The Aztec Indians

Word Count: 495

The Aztec Indians, who are known for their
domination of southern and central Mexico, ruled between
the 14th and 16th centuries. Their name is derived from
Azatlan, the homeland of the north. The Aztecs also call
themselves Mexica and there language came from the
Nahuatlan branch of the Uto-Aztecan family. The Aztecs
were formed after the Toltec civilization occurred when
hundreds of civilians came towards Lake texcoco. Late
families were unfortunate and were forced to go to the
swamp lands. In the swamp lands there was only one piece
of land to farm on and it was totally surrounded by more
marshes . The Aztec families some how converted these
disadvantages to a might empire known as they Aztec
Empire. People say the empire was partially formed by a
deeply believed legend. As the the legend went it said that
Aztec people would create a empire on in a swampy place
where they would see an eagle eating a snake while perched
on a cactus which is growing out of a rock in the
swamplands. This is what priests claimed they saw while
entering the new land. By the year 1325 Their capital city
was finished. They called it Tenochtitlan. In the the capital
city aqueducts (piping) were constructed, bridges were built,
and chinapas were made. Chinapas were little islands
formed by pilled up mud. On these chinapas Aztecs grew
corn, beans, chili peppers, squash, tomatoes, and tobacco.
Tenochtitlan (the capital city) was covered in giant religious
statues in order to pay their respects to the gods. In the
Aztec religion numerous gods controlled an Aztecís daily
life. Some of these gods include: Uitzilpochtli (the sun god),
Coyolxauhqui (the moon goddess), Tlaloc (the rain god),
and Quetzalcoatl (the inventor of the calendar and writing).
Another part of the Aztec religion was human sacrifices. For
their sacrifices the priest would lay the man or woman over a
convex (rounded) stone, then he would take a sharp knife
and cut the victims heart out. They did this because they
believed that good gods could prevent bad gods from doing
evil things and they also believed that good gods got their
strength from human blood and hearts so they had sacrifices
in order to keep their gods strong. For major rituals warriors
were sacrificed, for the warrior this was one of the greatest
honors and for minor rituals prisoners were used. In an
Aztec marriage the grooms shirt is tied to the brides dress in
order to express there bonding and after the wedding incents
were burned for 4 days before proceeding with the
marriage. In 1519 Hernando Cortes, a Spanish explorer, led
over 500 men into Aztec territory to search for gold. Aztecs
thought he was a representative for a certain white skinned
god so they respected him. It all changed when the Aztecs
saw that Hernando was melting down their golden statues
and shipping them back to Spain. The Aztecs decided to
attack Hernando and his men. The Aztecs were successful
and drove the Spanish away. In 1520 the Spanish attacked
the Aztecís capital city and destroyed their civilization. That
was the end of the Aztecís mighty empire had built so long
ago. Work Cited 1) ďAztec IndiansĒ. Young Students
Learning Library. 1993 2) Encarta Ď96. CD-ROM. U.S.
Microsoft, 1996 .