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 Culture & Traditions

Mexican pre-Columbian Cultures


Toltec Culture

The Toltec, who lived from 900 to 1200 A.D. built new cities. The city of Tula, 90 km. from Mexico City, was their capital.

They extended their influence to far away regions and their language, social, military and religious organization, reached those places.


Toltec Atlantes

Warriors substituted priests as subjects of many of their sculptures and architectural works.    Their economy was based on agriculture, trade, and a tributary system that exacted goods from groups subjected to them.

They gave great importance to the ball game, which they invested with a ritualistic meaning. Late in the history of the game, some cultures occasionally seem to have combined competitions with religious human sacrifice.


They were excellent sculptors. The Atlantes and Chacmools are their most characteristic productions.       



Some Atlantes, or warriors, are as much as 15 feet tall. These statutes are divided into four sections that fit into each other.

They also produced smaller Atlantes that were frequently used to support altars.


The Chacmools are sculptures of a man in a semi-reclining position with a receptacle on his stomach in which they placed the offerings to the sun god. 


The decline of the Toltec Empire can be attributed mainly to droughts and epidemics that decimated their population.

Aztec Civilization (next page)

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