General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 21 Sep 2020/1 Monkey
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What all was for sale in the great market at Tlatelolco?

ORIGINAL QUESTION received from - and thanks to - Mateo Sánchez M.: Can you give me an idea of what products were sold in the biggest Aztec market? (Answer compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Pic 1: Model reconstruction of the great Tlatelolco market, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City
Pic 1: Model reconstruction of the great Tlatelolco market, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City (Click on image to enlarge)

Assuming you’re thinking of the great market at Tlatelolco, there’s a very complete listing of ‘Products Sold in the Market’ in the (recommended) book Tenochtitlan: Capital of the Aztec Empire by José Luis de Rojas (on our Panel of Experts). We reproduce it directly for you here...

Raw Materials
Gold, silver, precious stones, feathers, cotton, twisted thread, paper, wax, coloured paints, seed, wood (boards, wedges, beams, edges, benches), firewood, ocote (pine), resin, coal, worked stone, unworked stone, adobes, bricks, lime, clay, plaster, paste, saltpeter, canoes of human waste, otates (hard wood), animal hides (jaguars, lions, otters, deer, badgers, wildcats, rabbits, birds of prey), animals, and birds

Pic 2: Artist’s impression of the Tlatelolco market by Felipe Dávalos
Pic 2: Artist’s impression of the Tlatelolco market by Felipe Dávalos (Click on image to enlarge)

Tools
Stone knives, brass axes, copper axes, tin axes, coas [digging sticks], levers, shovels, oars, ropes, cords, striker pins, chisels, woodworking tools, looms, malacates (spindles), harnesses

Household Furnishings/Equipment
Bedrolls, wood mats, petacas (boxes), baskets, stoneware, braziers, comals [griddles], cups for drinking chocolate, jars, mirrors, brooms, pots, molcajetes (grinding bowls)

Clothing
Worked cotton cloth, coarse clothes, maguey cloth, maxtlatls [loincloths for men], huipiles [blouses], skirts, fringes for skirts, fringe for cotton cloth, cotares (sandals)

Pic 3: One small section of the market - model reconstruction in the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City
Pic 3: One small section of the market - model reconstruction in the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City (Click on image to enlarge)

Adornment
Brass jewellery, copper jewellery, tin jewellery, stone jewellery, bone jewellery, shell jewellery, snail jewellery, gold jewellery, silver jewellery, precious stone jewellery, feather work, necklaces, bells

Cosmetics and Other Items
Incense sticks, smoke tubes, tobacco, cigars, tobacco pipes, ointments, cochineal dye, axin, tar, rubber, gum

Food
Live animals: hens, ducklings, ducks, partridges, quails, turtledoves, doves, parrots, eagles, hawks, sparrow hawks, kestrels, rabbits, hares, deer, small dogs

Dead animals: birds, fierce beasts, hens, eggs, frogs, snakes, moles, dormice, mice, worms, roasted ants, deer, fresh and salted fish

Pic 4: Market women - illustration by Miguel Covarrubias
Pic 4: Market women - illustration by Miguel Covarrubias (Click on image to enlarge)

Vegetables: cacao, kidney beans, chía, corn, amaranth, chilli peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, roots, seeds, leaves, grass, vegetables, onions, leeks, garlic, common cress, watercress, borage, cherries, plums, avocados, sweet potatoes, sapodillas, sweet turnips, pineapples, mameyes, guavas

Drinks: cacao and pulque

Prepared food: cane honey, bee honey, maguey honey, sweets, pastes of flour, honey and nuts; chía nougat, pumpkin seeds, cooked xilotes (green corn), cooked corn on the cob, hot and cold atole, pinole, chilli pepper sauce, cooked meat, roasted meat, bird pies, corn tamales, tortillas, tortillas with ground red pepper, meat or chilli pepper sauce, fish stew, fish pastries, omelettes, ahuauhtli, tecuitlatl

Pic 5: Market scene, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City
Pic 5: Market scene, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City (Click on image to enlarge)

Service Providers
Herbalists, druggists, barbers, stove makers, waterfall attendants, slaves, day labourers, potters, woodworkers, carpenters, canoeists, porters.

SOURCE:-
Tenochtitlan: Capital of the Aztec Empire by José Luis Rojas, University Press of Florida, 2014, pp. 95-96.

Picture sources:-
• Pic 1: image from Wikiwand (Tenochtitlan)
• Pic 2: illustration by/courtesy of Felipe Dávalos - scanned from Viaje al mercado de México by Leonardo López Luján, {Historias de México vol. III, no. 2, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2000
• Pic 3: photo by Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore
• Pic 4: illustration scanned from The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico 1517-1521 (Bernal Díaz de Castillo), illustrations by Miguel Covarrubias, Limited Editions Club, 1942
• Pic 5: photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.

‘The great market at Tlatelolco’

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