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AZTECS CULTURE AZTEC CULTURE I. LIVED A. Tenochtitla'n B. Aztec meant (heron people) C. fertile basin about 50 miles long and as wide surrounded by mountain ranges and containing an abundant water supply and several volcanoes D. 8000 ft. above sea level, days are mild but nights are cold during much of the year E. Their name is derived from a mythical homeland to the north called Azatlan II. LANGUAGE A. Nahuatl this language belongs to the same linguistic family as Shoshonean, a tongue will represented among Indians of the United States. III. AZTEC LIFE A. Principal crops 1. maize, 2. beans 3. squash 4. tomatoes 5. cotton 6. spiny-leave maguey 7. agave 8. chilies b. the last two crops the spiny-leave maguey and agave were used as cord, sacks and sandals and a substitute for cotton in clothing c. the fermented juice of the maguey called "pulque" was the Aztec ceremonial drink. customarily, only old men were allowed to drink pulque freely d. drunkenness among young men, except at certain religious feasts, was a serious offense and might even be punished by death E. Floating gardens were an unusual feature of Aztec agriculture. 1. digging ditches around squares or rectangle in the marshes 2. pile up mud on the area which the ditches enclosed 3. the mud were held in position by front coverings of cane and branches of trees 4. This type of agriculture can still be seen today at Xochimilco, a few miles south of Mexico City IV. LAND A. clan like groups B. tribe was divided C. each family were allotted sufficient land for its maintenance, if no one else were alive to take care of the land then the land were reverted back to the group. D. other lands were worked in common for the support of the nobility and for the religious need of the community E. urban communities, land ownership was communal, each local group, called a (capulli) was composed of a few families that jointly owned a piece of land. Part of the yield of cultivated land was given to the state as a kind of tax I. farmers A. general field workers charge with 1. preparing the soil 2. breaking up clods 3. hoeing (with the coa digging sticks) 4. leveling 5. setting boundary markers 6. planting 7. irrigating 8. winnowing, and storing grain B. horticulturists 1. knowledge of the planting of trees and transplanting 2. crop sequences 3. rotations 4. supervisory role, for they were expected to read the tonalamatl almanacs to determine the best time for planting and harvesting V. ANIMALS A. Domestic 1. turkeys 2. ducks 3. dogs which were raised as food and considered a great delicacy 4. special treats may have included boiled grasshoppers, cactus worms, locusts and insect eggs B. wild animals eaten 1. rabbit 2. deer 3. gopher 4. 40 species of water birds were edible 5. Iguanas, snakes, turtles, salamanders, insects eggs and larvae, many species of frogs, grasshoppers, ants and worms 6. Corixid water beetles an abundant protein source, were netted from the lake, mashed together in balls, wrapped in corn husks, and boiled. 7. tadpoles
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course EN 01012 taught by Professor Carey during the Spring '07 term at BC.

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