Before Europeans arrived to America, they were bosses. Their mighty realm extended on area of today’s north Mexico and one wouldn’t think that population of 20 million Aztecs could be conquered in less than 2 years. But Hernan Cortés did it. Intensely unsympathetic Spaniard slaughtered most of their people and enslaved the rest. But you can learn this from any book (about Aztecs, of course, not saying it is in a cookery book). I wrote this article to brief you about facts which are not that notorious and facts that will seize your heart (some of them literally).
1. Little kids didn’t have an easy life. When born their legs and hands were shackled (so their soul wouldn’t escape) and people ignored them and their mothers for 3 days (so evil spirits wouldn’t notice them). Rich parents put two boards on sides of the head, tied them and tightened. Boards went down after two days and classy kid didn’t look like common peasant anymore. Narrow and long skulls were cool, narrow and long skulls were in.
2. Aztecs were pro’s in sacrifices. Poor victim was dragged on top of a pyramid and priest ripped victim’s heart out of chest with bare hand. (Don’t try to fight this muscular priest in case you bump into him.) Fresh heart was offered to god of sun. Aztecs sacrificed 50 000 people a year (that’s one person a minute). Record is held by opening celebration of Tenochtitlan temple with 20 000 sacrifices, which (in my opinion) can be considered as the most heartful party ever…
3. Now something healthier. How to cure cold as Aztec. First, find nearest bunch of grass and gather dew during dawn. Put your patient on a bed and fling back his/her head. (Blowing the nose before proceeding is recommended.) Now put one drop of dew into each nostril and pray, for example: ‚Great Quetzalcoatl, please, drive away the evil spirit from this head and cure my friend!‘ 100% effective.
4. You have probably heard of Aztec game where players use their hips and try to toss the ball over a hoop on a wall. You probably think that loosing team was executed. Weird enough, this is most probably NOT true. There is no real evidence.
5. Speaking of games… bungee-jumping. They called it volador. You’ll need a high pole, four ropes and bird costumes. Four players dressed as birds tie themselves on top of the pole and jump down, circling around it. No winners and no loosers, this is for god of sun.
6. Guess who invented tortillas and burritos!
7. Aztecs growed cocoa, but they didn’t want to eat it. Why? Because it’d be like we ate sandwich stuffed with euro notes. Cocoa beans were their currency.