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 Culture & Traditions

El Juego de Pelota ~ Ball Game Aztec Sports & Games


As we can see, the Aztecs didn’t really have much of a vacation, but they did have a lot of holidays. Their year was divided into 18 months and each month was dedicated to one or various gods, making the holidays plenty.


On these special days, the women wore beautiful huipiles – sleeveless blouses with ornate necklines which were worn over skirts – and the men painted their faces with green, red or yellow circles, they greased their hair and wore feathered headdresses.


The dancers, which could be as many as

1,000 to 5,000 people, formed large circles and, to the beat of drums called ueuetl, and the sound of the rattle bells, they danced and sang in honor of their gods.


Woman Dancer Picture by Felix Guerrero

Woman Dancer Picture by Felix Guerrero


Each circle was formed by dancers of similar age groups and social classes. For example, the elders from high social classes were in the inner circle, while the younger members and those from lower classes were in the outer circles.


The dances they performed had a highly religious meaning, which is why it was very important to execute every step with exactness. They also danced for their own enjoyment, more personal in nature, in which they danced for personal or familial events.


The Aztecs also had spectacular dances such as the Voladores de Papantla, the Sun Dance, in which the dancers climbed a high pole or mast; they tied themselves to long cords wound around the pole. They would jump off the pole, and the cords would unwind making them look like flying birds. When the Spaniards saw this dance they were extremely impressed by their courage and dexterity.

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