Q:

What did the Aztecs look like?

A:

Quick Answer

The native people of the Aztec Empire looked much like the ethnically indigenous people of Central and South America today. The Aztecs lived in what is now Central Mexico and arrived in Mesoamerica in the early 13th century. However, it is important to note that as the Aztec empire grew in size, it also grew more ethnically diverse, and to associate one ethnic appearance with the Aztec people is inaccurate.

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Full Answer

The Aztecs had a large trade network and imported a variety of jewels, dyes and fabrics. They generally wore loose clothing that was made of either imported cotton or domestic ayate fiber made from the maguey cactus. Men often wore a tilmatli, which was a piece of fabric used as either an apron or a cape. Clothes were dyed bright colors and accessorized with precious stones. Jewelry and elaborate hairstyles were worn by the elite of both sexes. Ear spools made of turquoise were commonly worn by the Aztec elite; these pieces were similar to the modern ear gauge, expanding the earlobe to large sizes. Piercings were also a common way to accessorize among Aztecs. However, slaves were allowed to wear little more than a loincloth. Unlike the European fashions of the same period, the Aztecs' clothing often included exposed arms, legs or torsos.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did the Aztecs sacrifice humans?

    A:

    The Aztecs sacrificed humans because they believed that without the sustenance of human life-blood, the sun would fail and the world would end. Their gods had sacrificed themselves to bring the world into existence, so humanity must continue the sacrifices to ensure the world remained sustained.

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  • Q:

    How did the Aztecs build their pyramids?

    A:

    The Aztecs, as most Mesoamerican peoples, built their pyramids with a core of earth or rubble and an exterior of layered stone. In some cases, new pyramids were built over older ones. They were built steeply, with steps leading from the base to the summit.

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  • Q:

    What did the Aztecs do?

    A:

    Some of the Aztecs' major accomplishments include advances in herbalism, the discovery of an extremely vivid shade of red and the development of ollama, a precursor to modern soccer. Though the Aztecs were known as powerful warriors, they were also responsible for many peaceful innovations.

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  • Q:

    Where was the Aztec Empire located?

    A:

    The Aztec Empire was located in what is now called central Mexico and was the last of the great Mesoamerica native civilizations to be overthrown. The Aztec Empire was overthrown in 1521 when Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, defeated the Aztecs at Tenochtitlan.

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