General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 4 Aug 2020/5 House
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Did the Aztecs hug?

ORIGINAL QUESTION received from - and thanks to - Jeil Ruiz: I’ve noticed there’s a trend in ‘white holistic society’, for lack of a better name, that making your children refuse to greet their family members with a hug or a kiss on the cheek is a great way to establish body boundaries. I have been raised to always ‘saludar’ and ‘despedir’ in order to not be rude or disrespectful to others. My question is; how did the Aztec, Mexica, Mayans view this topic? Because I feel that it might be a white mentality that is being bestowed upon us. Just like Christianity. (Answered by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Taking another by the arm was a gesture of mutual care and support...
Taking another by the arm was a gesture of mutual care and support... (Click on image to enlarge)

What a great question! We’ve tried to answer it fully in the section ‘Aztec Life’ (link below), but in summary it appears that whilst the Mexica did not give hugs when greeting, they did take each other by the arm, particularly when welcoming someone to their home from the street. This gesture was accompanied by specific phrases of respect and concern, such as ‘I don’t want you to have a fall’ or ‘I don’t want you to hurt yourself’. Follow the link below to learn the reasons why...!

Illustration made specially for Mexicolore by Steve Radzi (

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