involved trying to get a rubber ball through numerous tiny holes and gaps without touching it. This game had a twist in it. Since human sacrifice was considered as an honor, most of the archaeologists believed that the one who won the game had to sacrifice himself instead of the person who lost. Haha!
The Aztec had even weird burial custom. The dead were buried under or around their own houses. Scary!
Aztec was one of the first societies that made education compulsory for all. How cool!
Aztec men were allowed to practice polygamy openly. They could have as many wives as they wanted. Wonder how they handled so many wives! Boon or bane?
Beside using Cocoa as a currency, Aztec were also one of the primary developers of chocolate using Cocoa beans. I just love them for that!