Aztec Life and Society

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What did Aztec children do?
grow up to be like their parents
What did most Aztec children want to be?
Who played an important role in Aztec society?
Describe the roles of society.
clearly defined
What were the Aztecs organized into?
What is a calpulli?
community of families that shared land, schools, and temples
What did calpullis do?
elected a leader
Who did the leaders take orders from?
the king
Who was the most important person?
the king
Where did the king live?
in a great palace
How many servants did the king have?
What did the servants do?
tended to animals, birds, and entertained the emperor
What was the king in charge of?
trade, law, tribute, warfare
Who helped the king?
Give examples of positions of nobles.
tax collectors, judges
How were positions passed in noble families?
father to son
How did nobles learn responsibilities they’d face?
went to special schools
What did priests do? (kept)
kept calendars for events
What did priests do? (passed)
passed down history and stories
What did priests do? (perform)
perform religious ceremonies
Give an example of what happened in religious ceremonies.
human sacrifice
What did warriors do?
captured victims for human sacrifice
What did warriors get in exchange for their duty?
privileges and were highly respected
Why were warriors highly respected?
brought wealth to the empire
What and how did warriors bring wealth to the empire?
tribute and trade goods by fight/conquering
What were merchants really considered as?
upper class
What did merchants do?
gathered goods and sold them in main markets
How did merchants become rich?
controlled trade
What did merchants do with their money?
built large houses and sent sons to special schools
What did artisans do?
made goods and sold them at high prices
Where did the richest artisans live?
Tenochtitlan (capital)
Where did the lower class artisans live?
outside of the capital
What did lower class artisans make?
everyday items
What did artisans from other tribes do?
sent crafts to Aztecs as tribute
Name the upper class. (6)
king, nobles, priests, warriors, merchants, artisans
What did the lower class try to do? How?
improve their lives by becoming warriors or studying at special schools
What did farmers do?
grew maize, beans, other crops
What were most Aztecs?
What didn’t farmers have?
own land
Why were farmers very poor?
payed a lot in tribute
Where did farmers live?
outside of the capital in huts
What were farmer huts made of?
sticks and mud
What did farmers wear?
rough capes
How did people become slaves?
captured in battle or couldn’t pay their debts
What were slaves sold as?
What happened if slaves disobeyed orders?
sacrificed to gods
Describe the role of the gods in the Aztec empire.
ruled in all parts of their life
Where were the gods seen?
in nature and great people
What did the Aztec people try to do? How?
please their gods through sacrifice
What did the Aztecs believe sacrifice did?
kept gods strong and world safe
Who were most sacrifices made to?
war and rain god
Who was Huitzilopochtli?
the Aztec war god
Who was Tlaloc?
the Aztec rain god
What did the Aztecs believe the war and rain god did?
make sunrise and rain fall
What would happen without the war and rain god?
crops would die and there’d be no food
Where were ceremonies for sacrifices held?
top of Great Temple in the capital
Describe the ceremonies.
priest cut themselves and gave blood to gods
Who else did the Aztecs sacrifice? How many?
captured warriors, 10,000 per year
What did the Aztecs value?
learning and art
What did science, art, and language do?
contribute to their culture
Describe Aztec scientific achievements.
built on achievements of people they conquered
What did the Aztecs have?
tribute and trade network
Where did the Aztecs learn their skills?
from people all over the empire
What was an idea did the Aztecs learn from people in the empire?
What are chinampas?
floating gardens
What did the Aztecs study?
What did the Aztecs create?
a calendar
What did the Aztecs use their calendars for?
planning best days for ceremonies
What other scientific achievements did Aztecs have?
knew different uses for plants
How many plants did the Aztecs use for medicine?
more than 100
Who made up the lower class?
farmers and slaves
Describe artistic traditions.
What did Aztec artistic tradition include?
sculptures, architecture, and jewlery
What did the Aztecs make use of?
What was stone used to build?
bridges, pyramid-shaped temples, and lined canals
What did Aztec women do?
wove cloth from cotton
What did women embroider with?
colorful designs
What did they use their complex writing for?
keeping historical records in codexes
What is a codex?
ancient books made of barks or animal skins
In terms of writing and literature, what was strong in the Aztec empire?
oral traditions
What was an important part of oral traditions?
fine speeches
What was enjoyed amongst the Aztecs?
What did knowing the answer to riddles mean?
one paid attention in school
What was shared in oral traditions?
stories about ancestors and gods
When were oral tradition stories written down?
when the Spanish conquered
What were turquoise mosaics used for?
decorating knife handles and masks
What was gold and colorful feathers used for?
When was the double headed serpent worn?
during ceremonies

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