General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 24 Sep 2017/13 Flint
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Find Out About the Aztecs and Maya

Find Out About the Aztecs and Maya

Fiona Macdonald, Anness Publishing Ltd - London 2001

A beautifully presented book, some 60 pages long, packed with solid information, lavishly illustrated, including an exceptionally large number of well researched images from codices, comprehehsive, accessible: altogether very appealing

Contains 15 step-by-step craft projects (feather fan, backstrap loom, model house and temple, tortilla making, mask and jewellery, pot, screenfold book, rattle, etc.)

Includes one of the best timelines to be found in school books on the Aztecs (though a pity years are given the old fashioned AD reference instead of the far more inclusive CE!)

Apart from the perennial problem associated with books that lump the Aztecs and the Maya into one text, I only have very few (and very minor) quibbles, purely in the interests of balance: women didn’t just ‘look after their families’ (p10); the people in Rivera’s mural (p17) are not ‘from the region of Tarascan’, they’re Tarascan Indians from the region of Michoacán; given that the Aztecs suffer from more than their fair share of exaggerations, and that they were careful to preserve a balance in nature and their environment, it’s a shame that they’re accused (p.26) of killing ‘millions’ of birds for their plumage; people weren’t considered old at 40 (p30) but at 52 (when they had completed a sacred ‘century’ - only then, for example, were they entitled to consume alcoholic drinks such as pulque); what a shame the four lines on ‘Cannibals’ (p45) doesn’t remotely explain the reasons behind the practice of ‘eating the arms and legs of sacrified prisoners’; oddly, in the section on calendars (p48), the three key cycles (260, 365 and 584 days) are mentioned but only the (obvious) sun cycle is named, not the other two (moon and Venus)

Highly recommended