In the centuries before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the age of European exploration, Aztecs ruled a powerful empire throughout central Mexico. An important aspect of the Aztec Empire and history is their religious beliefs and practices. Aztec religion includes the myths, beliefs, and customs of the Aztec empire before the Spanish conquest of Mexico. After the 14th century, Aztecs contacted neighboring tribes, absorbed the cultural characteristics of each tribe, and learned from their myths, religious rituals, and beliefs.
The Aztecs, like other Central American societies, have a wide range of gods. Therefore, they are a polytheistic society, each of which represents a different and important part of the Aztec World. Monotheistic religions, such as Christianity, have only one God.
The gods in the Aztec religion represent different aspects of Aztec life and the world. The aspects represented by God include Aztec society and Central American culture, nature, creation of stories, reproduction, food, death and the underworld, trade, and excess or entertainment. Each God has different attributes and personalities, which are usually expressed in different ways by the Aztecs. Some can take the form of humans or animals and celebrate with festivals and rituals.
One important aspect of Aztec religion and culture is the practice of human sacrifice. Before the rise of the Aztec empire, human sacrifice had a long history in Central America. Therefore, historians believe that human sacrifice was relatively common in Central America before and during the Aztec empire. From the Aztec point of view, to ensure the survival of life must be sacrificed. In the Aztec religion, for example, the world was created by the sacrifice of the gods. Therefore, they believed that sacrifice was a necessary condition for the repayment of the gods' debts. This is considered necessary in order for the world to move forward and to be reborn every new day. The blood donation of death and sacrifice ensured that the sun would rise again and the crops would continue to grow. Not only the prisoners and soldiers were sacrificed, but the nobles often performed bloodletting ceremonies on some holy days of the year. Every aspect of Aztec society is influenced by a belief in the human responsibility to pay homage to God, and anyone can sacrifice.
The jewel of a place reflects the thought, lifestyle, and culture of a place. Aztec jewelry is famous for its uniqueness. For centuries, Aztec jewelry has attracted everyone who has a chance to see it. Although most of the Aztec's jewelry was destroyed by the decline of Aztec civilization, these remains are now museum property and are appreciated worldwide.
Aztec jewelry is very beautiful and well made. Rich and precious Aztec jewelry are mainly worn by emperors, nobles, and members of the upper class. Aristocrats indulge in the best products, many of which have both religious and practical significance. Turquoise and emerald are one of Aztec's favorite jewels. They believe that turquoise is treasured by God and it has healing power and is a symbol of strength and prosperity. The ancient Aztecs even carved holes in their teeth and put Turquoise in them. Only the elite can wear gold and these precious stones. Aztec jewelry designed for more ordinary people and farmers is very colorful and made of colored beads and hand-painted decorations.
Jewelry is not only worn by women, but also by men. Men will pass the nose ring through the nasal septum and put on a lip stopper. Usually, jewelry is shaped into animals, mainly reptiles and birds, with religious significance. Aztec jewelry is made of a variety of materials. Various precious metals and different stones were used, such as copper, gold, and silver. Although gold is mainly used for kings and nobles, silver is very common because there is more silver than gold in Mexico. Other materials, such as shells, feathers, clay, and wood, are also made into jewelry. Moonstone, jade, opal, and turquoise are also commonly used.
Aztec jewelry includes charming necklaces with pendants, bracelets, leg bangles, bells, and rings. A common form of Aztec jewelry is the earplug or spool usually worn by both men and women. They would hang small bells on necklaces and bracelets, or sewn on clothes so that when the wearer danced, they would shake and make a sound. Men usually wear ornaments on their noses through a hole in the nasal septum and hang them from a gap in the lower lip.
Masks and figures made by the mescaline are other forms of Aztec's precious jewelry. The Mezcal people are an ancient group that occupied the area 2000 years ago. Priests use these masks to imitate the gods. These figures are used for important daily rituals and sacrifices to the gods. God is a very important part of everyday life.
The jewelry of the Aztecs is shaped by craftsmen. Jewelers are one of the professional professions of the Aztecs. They have learned skills since childhood and devoted their lives to their craft. Hammered pieces of copper or gold are widely used in Aztec jewelry, but silver is also frequently used. Today, in Mexico, silver ornaments are still very popular and widely sold. But interestingly, most of the Aztecs' jewelry and other luxuries were made outside the capital and came to the city through tributes, trade, and etiquette exchanges.
Beautiful jewelry is an important part of ancient Aztec life and culture. Even in today's modern world, some ancient Aztec jewelry designs are still popular and elaborate.