Aztecs for centuries: ancestors and early history

The Aztecs, the creators of the famous state, also known as tenochki or Mexica, were one of the many peoples who inhabited ancient Mexico before the Spanish conquest. However, when the first Europeans (first conquistadors, then missionaries and officials) met with their past, it was found that the Aztecs and their neighbors are not the original inhabitants of the valley of Mexico. Of the extremely controversial drevnemeksikanskih historical chronicles, whose content sometimes semi-legendary, and in some parts of the purely mythological character (as noted by many scholars), the following picture.

Once, in mythical times (at least, this was the beginning of the period), the Aztecs along with other peoples did not live in the Valley of Mexico, and on the overall homeland, situated somewhere in the north, in the so-called Chicomoztoc (atst. "Seven Caves "). The figures in Aztec Code, it is shown as a stylized cave with seven branches. In this way, I suppose, reflected widespread in the mythologies of the ancient peoples of Mexico Association of caves and deified the womb of mother earth: according to some versions drevnemeksikanskih myths, the first people were born out of the cave, she became their first dwelling. True, sometimes the very Chicomoztoc were not as heavenly cradle of the human race, and as terrible, full of wild beasts area.

Be that as it may, according to one embodiment of the myth of Chicomoztoc, there lived a Ilankueitl that his two wives had seven sons (the association with "seven caves"). That they were forefathers major peoples of ancient Mexico: Otomitl gave rise Otomi, Mixcoatl — Mixtec, Ulmekatl — Olmecs, Tenuch (Tenoch) — tenochkam, ie Aztecs, etc. Reasonably be assumed that in the myths about the caves and the family ancestors reflected extremely tenacious in the minds of early peoples idea kind with his mandatory progenitor.

But there is a mythical version of Chicomoztoc that indicate that it was not the ancestral home of the Mexican people as a whole, and smaller ethnic groups, only one language of Nahuatl. These included and the Aztecs, and the so-called Xochimilco, Chalco, Tepaneki, Tlaxcalans, ie ancestors of the real drevnemeksikanskih cities and city-states of Xochimilco, Chalco, etc.

It is important to emphasize that the idea of the ancestral home (and associated narrative, which will be discussed below) in its final form was formulated in the late pre-Hispanic period on the basis of religious, mythological, folk ideas, and real facts. This explains why such a complex combination of components of this view: the use of history and the calendar, mention the very real place names, bringing the narrative aspect of the cultural life, not characteristic of the period, the mention of persons who have actually existed, and fictional characters, etc. Such intertwining of myth and real data makes it very difficult to study the very early history of the Aztecs. In our opinion, the ancestral home of Chicomoztoc naturally be regarded as a mythical region, although there are real geographic location with the same name.

The Aztecs are known to have been a major political, military and spiritual power of ancient Mexico before the Spanish conquest. To emphasize its dominant position statement O6 special origin, they formulated a parallel myth Chicomoztoc idea about their own homeland, the so-called Atstlane (Astlane). Virtually every source on Aztec history, especially XVI-XVII centuries. Mentions this their legendary-mythological cradle. By the way, on behalf of the Aztecs and got one of their names.

Know one of the traditional description of the expected life of the ancestors of the Aztecs in Atstlane drawn up ostensibly for the last of the pre-Hispanic Aztec ruler, Moctezuma II celebrated his younger sages based on ancient manuscripts. According to this source, the ancestral home of Aztlán was located on the island (or an island), where there was a big mountain with caves (reminiscent of the concept Chicomoztoc), provide housing. People there live in happiness and contentment. They were surrounded by beautiful forests, which vodilos many animals and birds, and rivers and streams were full of fish. The ancestors of the Aztecs grew corn, peppers, tomatoes, beans, etc.

This tale is clearly visible on the early imposition of stories that depict the life of the Aztecs as hunters and gatherers, the later Aztec narratives of farmers. No chance in one of the Aztec sources noted that the location of Aztlán was very similar to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, Mexico. Apparently, the idea of Atstlane built in the image of the island capital. Some people Aztec state, wanting Aztecs believed, to join the glory of their spirit and arms, trying to assert their own myths as they originate from Aztlan, but such claims are strongly suppressed and exposing a simple and very clever way: placing under with religious and mythological traditions Aztlán on the island, the nearest neighbors on the mainland called the Aztec Nahuatl other related peoples — Chalco, Xochimilco, etc.

