General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 24 Sep 2017/13 Flint
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Ideas for EVERY-DAY LIFE SCENES (3)

Continuing our series based on ‘The Sun Kingdom of the Aztecs’ by Victor W. von Hagen (1958/1960), Von Hagen tells the story of the Aztecs through the eyes of a 14-year-old Aztec youth, Speaking Eagle...

‘Grinding corn was women’s work; it was a slow, laborious chore...’
‘Grinding corn was women’s work; it was a slow, laborious chore...’ (Click on image to enlarge)

Corn cakes or tortillas, called tlaxcalli, were the main part of every Aztec meal. They were their bread. They also served as knives and forks, for the Aztecs had no such implements. Instead, they piled boiled black beans or pieces of deer meat on the corn cakes, rolled them up, and ate them.
As a boy of 14 Speaking Eagle was allotted two large
tlaxcalli a day. He remembered that when he was four years old, he had been allowed only half a corn cake a day. When he was as old as his father he would get four large ones...

‘By the time father and son poled their canoe out of the narrow canal and entered the lake, it was filled with other boats...’
‘By the time father and son poled their canoe out of the narrow canal and entered the lake, it was filled with other boats...’ (Click on image to enlarge)

In the patio outside Speaking Eagle’s house was a garden where his sisters raised flowers and hot chilli peppers for seasoning their food. Canoe paddles were neatly hung on the wall, and the family’s dugout canoe, also lashed to the wall of the house, rested in a small canal alongside it. Speaking Eagle’s mother placed a gourd of water and a drink called octli, some tortillas and meat wrapped in a cotton cloth in the canoe. That would be their noonday meal.

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