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General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 25 Jun 2017/13 Deer
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Ancient Mexican wheeled dog figure ‘toy’

Basic Aztec facts: AZTEC TOYS

Aztec toys are a bit of a mystery. Look them up online or in books and you find virtually no information. Since the discovery of ancient small wheeled animal-figure objects (see pic) people guessed they might have been pull-toys. But now there are serious doubts, as the few found are in ‘unused’ condition - very unlikely if they were actual kids’ toys! (Written by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Pic 1: We THINK Aztec girls may have played with dolls made of different materials, like clay...
Pic 1: We THINK Aztec girls may have played with dolls made of different materials, like clay... (Click on image to enlarge)

Perhaps they were special gifts, part of burial offerings. So what DID Aztec kids play with? Probably (there are zero toy clues in ancient codices) with loads of ‘scrap’ household materials - bits of reed, wood, rope, cloth, palm leaf, clay... - that they had fun making things out of. ‘Genuine’ toys may have included dolls for girls (see pic 1) ...

Pic 2: Miniature Mexican bow and arrows, with pictures from codices of rulers showing off their archery skills
Pic 2: Miniature Mexican bow and arrows, with pictures from codices of rulers showing off their archery skills (Click on image to enlarge)

... and small bow and arrow sets (see pic 2) for boys. Whistles too would have been something boys and girls had fun with (pic 3). Whistles had many uses in ancient Mexico (from war signals to bird callers) but being so small and handy they could easily have been passed to children to play with at home - perhaps to call (or pester) domestic dogs with...

Pic 3: Expert Roberto Velázquez made this clay replica of an ancient Mexican whistle
Pic 3: Expert Roberto Velázquez made this clay replica of an ancient Mexican whistle (Click on image to enlarge)

Talking of whistles, check out this cute ‘toy’ (pic 4): a model of a couple holding hands sitting on a swing: set the swing in motion, and the whistles attached to the backs of the figurines produce two different sounds... Natty!

Pic 4: Ingenious figures-on-a-swing model that is also a double whistle...
Pic 4: Ingenious figures-on-a-swing model that is also a double whistle... (Click on image to enlarge)

One thing’s for certain: in Mexico there is a VERY long tradition of making miniatures of all kinds. We know that in Aztec times mums and dads gave miniature objects to children as gifts at their naming ceremony, such as a shield-and-arrows for a boy or a cotton spindle and whorl for a girl (follow link below to learn more...)

This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on May 21st 2016

emoticon Q. Why was it disastrous for an Aztec girl to break her mini cotton-spinning tools?
A. It was the END OF THE WHORL...

Aztec birth symbols

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