General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 28 Jan 2020/11 Jaguar
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How did they light their homes?

ORIGINAL QUESTION received from - and thanks to - Gabrielle Racine: I wonder, how did the Aztecs keep their houses well-lit if they had no windows? Did they light candles everywhere? (Answered by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Artist’s impression of a peasant Aztec family welcoming a visitor
Artist’s impression of a peasant Aztec family welcoming a visitor (Click on image to enlarge)

Well remember the vast majority of Mexica (Aztec) houses were only used to sleep in, so there was no need to light them for long periods. The answer - apart from taking advantage of light from a fire - is that they used pine torches. We’ve written a feature on these torches already (follow link below) - they really were the only form of ‘lighting’ in Aztec homes.

Picture source:-
• Illustration by and courtesy of Felipe Dávalos.

Our feature on pine torches

‘Home smoky home!’

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