aztec journal

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This is my Social Studies Project for Mr. Sanford's class.

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  • TOP SECRET

    SHUGE LUOS AMAZING

    AZTEC FINDINGS

  • 16 August 1500

    Hello fellow Tlaxcalans, I, Shuge Luo, am the chosen one to spy on the Aztecs for a month. Today was my first day.

    I live in a tent in a remote chinampa; which is a floating artificial land built to extend the empires land. Today, I decided to buy some clothes for myself at the market. However, I have no idea on where it is. Fortunately, Ive met a very friendly guy named Ahuiliztli. I told him I was a traveler. He told me his name meant joy. He is a very joyous and welcoming male and offered to take a tour for me. I first asked him where the market is. He gave me a map and started explaining.

    The market in Aztec is located in the city center. It is held every day on a large square outside the city center. All the products are grouped into categories.

    Man, was it long journey. We had to cross many different sections of land. It took us around 50 minutes to walk to the market. Living in the remote chinampa is very in-convenient. I saw that the market was very crowded and busy. It was packed like a jar of olives. I saw something really eye-catching in the crowd: these, beautiful weaved fabric. I have to say, the Aztec woman are extraordinary at weaving. The cotton fabric is delicate and soft. It feels like the most amazing thing in the world. They also used flamboyant colors. Ahuiliztli also told me that Aztec woman started interacting with weaving ever since they were a baby! It was a very surprising fact. It was told that when they were a baby, they had to hold a distaff (a tool to spin thread). As they grow older, from age 7-14, they also learned how to weave on backstrap looms. Shocking! Enough writing about cloth, Im tired now. I have to sleep for a brand new day tomorrow.

  • 20 August 1500 Hi Tlaxcalans,

    Its been 5 days since I stayed in the Aztecs and I learned a lot more things. You know how I was interested in their beautiful cloth? Well, I bought a traditional Aztec costume. I got a blouse called huplli and a skirt which is called cuitl. The interesting thing was cueitl huipilli was metaphorically used to mean woman. Men wore maxtal, which was wrapped around the waist and covered in between the legs. They would also wear a cloak of some sort called tilma. I also learned that the Aztecs would decorate themselves heavily with all kinds of jewelry, especially the men. They wore nose ornaments, earplugs and lip plugs. The material could range from bone, wood, shells, to feathers, teeth and stone. The Aztecs also treated metalwork seriously, gold and silver jewelry could be seen everywhere. They also enforced strict laws about wearing headdresses, only royalty could wear them.

    I bet all of you guys are interested about the food they have here, huh? Well, they are vegetarian however they do eat dogs (Ewwww O_O) and turkey. The first meal is at 10 am and it usually consists of corn porridge. Then for lunch, they have tortillas with vegetable such as tomatoes and avocados. Dinner is eaten before they sleep and they have a corn drink with some spices. Yeah, I know, they eat a lot of corn or maize as they like to call it. The nobles and warriors get to drink chocolate. Cacao mixed with ground maize (chocolate) was drunk during spiritual rituals. What about protein and other minerals? Well, they also ate fruits, algae, water life. They have insects and worms as a protein source. Kind of gross. They also invented this gum called tzictli that they chew while they work. Ill rate their food 7.5 out of 10 if you ask me.

    Thats a lot of writing for today, Im tired now. So bye.

  • 23 August 1500

    Whee, time flies and it has been almost a week I have lived with the Aztecs. It has been pretty peaceful around here. Yesterday, I saw a small child going to school so I decided to do some research about that. The Aztecs have two types of schools; the calmac and telpochallii. The calmec was held for the priests and only sons of nobles could go. At age 15, the boys have to go. It had very harsh punishments if the students misbehaved. The priest would either shave their hair or prick their skin with cactus. It was a very hard life; however they maintained high self-discipline that way. They learned history, astronomy, poetry, and writing. On the other side, telpochallii was for the locals such as peasants. There, they were taught to be good citizens and elements of warfare. They learned some basic fundamental history.

