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Aztec Culture: Origin of Civilization

By trickdaddy92 Oct 31, 2012 696 Words
College Composition Dr. Kassorla Standard WISE English

Origin Stories Draft

In the ancient Actez Culture “The Origin Story” of "Coatlique"[1], translated in English tongue as the Lady of the Skirt of Snakes is told. She was a powerful woman with immortal abilities. She was the creator, giving birth to the moon and stars. Her physical description described her begin adorned with skulls and snakes. Another Actez origin story “Earth Goddess” tells of the earth goddess and how her embodiment such as her skin, mouth, and shoulders fabricated the grass, caves, valleys, and mountains. As I read both origin stories they both divulge the aspects of the Actez culture. I then noticed the interrelation between the origin stories and the influence of geography feature and climate.

The Actez civilization was located in today’s central Mexico. They lived in the highlands of the Valley of Mexico in an area of a hollow surface, wholly surrounded by higher land separated by corroded volcanic peaks and mountain. The regions climate has an average temperature of around 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to these lower temperatures there was a one-crop growing season. The rainy season of the Aztecs lasted from May through October. Although rainfall was abundant throughout the valley, the rain was often seldom and couldn’t be entrust for the watering of the Aztec's crops. This made the worship of Tlaloc[2] the rain god so sacred. Tlaloc was fundamental to the Aztec religion, as a god of rain, fertility, and water which were all necessities for the Aztecs crops and prosperity. To keep this god please Actez did many human sacrificial rituals. This is a clear example of how the Aztec civilization climate shaped their religion and beliefs.

Among the wild animals of the Aztec civilization are rabbits, coyotes, deer, and snakes. Snakes where the most revered animals in the Aztec culture. It was a symbol of god to the Aztec people and was one of there power feather snake god “Quetzalcoatl[3].” The Aztecs believed the snake to have been the reincarnation of the feathered sun god Huitzilopochtli who maintained the livelihood of the Aztec people. A symbolic representation for the Aztec society the snake became an essential part of the Aztec drawing and books. Snake worship remained prominent in the ancient Aztec Toltec[4] civilization.

All of the Aztec gods where of natural elements. Thus nature’s occurrences greatly effected the Aztec religion. According to the Aztec “Earth Goddness” origin story the gods Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca “Sometimes at night this goddess wails, thirsting for human hearts. She will not be silent until she receives them. Nor will she bear fruit unless she is watered with human blood.” This time period often described the drought and lack of rain the Aztec people often faced and was justification for their many sacred human sacrificial offering. With the belief that they will bring about rain to grow there crops and nourish their lands.

In conclusion after analyzing both Actez origin stories and regional climate and geography I notice the continuous interconnection between the ancients Actez culture and their environment. If they where in a colder northern environment where the sky was darker maybe the sun wouldn’t have been consider such a holy god or maybe not a god at all. What if they climate where not on suitable to the species of snakes, would snakes then me referenced or even acknowledge. Surroundings will always play a vital role in civilizations and their culture.


"Aztec Culture." Web. 14 Sept. 2010. .

"Aztec Snake Symbol." Aztec History. Web. 14 Sept. 2010.

"Native American Indian Legends - Earth Goddess - Aztec." First People of America and Canada - Native American Indians. Turtle Island. Legends, Treaties, Clipart. Web. 14 Sept. 2010.

"Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl as Adversaries / Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl: The Epic Battle of Good VS Evil in Aztec Society." PLU - Pacific Lutheran University, Academically Rigorous Liberal Arts Combined with Professional Programs, Located in Tacoma, Washington, USA. Web. 14 Sept. 2010. .

[1] Lady of the Skirt of Snakes
[2] god of rain, fertility, and water.
[3] feathered-serpent
[4] archaeological Mesoamerican culture

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