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Ancient Aztec Art and Literature

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Amanda Richard

on 21 April 2011

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Transcript of Ancient Aztec Art and Literature

Ancient Aztec Art and Literature Aztec Art The Aztecs had an appreciation for insects, birds, fish and animals.
They also depicted gods, which were usually sharp, angular and
brightly coloured. Stories were commonly written in pictures, using
pictographs. Statues were made of stone, as well as Aztec masks, pottery,
shields, and knives. Mosaics are also very common in ancient Aztec art. Aztec Alphabet The Aztecs didn't have an alphabet
like we do today. They used pictograms which was a symbol that meant what it looked like. Also they used ideograms, and these would represent the idea behind the symbol. Finally they used a phonogram where a picture represents a sound. Aztec Language As early as 600 AD, languages known as Nahuan were spoken by people. The Nahuatl language is an agglutinant language, which basically means that words and phrases are put together by combining prefixes, suffixes, and root words, in a certain order to form an idea. Aztec Music Music was an important part of life.
Many of the songs were sacred hymns.
These hymns would describe the deeds
of great rulers and gods. The spirit world
was also portrayed as singers would work
themselves into a trance and dance for hours.
They also used various instruments like drums
and rattles. Aztec Literature Aztec literature was preserved in both written and oral forms.
Lyric poetry was highly valued as it allowed Aztec intellectuals to reflect on the significance of human or godly actions, and to express doubts. Also Aztecs wrote chronicles about the history of their people. These focused on heroes, founding of cities, the lives of rulers, warfare and migration. Aztec chronicles recorded the manipulation of history. Aztec Sculpture Aztec stone workers surpassed those of
previous central Mexican civilizations in
the quantity, quality and range of sculpture
production. Deities were represented in stone,
and serpent heads were placed at the bottom of
temple stairways. Human figures, usually images
of warriors or commoners were carved in stone
and placed at entrances of the temples to serve
as standard-bearers. Aztec Painting The symbols (hieroglyphs) that the Aztec used were
painted in usually red, blue, green and yellow and
outlined in black. The size of the symbol was important.
When people were drawn, important people were larger.
Colours were varied and transmitted critical information,
like the four directions on a map: north was red or black,
south was white or blue, east was yellow or red and west
was blue-green or white. Aztec Architecture Temples were built of stone and stood atop platforms.
These had wide stairways leading from the base
platforms to the top, but the Aztecs had two stairways
leading to two temples atop a single platform.
Palaces, upper class building stood on low platforms,
while commoners housed were built at ground level.
Depending on raw materials, houses were made of
mud bricks or wooden poles with thatched roofs.
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