Who are the People of the Sun? Who are we? In what ways do a group’s beliefs and experiences contribute to their identity? – Traditions – Food – Celebrations – Christmas – Moving
Who are the People of the Sun? What do you know about them? Where are they from? www.partt.org/ mexican_flag.html
Geography Can you imagine an Alberta without mountains? Without oil? What would our culture be like?
What did the Aztecs do? They left their old home and came to a completely new one They built in the mountains on very swampy land Mexico City (Tenochtitlan) is sinking now because of the land and human error What else is sinking?
Mexico City is sinking! Mid century: 48 cm per a year! Currently, 2.5 cm per a year on average Since 1900, it has sunk 9 meters! That’s a 3 storey building Natural springs under city were exhausted, the soil collapsed because the aquifer under the city was drained faster than it was filled Subway system built in the 1960’s is now more like a roller coaster track
Aqueducts Needed to bring fresh water into the city for the Aztecs to survive Built aqueducts These were also used in Ancient RomeGoogle.com
Elevation Edmonton is 668 M above sea level Tenochtitlan is 2240 M above sea level – How could this affect their living? Flash floods Violent weather What else? Built a dam to avoid flash flooding Terraced their fields, which kept water from running off and made use of space
Agriculture Chinampa: “Floating islands” – In the mountains – Stakes were put into soil – Then reed mats were stacked on top and soil was piled on top of that until it became a mini farm. Trees were planted in the corners to anchor it in place – Then they planted flowers and vegetables Corn, chili peppers, squash, beans, tomatos
Make a table: Break into groups of 3 Aztec CanadaMaps and mapmakingWar andempireAgricultureTrade
What did you come up with? Aztec CanadaMaps and map - Believed they were center of world - North on maps, 2nd biggest country inmaking worldWar and - Location allowed them to defeat - Canada has challenges with a longempire neighbours undefended coastline - Spanish made - During Cold War, alliance with Aztec’s between USA and neighbors Soviet UnionAgriculture - Location allowed them to produce - Vast agricultural lands allowed massive surplus foods agricultural sectorTrade - Trade both - Connected to Atlantic necessitated and made and Pacific possible by limited range of food and goods available
The Sacred Landscape Aztec gods – Believed the gods controlled all aspects of their lives – Looked at them for how to live – Four main gods – There was over 100 gods – Polytheistic society
Huitzilopochtli Pronounced “whets-eel-oh-POCH-tlee” – He encouraged the Aztecs to leave their homeland and settle in the valley of Mexico – The sign he gave them was an eagle perched on a cactus (flag of Mexico) – He needs the blood of sacrificial victims to give him strength – Battled with Tezcatlipoca
Tezcatlipoca Pronounced “Tez-cah-tlee-POH-kah” – Considered most powerful of the gods – Saw visions of the future – Ruler of the night sky – Often involved in creation myths – In a constant struggle with Huitz – Main temple in Tenochtitlan was for him
Quetzalcoatl Pronounced “ket-zal-COH-ahtl” – God of wind – “Feathered serpent” – Was to come back in the year “One-reed” and this year would be the destruction of the Aztec Empire – God of priests
Tlaloc Pronounced “TLAH-lzok” – God of rain – Unleashed the floods or cause droughts – Gave life and substance, but could destroy it easily with weather – Needed to keep him happy so they could survive
Human Sacrifice Why? – To the Aztecs, killing another person as a sacrifice was an honor – The victim’s blood nourished the gods and appeased them, without it, they would get angry or die: World would end! – From 1446-1453: numerous natural disasters affected the people (droughts, early frosts, floods, etc) Aztecs were starving, emigrated from Mexico, sold their children, anything to get food Tlacaelel (ruler at time) announced that human sacrifice would save them. In 1453, abundant rain followed.
Tenochtitlan: Centre of the World Like many ancient philosophers: the earth was believed to be a round flat disc – In the very middle, sat Tenochtitlan, courtesy of the Aztec gods – In four sections: connected to mainland by three large causeways – Acqueducts and canals ran through it – Did not require animals for transport – Sat in the mountains, because they believed it was closer to the gods
Tenochtitlan: Center of the World In the center of the city was the Great Temple – Dedicated to Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli – Wealth came into city because of wars and tributes from neighbouring cities
Expanding the Empire The Aztecs had an attitude – Attitude to other cultures that is – Believed they were centre of the world, so they came into conflicts – Very disciplined, independent, and resourceful – Used conquering through war and trade to expand their empire
Expanding through trade Why would the Aztecs need to trade? – Haven’t we seen their superior farming methods? – Think about what you eat on a daily basis and what you like to eat as a luxury Tenochtitlan was high in the mountains, 2000 metres above sea level – Even with their skills, they could not produce avocados, papayas, and cacao to name a few. These grew by the coast, something they didn’t have – Nor did they have their colorful birds, gold or silver
Expanding through trade Needed to trade! – Took hundreds of slaves with them on trading expeditions to carry everything back – Could be gone for months! – Also acted as spies, drawing maps of cities that could be conquered – Helped to expand Page 166: FastForward
Expanding through war http://www.precolumbianjade.com/images/aztec_26 .jpg
Expanding through war Huitzilopochtil ancient prophecy: – “We shall conquer all the people in the universe. I will make you lords and kings of every place in the world.” – By the time the Spanish came, the Aztecs had an empire larger than any other in North America – Their society was more important than the individual in it. – FOR THE GREATER GOOD!
Expanding through war Warrior society – Prepared from birth to be warriors (boys) – Compulsory service in military – Lack of courage threatened the state, it was unacceptable What is conscription? – Military Act 1917 in Canada – 1944: Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription (Mackenzie King)
Expanding through war Are young Canadians willing to die for Canada in a war? How do Canadians respond when Canadian peacekeepers are killed while carrying out UN duties? Would young Canadians consider it an honour to die as a human sacrifice meant to appease a violent god?
Tribute Collected tributes from conquered groups – Gifts, taxes, food, etc. – Cotton blankets, strings of jade beans, cocoa beans Cocoa beans were very important – Made a drink from it with chili peppers – Used as currency – Would grind it to a paste, then mix with water: called “xocoatl”--> Spanish changed it to chocolate, which they brought back to Europe