Mexica and tenochtitlan

Mexica and tenochtitlan - The Mexicans and Tenochtitlan...

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Broken spears lie in the roads; we have torn out hair in our grief. The houses are roofless now, and their walls are red with blood. Worms are swarming in the streets and plazas, and the walls are splattered with gore. The water has turned red, as if it were, dyed, and when we drink it, it has the taste of brine. We have pounded our hands in despair against the adobe walls, for our inheritance, our city, is lost and dead. the shields of our warriors were its defense, but they could not save it. 1 The poem above was written by a member of the Mexica society in Tenochtitlan. It describes the utter destruction of the city during the Spanish conquest. It also displays, as Inga Clendinnen points out in her study: Aztecs: An Interpretation , the respect the Mexicas had for their city. Clendinnen makes note that “what is notable… is that the lament was for Tenochtitlan, not its people.” 2 The poem is an example of how the Mexicas valued their city over their own lives. Their life, from birth, was built to better the city. Men were raised to become soldiers to strengthen the city and to import more tribute. Women were raised to become wives and to have children. 3 Nurturing the youth of the city to play specific roles helped advance the great city of Tenochtitlan to become a city that Hernando Cortez describes as “…impossible to describe its excellence and grandeur… in Spain there is nothing to compare with it.” 4 1 Inga Clendinnen, Aztecs: An Interpretation (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991) 272. 2
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Mexica and tenochtitlan - The Mexicans and Tenochtitlan...

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