The Aztecs believed that they differ from other ethnic groups related to them not only special Atstlanom ancestral home, but also according to their religious and mythological concept, originally designed.

After years of living in their homeland once the people had left her. What made them decide to take this step? Sources in line with religious and mythological and ideological conceptions of pre-Hispanic period, formulated two main answers to this question. As alleged in the original homeland was located severe6, associate in the views of the ancient Mexicans with cold and infertile, it is not always seen and pictured as a place of happiness and abundance, which makes quite understandable desire to go in search of more fertile and fertile land. Another possible explanation emerged under the influence of the military-expansionist ideas, which are under the sign of the Aztec society lived and acted particularly active over the last few decades before the Spanish conquest.

According to the official version of the mythologized as reported in many sources, one of the tribal god Uitsilopochtli through their priests called Aztecs leave Aztlán and go in search of another, more fertile ground in which they will be powerful rulers. Since seek this power they will force Uitsilopochtli Aztecs handed weapon — shield, bow and arrows. Received at the same time the Aztecs and supposedly another name — Mexica (Mexicans). The origin of it is quite common: at the head of the Aztecs was at that time chief named Mesha.

The Aztecs could not disobey the order of his deity, and hit the road. In the year of "1. Flint, "they left their island, their ancestral home Aztlán, and boats moved to the mainland. There, as expected, they met inhabited the land other peoples Nahuatl. The latter are also willing to go along with the Aztecs in search of a better country, and they initially did not object. Thus began a kind of "Long March" of the people of the original places of residence.

Throughout the long journey by them, according to legend, the god Uitsilopochtli charge, which carried a statue of the priest-teomame ("those who bear God"), carefully concealing it in a special ark of reeds. The people regarded him with awe and reverence, and none but his servants could not approach the idol. God foretold to his people through the priests (often he did it during their sleep), that in the future will happen to them, and also gave advice how to proceed in a particular case.

At first all went well. But then something happened that made the Aztecs separated from their companions. Once the settlers stopped to rest under a large tree, in the hollow of which made a temporary altar of your divinity Uitsilopochtli. When people began to feast, tree unexpectedly broke and fell. Everyone was extremely frightened by this incredible event and considered it a bad omen. When the priests asked the gods for advice, you have a severe and definitive answer other peoples can not go along with the Aztecs, because each of them has its own destiny and its own special purpose.

Aztecs had no choice but to obey the will of Uitsilopochtli and refuse unwanted companions. Then, leaving "God's chosen" Aztecs in the ill-fated tree, "discard" Uitsilopochtli people went on their own, in search of the coveted, fertile land. In light of this clear message to one source, that all the migrating peoples came from the same place, but moving forward at different speeds. I According to some Indian chronicles resettlement began in 820 and lasted more than 80 years. On the way to make short stops. This went on for as long as the "rejected" people have not reached the valley of Mexico alone before the Aztecs.

While kindred tribes already settled in the Valley of Mexico, the Aztecs themselves continued their nomadic way of life is slowly approaching its limits. As described them chronicle, compiled in the last period of the Aztec state, their way was extremely difficult. But he had finally completed the establishment of a dominant position in the valley of Mexico, which at the time of their arrival will have time to learn the people who left earlier. However, the ultimate goal of the movement of the Aztecs were known, according to religious and ideological concepts of the Aztecs, they only managed to God Uitsilopochtli. To prepare the Mexica-Aztecs for future hard struggle, during migration Uitsilopochtli, as we shall see, deliberately complicate the lives of migrants, sending all sorts of tests, and subjected them to temptation.

Like many other people chronicles, Aztec detail the route of their relocation, including dates in connection with certain events happened on the way (sometimes fantastic), or stopping at various places (most real geographical locations). This once again confirms the idea that the legendary and mythological stories of migrations in the form in which they come to us, were made shortly before the Spanish conquest and reflect the level of knowledge of the time. For the Aztecs began their exodus from Aztlan (the year "1. Flint") 9 was a kind of reference point of time of their historical existence, as opposed to an indefinitely long life Atstlane.

