Today, parents do not raise children as they used to. In the old days it they raised children to be tough and they did not refuse when much was demanded of them.
Although of course, in those times they had leaders, like the king of kings Moctezuma II, who They struck fear into the hearts of their enemies. We are not going back to Traditions of the Aztec Empirebut you’ll like to know how different life was.
10 Incredible Facts About Growing Up In The Aztec Empire
1- It was thought that children only grew if they stretched
Aztec parents did not understand that children grew up alone and they thought they would only be tall if they were stretched out. There were ceremonies called “the stretching of people to make them grow.”
First they seized the child by the neck and hung him in the air and then they pulled every part of his bodysuch as arms, legs, nose and ears, to make sure it grew evenly.
2- Poor children were forced to transport wood
At the age of 15 they went to school but the poor were sent to telpochcalli, where they would learn a trade and their war skills would be tested. They had to go to the forest and collect firewood, to see if they were hard or not..
Each time more was demanded of him than the last, until they collapsed. If a child could carry more than his own weight, he would be a future warrior. and would begin to bring weapons to battlefields, instead of wood.
3- Children who did not capture an enemy were publicly shamed
Boys who did not capture an enemy in battle could not become men. When a boy turned 10, his parents shaved off all the hair on his head except a lock, which he could not cut until he defeated an enemy and delivered him captive to the empire.
4- Nightly dance parties were mandatory
Whether you are rich or poor, you had to go to the cuicacalli, a late-night dance party. It was the only place where boys and girls could be together.
They would learn sacred songs, dances of some rituals and stories of gods and men. For the adults it was a way of teaching the children the whole culture while for the children it was a way of meet the opposite sex.
5- They condemned noble children to self-harm
The noble children did not have it easy. They were required to hurt themselves in order to perform self-sacrifice.
In the midnight prayer, they were forced to prick themselves with maguey thorns or cut their arms. They considered that the greatest and the most penitent was the one who could shed the greatest amount of blood.
6- They told babies that life is pain
They didn’t think it was good to lie to children and so they didn’t try to convince a crying child that everything would be fine.
When a baby was born, a midwife would pick it up, cut the umbilical cord, say a prayer of thanks, and state some hard truths.
7- They punished children who misbehaved
The parents made sure that these children were not lazy. They thought that at 8 years old they were ready to take some responsibility in your life. They expected them to get up early, do what they were told, and never be late.
If they didn’t, they were punished.. If she misbehaved, they stuck the spines of a maguey cactus into her. If it was a small offense, they would poke him lightly on the wrist and if it was really bad, they would strip him naked, bind their arms and wrists and cover them with maguey thorns.
Upon reaching the age of 11, the punishments were much more severe. Parents could hold their children over burning hot peppers and have them inhale this smoke. This period of time had to be short or the children would die.
8- Noble children were tortured and deprived of food
Nobles were sent to the Calmecac, a school run by the Aztec head priest, to be trained as novice priests and prepared to become the most important men in the empire. They would become holy men, military leaders, and government officials.
They wanted them to learn what sacrifice and self-denial are. For this they fasted, they had to go naked with their bodies painted black and they would be beaten if they complained.
9- They burned lazy children with torches
If a child was caught doing nothing or neglecting his work, they would grab him by the hair and drag him to some public place. They would cut the hair from the head leaving that lock of shame and they would singe the heads of children with a torch.
10- Children who had premarital relations were publicly punished.
Withdrawal was a big problem for the Aztecs. Parents encouraged their children to stay pure until the wedding night. If they saw a boy with a woman in bed, he would be publicly punished.
In the Aztec Empire they were too strict what we are currently used to. It was a culture in which the gods demanded blood, men had to be heroes, and boys and girls could not mix.