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Aztec Indians Religion - Research Paper Example

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Aztec Indians history is very fascinating and interesting as it provides linkages to all the four-corners namely Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada (Althoff, Habeck and Hegseth)…
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Aztec Indians Religion
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Download file to see previous pages It is because of this mixed ethnicities and population that in the Aztec culture a lot of creativity is seen in the form of their art, poetry and music. It was through their art that they expressed religion and warfare which was portrayed in the form of paintings, sculptures and temples. In addition the Aztec Indians had a very structured society that was based on agriculture, and religion served as a guide that pervaded their every aspect of life. As religion served to be their guiding principles, the Aztecs took their religion very seriously. They worshiped different Gods that were meant to represent different natural forces that according to their belief were important for their agriculture-based economy. Some of the important deities of the Aztecs were the god of rain: Tlaloc, the patron god of Aztec tribe: Huitzilopochtli, the god of civilization and culture hero: Quetzalcoatl and the god of fortune and destiny Tezcatlipoca who was also responsible for the war and sorcery. In the Aztec Capital – Tenochtitlan, each of these gods had their own temples where the Aztecs performed their religious practices and rituals (Wikipedia). These deities were mostly represented in human form however they were given different forms too where the face was given of an animal and the body of a human. At times the same deity was given different representations as well. Each of the Aztec cities had a giant stone pyramid on which the temples were made. The most important feature of the Aztec religion has been the Human Sacrifice (Schmal). This attempt of human sacrifice was practiced in order to please the Gods in situations where it was expected that they are angry, whereas it was also believed by the priests that it gave the Gods human sustenance and is requirement to fulfill the needs of their supernatural deities (Unknown, Aztec Indians). It was also a common belief that without sacrificing humans, the world would end and so will their lives. The common practice followed by the Aztecs on sacrificing an individual was to climb to the top of the pyramid wearing a mask, the person was then made to stretch out over a convex stone, and then in this position using a knife the priest would cut out the heart. According to the Aztec myths this practice was carried out because it was believed that the gods themselves sacrificed themselves in order to create the world, moon, sun and the people therefore by sacrificing themselves the people were repaying the god. Other than this offering food, other goods and incense were also very common (Smith). The Aztecs took this practice to an unprecedented level, however the number of sacrifices were dependent upon the crisis situation faced especially in the event of a drought. Because the Aztec economy was agriculture based, therefore in the season of good harvesting the number of sacrifices was low, however in a drought situation this number could increase to hundreds. This was also common among warriors for whom the two most honorable ways to die were to be slain in battle or by presenting themselves to be sacrificed at some important ceremony. Human sacrifice was also varied depending upon the social position of a person for example the sacrifice of a warrior was done on important ceremonies whereas in less important sacrifices, the prisoners were presented to the gods. There were also certain conditions applied to the individuals who were to be sacrificed, these included abstaining from any sexual activity, eating only one unseasoned meal a day for four days until the day of the event. This practice of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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