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Indigenous Australians verses Aztecs

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Kayla Wrigley

on 10 September 2014

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Transcript of Indigenous Australians verses Aztecs

Indigenous Australians verses Aztecs
What are the Laws and Customs?
A range of laws applying to or of specific relevance to Indigenous Australians. A number of laws have been passed since the European settlement of Australia, initially by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, then by the Governors or legislature of each Australian colonies and more recently by the Parliament of Australia and that of each of its States and Territories, these laws, arranged chronologically.

Native title is different in different circumstances. It may give people rights to fish in a river, or to hold a ceremony at a particular place. Two or more Indigenous communities may share native title over a particular place. Native title may also amount to the equivalent of absolute possession, including the right to exclude other people. The full range of native title rights and interests across the country may, in time, be recognized by agreements or by the courts.
One significant Indigenous Australian event
The Creation Period – The Dreamtime
Similar to other religions, there was a time in Aboriginal belief when things were created. This “Creation Period” was the time when the Ancestral Beings created landforms, such as certain animals digging, creating lagoons or pushing up mountain ranges, or the first animals or plants being made. The Dream time stories basically describe how the land formed the way it did; to develop an understanding of the land transformations.
Aboriginal people often interpret dreams as being the memory of things that happened during this Creation Period. Dreams are also important because they can be a time when we are transformed back into that ancestral time. The ancestral time brings in an understanding of the historical events to the younger generation. This linking of dreams to the Creation Period has led people to adopt the general term “The Dreamtime” in order to describe the time of creation in their religion. Yet, the term “Dreamtime” is an Aboriginal mythology is not really about a person having a dream, but rather, a reference to this Creation Period; a link through the understanding and learning of the younger generation .
What are the Religions?
Aztec religion is the Meso-american religion practiced by the Aztec empire. Like other Meso-american religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals which were held according to patterns of the Aztec calendar. It had a large and ever increasing pantheon; the Aztecs would often adopt deities of other geographic regions or peoples into their own religious practice. The parts important in Aztec religion were the sun, moon and the planet Venus - all of which held different symbolic and religious meanings and were connected to deities and geographical places.
Large parts of the Aztec pantheon were inherited from previous Mesoamerican civilizations and others; such as Tlaloc, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, were venerated by different names in most cultures throughout the history of Mesoamerica. For the Aztecs, especially important deities were Tlaloc the god of rain, Huitzilopochtli the patron god of the Mexica tribe, Quetzalcoatl the culture hero and god of civilization and order, and Tezcatlipoca the god of destiny and fortune, connected with war and sorcery. Each of these gods had their own temples within the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan - Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were both worshipped at the Templo Mayor. A common Aztec religious practice was the recreation of the divine: Mythological events would be recreated and living persons would impersonate specific deities and be revered as a god - and often ritually sacrificed.
What impact did the Europeans have on the Aztecs?
Negative effects
Spaniards destroyed Mexican culture; civilizations, heritage buildings. They slaughtered many natives and took the of resources of the people; such as silver and gold from Mexico. However, they never gave anything in return, not even a cent. Spain made the 'Encomienda' system and enslaved natives. In theory, it was a legal system, but many natives were forced to work hard as slaves. Spain introduced non-native flora & fauna, and diseases to the native people. Native people had no resistance to these introduced diseases such as measles, smallpox and influenza. Therefore, many natives died due to these diseases .
Positive effects
The highly-developed(advanced technology) culture, new language (the Spanish) and a new religion (Christianity) were introduced into Mexico. Spain opened up trade with other countries, and made profits with the resources found and traded.

One significant event
Aztec sun rituals: 15th - 16th century
The patron deity of the Aztecs is Huitzilopochtli, god of war and symbol of the sun. This is a lethal combination. Every day the young warrior uses the weapon of sunlight to drive from the sky the creatures of darkness - the stars and the moon. Every evening he dies and they return. For the next day's fight he needs strength. His diet is human blood.
The need of the Aztecs to supply Huitzilopochtli chimes well with their own imperial ambitions. As they extend their empire, they gather in more captives for the sacrifice. As the sacrifices become more numerous and more frequent, there is an ever-growing need for war. And reports of the blood-drenched ceremonies strike terror into the enemy hearts required for sacrifice. A temple at the top of a great pyramid at Tenochtitlan (now an archaeological site in Mexico City) is the location for the sacrifices. When the pyramid is enlarged in 1487, the ceremony of re-dedication involves so much bloodshed that the line of victims stretches far out of the city and the slaughter lasts four days. The god favours the hearts, which are torn from the bodies as his offering.Festivals and sacrifice are almost continuous in the Aztec ceremonial year.

