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Essay on Aztec Women in Society

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Aztec women embarked on several defining moments of labor, gender, class, symbolism, and political power in the Aztec Mexico history and culture. The roles of the Aztec women were unjustly marginalized. Their contributions to the work activities, economy, government and the influence of growth and development were grossly deceptive in the Ethnohistoric documents. Moreover, the variations of Aztec women cooking and weaving revolutionized gender.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. However, what words are being told in the Codex Mensoza 1964, Lám (Brumfiel 1991: 224) and more importantly what influential role did the Spanish heritage have in the artifacts? These credentials were offered as form of resolute of Aztec women’s productive activities in Mexico. Nevertheless, Bromfiel paint a different picture of the Aztec women. In these sketches, Brumfiel draws our attention to the background in which the women are performing their “productive activities.” (Brumfiel 1991: 224) At first glance, these images are portraying Aztec women. However, after careful scrutiny of the photos, I noticed several an uncanny discoveries. In the first two portraits, both of the weaving instruments appear to be bound to Roman and/or Spanish columns (to my untrained eye). In the last two illustrations, I observed “productive activities” (Brumfiel 1991: 224) of cooking being performed, in what appears to be in a non-traditional work environment that does not correspond with the “productive activities” (Brumfiel 1991: 224) of the women in that era. One appears to be working in luxury room while the other seems to be overlooking the mountains from a balcony. Although these duties were performed in a residential setting, the pictures fail to emphasi...


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...es (kneeling) and daily rituals of weaving and cooking symbolized the power of Aztec women. Moreover, the power of a god was bestowed upon them only when they were depicted with armor. The women would spend long days on their knees performing their duties. The ritual of kneeling before the gods, were sought as being in a higher state. For example, I found it very interesting how these women were associated with religion while performing their daily tasks but had to replace their skilled tools with military instruments.
Aztec women were just as skilled as the men were. It is my opinion that the women to a higher degree were more accomplished in systematic labor and experts in aphnology. In my opinion was the backbone in Aztec subsistence. In fact, these women were as equal to the Aztec rulers that reigned over the lands.



Works Cited

Brumfiel 1991
McCafferty 2009


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