As noted above, their chronology was based on the 52-year cycle (4 periods of 13 years), to be followed by a year, "2. reed "begins a new 52-year anniversary, celebrating the feast of the" New Fire ", which marked the beginning of a new life in a new cycle of time. The chronicles describing the period of wandering Aztecs (and other people), the year "2. cane "was celebrated in a special manuscripts sign resembling stylized obtain fire by friction.

On the way the Mexica-Aztecs met many suitable places for settlement, but God always Uitsilopochtli forced to leave them, sometimes acting with absolutely merciless to those who dared to disobey him. It happened when the next stopping point Mexica was deserted and extremely favorable to the life of Lake District. Pattskuaro (in the modern state of Michoacan.) Since the lake vodilos a lot of fish, the aliens gave the area the name of Michoacan — "an area rich in fish." It is quite clear that the Michoacán could not help but like the Aztecs, and they even thought that this was the promised land of the deity.

However, when the priest turned to Uitsilopochtli, he rejected this assumption. Then the priests dared to propose such a plan divinity: so if the Aztecs can not all live here forever, then at least some of them should stay. We can not have such a beautiful land was not inhabited by them. Uitsilopochtli this plan reacted favorably, and may be exercised on the advice of the priests of the god trick. Once, when the proportion of men and women bathed in the lake, others taking their clothes are gone. Sources say that tell the legend, treacherously abandoned compatriots so angry that he deliberately did not even try to make a chase and remained in Michoacán.

They deliberately changed the style of dress, language and distance, thus beginning the special people of Mexico — Tarascans.

Thus, according to Aztec mythology, the Aztecs are linked by common roots with the people, which in fact they do not even linguistic community (language belonging Tarascan still do not). Whatever it was, it will be a critical Tarascan military and political enemy of the Aztecs on their western borders.

In Michoacán related and other options mythological narratives of relocation. According to one of them, such as during his travels Aztecs captured some Malinalshochitl. When they left Michoacan, then left it there, and from the people supposedly went Michoacan. However, according to another version, Malinalshochitl, which has become a "big witch" against her will left there, where he later appeared town its name — Malinalko. By the way, the residents of the city, located in the south-west of the Valley of Mexico, the Aztecs used the notorious witches. Should pay attention to this character, since it is connected, as we shall see, another important page in drevneatstekskoy mythological stories.

Leaving Michoacan, the Aztecs, settlers arrived in the early XII century. to the northern boundary of the valley of Mexico and stayed at Tollan (Tula). According to the Aztec chronicles mood Aztec settlers forced to leave so favorable to the life of Michoacan, was such that at any moment could be rebellion and defiance "instructions" of the god-driver Uitsilopochtli. To relieve tension, upon arrival in Tollan he "ordered" Aztecs override local river water so that the lake was formed.

Over time, it has grown a lot cane, it was rich with fish and poultry. Claimed Aztec chronicles, true to the spirit of the official ideology, Uitsilopochtli ordered to do all this just to demonstrate to the chosen people, what to expect in the future if it will be true to it and will obey. But the surrounding beauty and abundance were such that when it is time to leave this place, go on, some of the Aztecs did not want to leave. Uitsilopochtli God, who could not bear disobedience terribly angry and cruelly punished them. Woke up one morning and saw the Aztecs, that those who are most actively encouraged to stay, were dead, and each breast was cut and taken out of her heart. According to this myth, since supposedly the Aztecs and there is such a cruel custom of human sacrifice.

Punishing recalcitrant, Uitsilopochtli instructed (as always, through their priests) to demolish the dam and continue their journey. Frightened by the Aztecs did not dare to disobey God and obey his orders, left the neighborhood Tollan. They continued on, stopped at Sumpango (Tsumpango) per year "2. cane. " In the year of "8. reed "they arrived at Chapultepec on the western shore of Lake. Texcoco. From Chapultepec associated principal events in the life of the Aztecs, as more fully described below. Now it is important to emphasize that in mythological subjects reflect two possible pathways of the Aztecs in the Mexican valley — from the west (from the region of Michoacán), and from the north (via Tollan).

This was the official religious and mythological tradition, without which it is impossible to do, illuminating drevneatstekskuyu history. But how realistic is it reflects the actual course of events?

Category: Mystery stories

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