Human Sacrifice And The Aztec Empire Essay

2192 Words Nov 16th, 2014 9 Pages
While other cultures practiced human sacrifice, the Aztec empire is the most well-known and most aggressive group known to have practiced human sacrifice. The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican tribe that lived in the thirteenth century. The Aztec empire only existed for a short time, but left a significant impact, especially in regards to human sacrifices (Tuerenhout 7). The gruesome ritual of human sacrifice has been held as a special religious practice for the Aztecs. The creation stories of the Aztec world relate to their belief of the need to sacrifice to the gods through human blood. Over the years many anthropologists have examined this religious ritual in search of understanding why the Aztec’s had such a high number of sacrifices and the related cannibalistic activities. Some of these theories include the Aztec’s diet, worldview, economy, and politics. Aztec human sacrifices had variations, but overall followed almost the same ceremonial pattern. Before the actual sacrifice there was a preparatory period called nezahualiztli, which lasted either four, or a multiple of four, days. Although, there was a special sacrifice that required a year-long partial fast by the teocuaque. The teocuaque were a special group of priests and priestesses known as godeaters. During this period, priests fasted and the people gave offerings. Another preparatory ritual was the embowerment of statues, temples, and ritual participants. After the preparatory period, there was a procession of…

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