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THE MEXICAS XI.

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THE MEXICAS XI.

The mexica warrior was the material basis of the aztec power and the Pochteca its spy and explorer. Men mostly were devoted to war, since the State received through tributes: food, textiles, raw materials, weapons, luxury items, slaves. War allowed the mexica access to wealth and fundamentally honor and growth on the social scale. They never ceased being farmers and craftsmen, but warfare began to occupy most of their time and energy, as well as commerce. Mexica society became a very well-organized militarized society and their markets or Tianguis came to have incredible dimensions. A formidable war army subjected to small and independent Lordships. A powerful trader institution, with military type features, just as the Jaguar or Eagle warriors. The Aztecs despite formidable defeats by the P?urépechas, Tlaxcala, and Cholula, among others, were almost invincible, especially because the organization they had with the other Lordships that were incorporated as "Allies" after having defeated them and the extraordinary intelligence network they had through the pochtecas or merchants.

THE MEXICAS XI.It is important to highlight that the Anahuac civilization war and weapons, had nothing to do with the European war conception. War in the Anahuac was an activity to "take captives to feed the Fifth Sun". The objective of the war in the Postclassical period was not to kill, destroy or obliterate. The wars were negotiated and agreed through messengers. The date, place and number of warriors were agreed. They usually took place in open fields, and very seldom in cities. This only occurred as "punishment", for example: when an ally joined an enemy. There were truces for holidays or funerals, and at any given time, either party could request the end of the war and armies returned to their cities with their wounded and their captives. Some wars were only made to keep the armies in shape and take captives, such as those that the Aztecs forced Tlaxcala to undertake.

Weapons, as already noted, do not reflect the scientific advance reached by the ancient grandparents in other knowledge fields. What it implies is their lack of historical and cultural interest in war. A cane with encrusted pieces of sharp obsidian crystals, spears with obsidian tips, sticks with heavy stones on the tip as mallets, and bow and arrow, were the offensive weapons. Defensive weapons were a wooden frame shield covered with skin and feathers, costumes made with reinforced fabric and in some cases of animal shell and bones or leather skin stitched to the blanket. This demonstrates that war was for the Anahuac civilization something very different than for Europeans, Chinese, Indians, Egyptian and Mesopotamian. This point has not been analyzed at a greater depth by investigators, because from the times of Columbus and Cortés, this feature of the invaded cultures was taken as a deficiency and lack of "civilization".

The Pochteca organization and their famous "tamemes" or porters, as well as the market or Tianguis system, was used by the spaniards during the three Colonial centuries and two centuries of "independence", and that somehow survive to the present day. Not only in the indigenous and peasant communities, but in large cities with the "urban Tianguis" and street vendors.


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