Essay about Pre-Columbian civilizations

Essay about Pre-Columbian civilizations

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Long before any white man ever set foot in this hemisphere, there were fully functional and highly developed societies here. These civilizations were sophisticated, could even be considered more advanced than the European nations at the time. While the rest of the Eastern world was in the dark Middle Ages, the people here were flourishing.
The Aztecs were the Native American people who dominated northern México at the time of the Spanish conquest led by Hernan CORTES in the early 16th century. According to their own legends, they originated from a place called Aztlan, somewhere in north or northwest Mexico. At that time the Aztecs (who referred to themselves as the Mexica or Tenochca) were a small, nomadic, Nahuatl-speaking aggregation of tribal peoples living on the margins of civilized Mesoamerica. Sometime in the 12th century they embarked on a period of wandering and in the 13th century settled in the central basin of México (Encarta). Continually dislodged by the small city-states that fought one another in shifting alliances, the Aztecs finally found refuge on small islands in Lake Texcoco where, in 1325, they founded the town of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City).
Fearless warriors and pragmatic builders, the Aztecs created an empire during the 15th century that was surpassed in size in the Americas only by that of the Incas in Peru. As early texts and modern archaeology continue to reveal, beyond their conquests and many of their religious practices, there were many positive achievements such as the formation of a highly specialized and stratified society and an imperial administration, the expansion of a trading network as well as a tribute system, and the development and maintenance of a sophisticated agricultural economy, carefully adjusted to the land (Mexico).
The Aztecs were very religious and their entire culture revolved around their beliefs. The leader of the Aztec empire was called the tlatoani. He was considered to be a divine descendant of the gods. They built large pyramids and built temples on top of them to worship their many gods. In these temples they would even have human sacrifices. They believed they had to keep the good gods strong and happy, in order for them to prevent the evil gods from destroying the empire. “It is believed that in 1487 there were more than 80,000 human sacrifices to appease the gods (Mexico).”
Another...


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...elody to accompany the instrument one (Music).
     The music I like today is built on the structures of the tonal system. They use the pitches and melodies to hook you into the music. Most of the music I like has lyrics to it. This adds the effect of bringing you into the song by shaping it into a story. An example would be “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, and “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam. I see the tonal system like a stairway; each level builds off the progress of the one before it, and adds something to it.     
Works Cited
Bethell, Leslie (1998). A Cultural History of Latin America: Literature, Music and the
Visual Arts in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Cambridge University Press.

Encarta. February 20, 2005. www.Encarta.com

Koontz, R., Coe, M.D (2002). Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. Tom Doherty
     Associates, Inc.

Miller, Richard (1986). The Structure of Music; System and Art of Tonal Technique,      Berklee Press.

Pre-Columbian Music: Aztec Music, February 23, 2005.      http://history.smsu.edu/jchuchiak/HST%20350--Theme%203--Aztec_music.htm

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