What are the Laws and Customs?
The major civil and criminal laws were written down in pictograph for use by judges, while other customary laws were passed down to younger generations through spoken hymns. At the time of the conquest, the Aztecs had just begun to codify their laws into a more formal written form. However, the Spanish missionaries deliberately destroyed the few written court and legal records that existed because they were considered to be heretical/. Other legal manuscripts were burned by Spanish troops for fuel, or were allowed to rot from humidity and neglect. As a result, the limited information that is available about the Aztec legal system comes from Spanish chroniclers and troops who documented their observations during the two years before Tenochtitlan was conquered.
What evidence shows contact with another civilization prior to colonization?
The Aztecs and Mexico City: 14th century
The Aztecs are a tribe, according to their own legends, from Aztlan somewhere in the north of modern Mexico. From this place, which they leave in about the 12th century AD, there derives the name Aztecs by which they are known to western historians.
After two centuries of migration and warfare, the Aztecs finally settle within the area now covered by Mexico City. They choose an uninhabited island in Lake Tetzcoco. This is either in the year 1325 or, more probably, 1345. They call their settlement Tenochtitlan.
Cortes (Spanish) reaches the coast of Mexico, in March 1519, with eleven ships. They carry some 600 men, 16 horses and about 20 guns of various sizes. The Spanish party is soon confronted by a large number of Indians in a battle where the effect of horses and guns (both new to the Indians) is rapidly decisive.
The next battles, far more dangerous than the first encounters on the coast, are with the Tlaxcala people. The Spaniards eventually defeat them, and are received as conquerors in their capital city. This is a victory of great significance in the unfolding story, for the Tlaxcaltecs are in a state of permanent warfare with their dangerous neighbors. Any enemy of the Aztecs is a friend of theirs. They become, and remain, loyal allies of the Spaniards in Mexico.
What evidence shows contact with another civilization prior to colonization?
British contact influenced the Aboriginal tribes of Arnhem Land with the introduction of steel, boats, cards and words, which are still in use today.

Captain James Cook, a British explorer, charted the more fertile eastern coast in 1770; after the first contact on the Western and Northern coast showed that this land was not 'worthy' of 'British' colonization. Following his reports including a short Aboriginal history along with plants discovered on his voyage the British decided to make Australia a penal colony.

They sent 12 ships in the first fleet to settle on the East Coast of Australia which this act is now regarded by some as the first settlement of Australia and by others as an invasion of their land. Though the first Governor had good intentions of reconciling with the original inhabitants, both races did not see face to face.
What are the Religions?
Aboriginal religion, like many other religions, is characterized by having a god or gods who created people and the surrounding environment during the creation period at the beginning of time. Aboriginals are very religious and spiritual people, but choose to this way rather than praying to a single god they cannot see. Each group generally believes in a number of different deities, whose image is often depicted in some tangible, recognizable form, yet some of these people they believe in are common but have different names or formations describing who the 'creator' was. This form may be that of a particular landscape feature, an image in a rock art shelter, or in a plant or animal form. All of the single parts in the landscape basically depends on the different 'creators' master in. Such as a river being formed when the Rainbow Serpent passed through the area in the Creation Period, or a depression in a rock in the ground representing the footprint or sitting place of an 'Ancestral Being' that passed through
What impact did the Europeans have on Aboriginals?
In 1788, England began building prisons in Australia, which signified the beginning of the end of Aboriginal dominance of the continent, 20 years after James Cook departure from England. Unfortunately for the Aborigines, events far from their land would soon impact their lives and their culture.

The Aborigines in Australia suffered an experience during this European colonization that was similar to that of the indigenous populations of the Americas, the American Indians. Aborigines were driven from their lands or killed by unfamiliar diseases. Because Aborigines were nomadic hunter-gatherers, they faced a serious risk of starvation, due to the colonization that prevented them from roaming freely over their lands in search of food. Many of those who survived were forced into slavery, and entire tribes died out completely. Aborigines numbered in the hundreds of thousands when Australia was discovered, but their numbers dropped dramatically soon after colonization. Because of this disruption, much of Aboriginal culture and history has been lost.
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