    There is also a third type of school called the cuicacalli. It was more of a military school. They were trained in war; hence, schools had great rivalry which often leads to fights. What about the girls? Girls had to stay at home learning basic household chores. They were trained for marriage. They had to start learn to weave at age of 4 and coking since 12. Their main job was to keep the house clean and manage the family. Some nobles daughters might help in the temple and become professional priestesses. I also heard that the education at home was harsh too. Parents strongly advised their children to stay away theft, gambling, drink, gossip. If they misbehaved, the consequences were painful. They would hold them over a chili pepper fire or make them inhale chili pepper smoke. Ouch.... I am glad I am a Tlaxcalan. Ill write more tomorrow, for now, its 11pm and I have to go to sleep.

  • 28 August 1500

    Sorry for not writing for so long, it was because I attended a wedding! You must wonder who it is, it is Ahuiliztli! The wedding lasted for an entire 5 days long. The men would always make the first move, so Ahuiliztli sent a matrimonial agent to Itzels family (Ahuiliztlis love, and her name means rainbow lady). Itzel denied at first and I was rather surprised as Ahuiliztli is a great joyful man. Ahuiliztli told me not to take that too seriously; it was just a tradition of making the man woo the woman.

    This lasted 2 days until Itzels family accepted the invitation. The priest chose a good day. For us, it was 26 August. On the day of the wedding, Itzel was powered with clean hair; she looked like she was glowing. Feathers of exotic birds were put on her arms and legs along with the finest garments the family owned. There were many fine foods, again made out of corn.

    During sunset, Ahuiliztlis family went to Itzels house to give apologies and thanks. Then Itzel kneeled on a piece of black cloth and an elder picked her up to carry her to Ahuiliztlis house. Relatives would follow behind her in a single file line. Once everyone was gathered together, Ahuiliztli and Itzels clothes was tied together to signify they are officially husband and wife. They each were fed 4 bites of maize cake. Then they would be left alone, while we held festivals and partied! It was a very exciting and memorable experience for me. It probably will last for a lifetime.

    Gah, was it exhausting. I promise Ill write more tomorrow.

  • 29 August 1500

    Its been half a month Im here now. Today, I am going to teach you about the social classes of the Aztecs. The Ruler owned the empire and made important decisions. The priest was the most educated and often advised the rulers. They also performed spiritual rituals. Warriors carried out wished and expanded the empire by war. Being a warrior was a way to increase your social status as they were greatly honored. Talking about honoring, I will jot down some notes about being a mother in the Aztec that I learned today. Next up, tradesmen. They did all the trade which made the empire richer. While the craftsman carried out skilled labor such as crafting, metalwork...etc. Peasants worked hard as farmers to provide food from crops. On the bottom were the slaves. Slaves were treated poorly. However, they still owned some rights. They could earn back their freedom, they could marry and have properties and their children were born free.

    Motherhood: honored like warriors many restrictions: medical care from midwife(also gave advice) Shouted war cry during birth Baby had many ceremonies such as lifted up in air, and a naming ceremony Families had to give speeches if a mother died from giving birth, they would become a goddess with the sun god

    Hope these information would quench your thirst for knowledge.

  • 6 September 1500

    Today, I couldnt believe I never realized this. But the Aztecs are full of danger. Oh my Tlaxcalans. The Aztecs.... They are so violent. Over this week, I witnessed their cruelty. OK, this is a very long story, but Ill tell it short.

    So it all started out with this Sun god of theirs. Apparently, they think that precious water (blood) was needed to sacrifice to the Sun god. Or else, the Sun will stop functioning. That was one of the reasons why they were called the people of the sun. So this week, was a sacrifice week. They chose this slave, captive from the war because most of the times they used war captives as the sacrifice. Poor poor guy.

    He was carried to the top of a temple. Four priests laid the guy on a stone. The fifth priest sliced open his tummy with a knife. I heard a loud scream and it stopped. Urghhh. I feel like I have to puke just thinking of that. (Warning, the rest of this scenes description will be generally inappropriate for children under 12. Please take caution while reading. PG13) Then the priest took out his heart, still beating, and tear it.

    Afterwards the heart would be placed in a bowl next to a statue of the god they are honoring, while the body was pushed down. Before and after the killing, audience and priests gathered below the plaza will prick themselves for blood. This was called auto sacrifice. The skull would then be displayed on the tzompantli (a display of skulls from sacrifice), while others wi