While the Aztec Indians seem larger than life, in actuality, they were small in stature. Women were several inches shy of five feet tall and the men barely topped that measurement. The society as a whole was very strict in the moral sense. Behaviors we witness every day like drunk and disorderly conduct and promiscuity were often penalize by death in the Aztec Indian culture.
The social classes were also very distinct. The noble class consisted of the priests and king. Not far behind in social stature was the council to the king. From there, the social class in order of highest to lowest rank consisted of other government officials, tradesmen, storekeepers, everyday people (much like our middle class today), peasants and then the slaves.
One of the many rules of the Aztec Indian society was the dress code. The way Aztecs dressed had to reflect their social strata. For instance, commoners had to wear plain clothing, no adornments. Nobility could wear colorful clothing and jewelry. If they did not abide by the dress code, they could be put to death. Homes reflected to same idea. Commoners could only live in a one story home, but noblemen were allowed multiple stories.
Aztec Indians took their religion very seriously and believed that human sacrifice was necessary to appease the gods. They believed that without shedding blood, the world would come to an end and their lives would cease to exist. They worshipped many gods and felt they had to keep them happy, which is one reason for the strict moral and social codes most Aztec Indians had to follow.
Fighting in wars to preserve their way of life was also a major aspect of their lives. Boys were groomed to become soldiers and training was started early in military ways. Because war was at the very forefront of their society, the Aztec Indians had a horrid reputation and local villages and towns were fearful of them.
Unless they were in the noble class, the way of life for the Aztec Indians was tough. They lived in fear of breaking some moral or societal code and being put to death. They worried about being singled out for human sacrifice. It was a way of life for hundreds of years until Hernando Cortez, the Spanish explorer, discovered the Aztec Indian civilization. After that, their lives were changed forever.
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Disclaimer: The American Indian Heritage Foundation or Indians.org do not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.