General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 8 May 2021/9 Flower
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Aztec pillow-fights!

Annual pillow-fights!

Aztec/Mexica youngsters played childish games just like we do! During one day of the 17th month (‘Tititl’) in the solar/farming calendar, Book 2 of the Florentine Codex records that Aztec boys engaged in the equivalent of our pillow-fights against girls... (Written/compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

‘[On the day after the religious festival] all the common folk made a number of sacks, like pockets, with some cords attached, as much as a fathom long. They filled those sacks with soft things, like wool, and they carried them hidden under their capes, and they struck, with the bags, all the women whom they might meet in the streets...’

The ‘pillows’ also took the form of grass nets filled with flowers or scraps of paper, flower-filled ‘gloves’ locally called hand bags, or in some cases simply green maize leaves rolled and pressed into balls.

Girls, of course, usually went about their affairs not only well aware of the risk of having a bag thrown at them but prepared to defend themselves by carrying a cactus thorn in their clothes and chasing the boys in return, brandishing the sharp thorn at them!

Info from Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Book 2 - The Ceremonies, translated by Arthur J.O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble, School of American Research and University of Utah, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1981.

Picture scanned from our own copy of the Club Internacional del Libro 3-volume facsimile edition, Madrid, 1994

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