General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 14 Dec 2017/3 Rain
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Presione para ir a la versión en español Mexica (Aztec) man and woman figures

Mexica man, Mexica woman

There is a splendid summary of the complementary roles of men and women in Mexica (Aztec) society at the end of Fernando Díaz Infante’s book La Educación de los Aztecas, and we reproduce it here in English as well as in the original Spanish...

‘If man applied himself to fishing, farming, preparing firewood, fighting wars, the priesthood, government, etc., woman cooked the food, helped at harvest, lit the home fire, wove hard-wearing attire so the warrior would never walk around in rags, carried offerings to the priests, swept the temples and palaces clean. They worked together to complete the cycle of activities: if the man was builder, it was the woman’s task to look after whatever had been built. If he was a potter, she gave meaning and use to the pots; if he was farmer, she sold the produce at market; if he had to go to war, she looked after the home; if she made the clothes, he wore them with dignity, was proud of them and taught the children the value of the clothes made by their mother; if it was the mother that fed the family food and love, it was the males, children or grown-ups, who brought water and foodstuffs to the house.

Mature Mexica man and woman sculptures, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
Mature Mexica man and woman sculptures, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City (Click on image to enlarge)

‘The man, growing up in such a society, participating more in religious and civic life, inevitably was more widely travelled and enjoyed more opportunities than the woman; nevertheless, the woman was never held back in ignorance or inactivity. And if he was the physical strength, she was the moral force. Complementing each other in this way both fulfilled the dual aspects of the divine couple Ometecuhtli-Omecíhuatl, and both lived out their roles to the full as Lord and Lady of the home, Lord and Lady in the duties of the land...’

(Emphases added)

Photos by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore
Source La Educación de los Aztecas by Fernando Díaz Infante, Panorama Editorial, Mexico City, 1992.

‘Mum and Dad’

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