General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 20 May 2019/5 Alligator
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Chloe Sayer

Question for August 2012

What was the Aztecs’ most prized possession? (2) Asked by Manor Fields Primary School. Chosen and answered by Chloe Sayer.

The ‘huipil de la Malinche’
The ‘huipil de la Malinche’ (Click on image to enlarge)

The clothing worn by the elite was an expression of social status. Highly prized and made by specialist weavers, it was often richly decorated. Few such garments have survived, but one magnificent huipil (woman’s tunic) allows us to imagine the splendour of Aztec dress at its finest. Although popularly known as el huipil de la Malinche (Malintzin was the sixteenth-century interpreter who accompanied Hernán Cortés during the conquest of central Mexico), we now know that it could not have belonged to her. According to recent scientific analysis, it dates instead from the late eighteenth-century. Woven in three webs on the backstrap loom from white cotton, coyuchi (naturally brown cotton) and feathers, it displays complex designs. These include rhomboids and a two-headed eagle. This magnificent garment, made with supreme artistry, closely resembles sixteenth-century garments seen in the Lienzo de Tlaxcala and other ancient codices.

Photo by Nahin Cortés (INAH).

NB. This is a late entry, kindly sent by Chloe Sayer, to our survey of our Panel of Experts members - please click on the link below to see the rest of the results!

The results of our survey of experts

See the original answer to this question, from Colin McEwan

Chloe Sayer has answered 4 questions altogether:

Did the Aztecs wear winter clothes?

Are there any communities left in Mexico where they still follow the old religion?

Did the Aztecs use the pottery wheel to make their pottery?

What was the Aztecs’ most prized possession? (2)

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