General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 23 Sep 2019/1 Deer
Text Size:

Search the Site (type in white box):

Article suitable for Top Juniors and above

Professor Dorothy Hosler

Question for July 2019

If gold was the poo of the sun god and silver was the poo of the moon goddess, what was bronze?! Asked by St Johns CE Junior School. Chosen and answered by Professor Dorothy Hosler.

Aztec metalworker, Florentine Codex Book X
Aztec metalworker, Florentine Codex Book X (Click on image to enlarge)

Metal was divine, god-like and powerful because smelting (heating the metal or ore so that it becomes liquid) is in itself a magical process - a solid (rock) becomes liquid by heating it, then can be shaped (cast or hammered) in to completely different form - a bird, an armadillo, an arm band. Metal has colors - silvery and golden, and properties – hardness (an axe) and elasticity (a tweezer) THAT NO OTHER MATERIAL HAS!! It is resonant (sound) and lusterous (color) and it reflects!! - wouldn’t you think it was supernatural and magical? The sun is yellowish-golden and the moon is silvery (silver) and they thought that gold was smelted by the sun god and silver by the god of the moon. We know about gold being effluence of the sun and silver being effluence of the moon because the word for gold in Nahuatl means just that, the same for the word for silver. We don’t know the word for bronze but if you learn Nahuatl maybe you can find out for us!

Picture source:-
Image from the Florentine Codex (original in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence) scanned from our own copy of the Club Internacional del Libro 3-volume facsimile edition, Madrid, 1994.

‘Why did the Aztecs believe gold was the poo of the Sun God?’

Professor Dorothy Hosler has answered 3 questions altogether:

When the ballgame is/was played at night, wouldn’t the burning rubber ball give off poisonous gases?

Did children learn to play the [ritual] ballgame at school?

If gold was the poo of the sun god and silver was the poo of the moon goddess, what was bronze?!

Comment button