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Mexican Memories

by Jenni Reker

A highly advanced culture, one of the most advanced in the
Western Hemisphere was the precursor of modern day Mexico.
As early as 21000 BC or perhaps even earlier hunters are
thought to have roamed through what is now Mexico. It was
around 8000 BC that squash, the first Mexican crop began to
appear. The Olmecs were the first tribe to appear in Mexico
and it was considered a major Mesoamerican civilization.
While the time is not known exactly, Olmec arrived is
estimated between 1500 and 600 BC. The sixth century AD saw
the flourishing of the Mayans in the Mexican area. Then,
however, Toltecs, a very warlike group of people, traveled
to the Mexico area from the north, arriving in the Mexican
Valley around the eighth century. Talncingo and Tula were
the first cities they founded. Their civilization was
advanced and they built magnificent structures whose ruins
are still visible

 

 


The Toltecs left the region in the 12th century, pushed out
by the Chichimeca, and dispersed all over. The next century
seven Nahuatlan tribes came from what was thought to be the
area of present day Arizona and New Mexico. The Aztecs were
the leading tribe among the Nahuatlan and in 1325 the Aztec
established the city of Tenochtitlan. A causeway was built
as a dam and a fortress for their island town. Itzcoatl, the
first Aztec emperor, spread his civilization's influence
throughout nearly all of Mexico in the 15th century.

The Aztecs were a very developed and cultured people,
advanced in art, intellect and agriculture, growing corn and
depending on it extensively. Rich and strong, they build
tremendous Aztec cities and banded together for social,
political and spiritual strength. The explorer de Cordoba
came to Mexico from Europe, finding Mayan civilization
traces in Yucatan in 1517. The Cuban de Grijalva discovered
the Aztecs along Mexico's east coast and took his tale back
to his homeland. The governor of Cuba promptly sent the soon
to be conqueror Cortes and a large complement of warriors to
the region.

What happened to the Aztecs was that they had divided
themselves into 38 scattered and independent tribes who
didn't get along well. This played right into the hands of
Cortes and his soldiers. As did the Aztec emperor
Montezuma's belief that Cortes was the god Quetzalcoatl.

The Aztecs has three classes of society. There were slaves,
commoners and nobles. The slaves were like indentured
servants. The poor could sell their children into this
servitude for a specific period of time. Slaves were also
able to buy their way out of slavery and if they somehow
managed to escape and reach the royal palace they were freed
immediately. Commoners were known by the Aztec name of
Maceaultin. All but the lowest group of commoners known as
tlalmaitl could own land and could build their houses on
that land. The tlalmaitl were tenant farmers, however. The
nobles were priests, warriors and those born into nobility.
 

 

 

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Many gods were worshipped by the early Aztecs. They had a
sun god; a moon goddess who was thought to have been killed
by the sun god, her brother; a rain god and even a god of
the calendar, writing and resurrection. Aztec writing was
important to their people, as was drawn or recorded on paper
or the hide of animals. These codices have been found and
some are still around. The calendar of the Aztecs had 365
days, but 18 months each with 20 days. It also had five
other days that were called hollow and supposedly full of
extremely bad luck. Over a million Aztec descendants still
live around Mexico City. Illiterate, they are subsistence
farmers. They reject modern Mexican civilization and favor a
religious combination of ancient Aztec and modern day Roman
Catholicism.

 Jenni Reker is the webmaster and owner of Lowr mexico Ltd which is an excellent place to find Mexico links, resources and articles.
For more information on this article, please visit: http://www.mgmexico.com/

 


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