By Caroline Dodds Pennock
The heritage of the Aztecs has been haunted through the spectre of human sacrifice. Reinvesting the Aztecs with a humanity often denied to them, and exploring their brilliant non secular violence as a understandable part of lifestyles, this publication integrates a clean interpretation of gender with an leading edge examine of the typical lifetime of the Aztecs.
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Extra resources for Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture
Although an objective view should not overemphasize the significance of ritual bloodshed, the fact remains that death formed a frequent and organized element of Aztec life, offering a route through which to access the mentality which shaped the perceptions and practices of the men and women of Tenochtitlan. So in looking at life, I will begin not with birth but with death, confronting the violence which faced every Aztec from the moment they entered the world. 1 Living with Death Do not think that you have been brought here by mishap, nor that you have come here to seek a living; you have come to die [for Huitzilopochtli], to offer your chests and throats to the knife.
The captor was, quite literally, rewarded for his victory, receiving the fruits of this ritual begging in both honour and goods. The taking of captives was unambiguously associated with manhood; being taken prisoner, as a natural consequence of courageous manhood, brought no shame, but there was certainly a sense in which greater prestige accrued to one who triumphed over others. However, without conceding his own honour, the captive also served to bring esteem to his Living with Death 21 captor by his behaviour.
2 demonstrate the themes associated with the deities impersonated by the ixiptla in a single round of the ritual calendar. ) Many of the most important Aztec deities are represented here in their primary identities and a useful trend is evident. The male ixiptla are associated with gods whose influence lies in a variety of fields. Occasionally a natural influence is demonstrated, Quetzalcoatl appears in his guise as the god of wind and Tlaloc was supplicated to bring the rain necessary for the success of the crops; but these deities are exceptions, removed from the general model by their primeval origins and awesome inherent authority.