In the Aztec religion numerous gods controlled an Aztec’s daily life. Some of these gods include: Uitzilpochtli (the sun god), Coyolxauhqui (the moon goddess), Tlaloc (the rain god), and Quetzalcoatl (the inventor of the calendar and writing). Another part of the Aztec religion was human sacrifices. For their sacrifices the priest would lay the man or woman over a convex (rounded) stone, then he would take a sharp knife and cut the victims heart out. They did this because they believed that good gods could prevent bad gods from doing evil things and they also believed that good gods got their strength from human blood and hearts so they had sacrifices in order to keep their gods strong.
Quetzalcoatl only demanded the sacrifice of animals such as snakes and butter... ... middle of paper ... ... the Aztecs believed that they were honoring them, as well as honoring the sun god. The ritual of the heart being cut out of the sacrifice victim was to honor only the sun god. Other Sacrificial Ceremonies The Aztec also preformed other sacrificial ceremonies. During the ceremony generally preformed in regard to Wipe Tote, the sacrifice was preformed by shooting the victim with arrows. In this instance, drops of blood falling from victims represented life giving rain.
Spinden suggests that the power of death is so strong because “death and destruction were within the sphere of every deity if they chose to extend their power beyond a given point” (85). The death deities are commonly portrayed with decaying flesh on their bodies, distended stomachs, skeletal bodies, closed eyes, fleshed and bloated, and black spots signifying petrification (Fitzimmons 2009, Foster 2002, Mazariegos 2017, Wilson 2006). A fine-line ceramic vessel found in Guatemala, dating back to 600-700A.D., shows an underworld mythological scene with the Maya Rain Diety, Chaac, swinging an axe over a baby and a Death God joins in a dance or “shuffle,” an important component of the Underworld, according to Schele (See figure 3) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Schele 1988). The most common death god, known as Ah Puch, lives in the Underworld and patronizes the day Kimi, meaning “death” (Foster 2002). He is most commonly represented in an anthromorphic appearance with a skull head, skeletal spine and black dots on his body (Foster 2002).
The belief was that the souls of the dead are appeased with human blood, they use to sacrifice captives or slaves of poor quality at funerals. Afterwards it seemed good to obscure their impiety by making it a pleasure. (6:170) So after the acquired person had been trained to fight as best they can, their training was to learn to be killed! For such reasons gladiators were sometimes known as bustuarii or funeral men. Throughout many centuries of Roman history, these commemorations of the dead were still among the principle occasions for such combats.
The ancient religion of the Mexican Aztec’s was a complex interaction between gods and its adherents through human sacrifice, rituals, and principle beliefs. The fall of the Toltec civilization allowed for the Aztec religion to form and thrive during the 14th and 15th century. They believed the gods were powerful enough to effect everyone from the emperor right down to the slaves. Huitzilopochtli was the tribal sun god and god of war, without whom no life would exist on earth. Although often influenced by the surrounding cultures, the Aztec rituals and beliefs shaped and gave meaning to life for its adherents.
But they worshipped the sun god the most. Religious ceremonies took place in a temple called a teocalli. This temple had sacred pools for ceremonial cleansing, gardens, living quarters for a priest, and racks to hold the skulls of victims. Religion played a great part in Aztec life. Although religion was an important motivator in Aztec life, farming was the common activity.
The system was based on their religion and corresponded to their agricultural cycle, and feasts were celebrated with human sacrifice as an indispensable ritual. The ritual death of a human being was regarded as the culmination of any ceremony, but the extraction of the heart was the main ritual that preceded the slaying. The blood of victims was considered to be filled with the power to communicate with the supernatural world (Gonzalez Torres 1992:116). The priests in charge of these rituals sprinkled the collected blood on a sacrificial stone and the stairs of the temple pyramid. It is thought that they threw the bodies of victims from the top of the temple pyramid to sanctify the stairs with their blood.
The paper would then be burned in an offering to the gods. It was believed that the priests could see the spirits in the smoke.Kings would also give blood offerings, which would please the gods. The Maya had a strong belief in the afterlife. When a king or nobleman died, the Maya people believed that he became one with the gods and would go to live in the sky with them. The Maya worshipped their ancestors as if they were gods.
All hearts were good, but the bravest captives were to be best nourishing to the gods as a result, widespread warring took place. The Aztec people sought to bring captives back to the Aztec temples for sacrifice. They would sacrifice people in name of the gods. Sometimes, those practicing the Aztec religion sacrificed just one person. At other times, hundreds or even thousands of captives were sacrificed at a time.
Yet, they worshiped these gods in very violent ways through human sacrifice. Some civilizations killed younger children and some killed adults, ripping out their hearts and cutting off their heads. Life in Latin America before the Europeans arrived insinuated a paradox because they had an organized leadership and were spiritual, yet they caused mayhem through violence and war. Works Cited The Inca: The Great Inca Rebellion The Maya: Engineering an Empire The Aztec: Documentary: The Aztec Empire In Search of History The Olmec: Secrets of the Ancient Olmecs (Full Documentary) on You tube