Human Sacrifice In Mesoamerica

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There are many words that one can use to describe the indigenous people of Mesoamerica: brilliant architects, pioneers in mathematics and astrometry. However, there are a few words that are hardly ever utter out loud; cannibals and superficial individuals who perform human sacrifice. To our modern society, the practices of the Aztec people may seem a bit strange and a little bit extreme but to the Native people it was a part of their religious practices. If you can imagine it, it would be like trying to explain why the catholic eat the blood and the body of Jesus Christ. In this essay, I will explain how human sacrifice and cannibalism may play the hand in hand with each other, for instance in times of great hunger. Cannibalism was also used …show more content…
While the center of the valley of Mexico is extremely fertile, the lands that surrounded the valley were not so fertile. Meaning that agriculture was not always available for certain people and the wild game not always able to be accessible. In times of need, the Aztec people would engage in "flowery wars" (Winkelman 1998). The term "flower wars" meant the Aztecs went to war with other city-states in order to obtain victims for sacrifice. The idea behind the flower wars was to capture rather than kill so that captured individuals can be sacrificed. After being captured the victims would be led up the stairs of the pyramid, force the captives to bend over the sacrificial stone while being held by the priest. The main priest then would cut open the victim 's chest and rip out the still beating hearts of the captives. The Aztec believed that the still beating heart would feed their gods (Hofstadter). The heart would then be dedicated to the sun god, afterward the captive body would be thrown down from the stair were it would be later decapitated so it could be displayed. The bodies of the captives then would be taken …show more content…
Recorded by Diego Munoz Camargo a Tlaxacalan mestizo, meaning part Spaniard (father) and part Native (Tlaxacalan-Nahua mother), set in the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. The story goes a famous war captain by the name of Tlahuicole was captured by the army of Huexotzingo, an enemy of Tlahuicole. Huexotzingo then took Tlahuicole to Tenochtitlan as a present to King Moctezuma. However, Moctezuma admired Tlahuicole and offered him a position to command his army. After spending some time in Moctezuma army and winning a few battles, Moctezuma offered Tlahuicole a place to remain in his army or go back to Tlaxacala. Still, Tlahuicole had a moral dilemma that was conflicting him. Go back to the nation that he betrayed or be forced to fight his nation. Tlahuicole decides instead of betraying his nation or being forced to battle, he choose a sacrificial death. Moctezuma realized that death meant more to Tlahuicole then life so he order that Tlahuicole request be fulfilled in one week but before his death, a great festivities were to take place. During the festive, Moctezuma decide to feed Tlahuicole a shameful last meal. In the soup feed to Tlahuicole was the genitals of his now deceased wife. It was told that Moctezuma was disgusted by the tears shed by Tlahuicole remembering his wife that he released Tlahuicole but demanded nobody feed him. After being so desperate, begging from house to

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