Essay about Aztecs

Essay about Aztecs

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The Aztecs were a group of
indigenous people who established an extensive empire in Mexico and parts of Central America.
They were part of the Nahua ethnic group which was predominant within the
region. The Aztecs are characterized not only by their vast empire,
comparable to those in Europe but also by their technological advancements
and spiritual traditions and rituals (Leon-Portilla, xvii). Two theoretical
concepts that will be used to analyze this society are the cognized versus
operation models and the coproduction model. The Aztecs’ strong cosmic and
mythological beliefs not only had metaphysical effects but also produced
physical, ecological ones as well. This represents the difference between
the cognized and operational models. Coproduction can be seen through the
fundamental reasons behind the evolution of agriculture as a subsistence
activity within the community. The Aztecs built their empire in area known
as “Mesoamerica”, which is the territory shared between Mexico and Central
America (Aguilar-Moreno, 2). Several different environments exist within
this area, including dry deserts and more arid jungles. Four main
indigenous groups existed in Mesoamerica, with the Aztecs being the last
ones to do so. The others were the Olmec, the Teotihuacanos and the Toltec.
While they existed throughout different periods in time, they shared
similar beliefs. The name Aztec means “People of Aztlan”. Azlatan is
believed to be a symbolic, mythological island where all the four main
societies derived from (Aguilar-Moreno, 29). The Aztecs arrived and built
their empire within the Valley of Mexico, having known that other
indigenous groups had previously lived there. Their main forms of
sustenance came primarily...


... middle of paper ...


...basis and environmental truth. This
holds true when examining the coproduction between environment and culture
in regards to agriculture. Both play important roles in determining the
Aztec’s choice of geographical location as well as their different systems
implemented in response to changing social factors, especially population
density. However, their spiritual beliefs, though still
environmentally-minded, do not provide us with the same conclusion. Their
sacrificial rituals and practices demonstrate notable differences when
observed through cognized and operational models. So even though their
agricultural advancements may show accurate environmental beliefs, their
spiritual practices fail to accomplish this. Perhaps their cosmology and
mythology only served as a tool to garner appreciation for the natural
world and life much like religion does today.

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