Aztec Art

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In the Aztec society, women had a major contribution to daily life and were held in high regard. Though women were looked at as equals or compliments to men in the sense of raising families and what they contributed to daily life, they were also thought of as being instigators of conflict and cosmic disorder that were destined to defeat by the more powerful Aztec warrior. These two conflicting social ideologies of women are known as gender complementarity and gender hierarchy. Gender complementarity was the views of women from the daily life and economic sense, while gender hierarchy refers to the states more negative view of women. Women gained power in gender complementarity because of the dependence that men had on them. Men were expected to engage in activities such as long distance travel, hunting, fishing, and warfare. Women complimented these activities with activities of their own such as basket weaving, preparing and making food, weaving cloth, medicinal healers, and even acted as merchants in local and regional markets. The health care, food, clothing, and household items such as baskets provided by the Aztec women proved to be essential to the structure of the Aztec empire as well as the survival and upbringing of Aztec families. Despite the equality women received economically and in daily life, the state did not uphold the same perspectives of women. Like many of the world’s nations, new and old, the Aztecs had a gender hierarchy and from this perspective women were thought of as a source of conflict and warfare. This side of how women were viewed arose from mythical stories in which women caused conflict and even war between the Aztecs and their neighbors in the basin of Mexico and because of this the Aztec state thought of women as enemies that resulted in cosmic disorder and even warfare and because of this needed to be conquered by the powerful male Aztec warrior. These ideas can be depicted in works of art that illustrate the goddesses...
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