Friday, April 18, 2014

Aztec Calendar (By Raven Nunez)

The Aztec Calendar, is a calender system discovered in Mexico City in 1790 after found buried for over 300 years. This stoned carved calendar was once used by the Aztecs and then leading off to the peoples of Central Mexico. The Aztec Calendar is an object of religious expression in everyday material culture.Now in honoring the Aztecs, the Aztec calendar remains on display in the Western Tower of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City.

As a whole, there are two cycles in which work together to for a 52-year "century" called calendar round. The first is the solar calender (day count) which represents the 365 day cycle we have in a year. This was highly favored by the Aztecs as it became very helpful for planning ones farming and the prediction of weather. The second is the sacred calendar (year count) of the ritual cycle that is divided within the gods. The circular object is set to follow the planetary and solar events that occur in the important decision making in everyday life. Within the object, there are 20 signs and 13 numbers aligned clock-wise along the circle which detects the direction and daytime. The outer rim has two snakes that meet face to face to tell and represent the chief of the Aztec god and the 52-year century. 

The object has a diverse aspect of geometric shapes. As the center of the object acts as the center point, the piece is highly decorated with symbols, shapes, spiritual/tribal pictures, and animals. The center of the stone itself is a face with its tongue sticking out that presents sacrifice. The face symbolizes the sun. The sun is acknowledged as the blood when bleed in battle and the remembrance to stay strong. Connected around the face, are four squares that represent a jaguar, rain, water, and wind. 

There are several purposes why the Aztec calendar is used culturally, religiously, and ritually. Created by the Aztecs who were located in Mexico, established the foundation of civilization and captured the idealization of the expansion of warrior like individuals to the city but as well as capturing the attention of females. By doing so, men would appeal to have a muscular physique, and appear fearless when coming across a conflict with an individual or rival. Females would then give themselves away to their desired warrior by being placed in their arms and carried away.

Now in our time, people mostly of the Mexican decent culture, permanently tattoo this calendar to acknowledge and commend the god-like Aztec warriors. As people get this tattooed, the purpose is to stay close and true to their religion as well as their beliefs within their culture. As a pride to carry on with them and defining their identity, one can truly be proud of the creation of what the Aztecs have done and accomplished for them. People continue to get this tattoo to embrace the connection between religion and culture in addition to the sacrifice given undergoing the numerous hours per tattoo session for something so symbolic.

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