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Jewelry Illustration

Aztec Empire for Kids
Jewelry

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The upper class Aztecs wore a great deal of jewelry. One of the specialized professions in the Aztec world was that of jeweler. Aztec craftsmen made jewelry out of metal, stone, leather, wood, feathers, shells, and clay. They wore leg bracelets, arm bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings. Some jewelry had little bells hanging from it designed to make soft jingling sounds. (The Aztecs loved percussion sounds.)

An earplug was worn by men. These plugs had special meanings. They were worn to show social or military rank. Aztec men also wore plugs in their noses and on their lower lip.

Some jewelry was worn for religious reasons.  Jade was the symbol for water. Jade was worn mainly by priests. The Aztecs suffered many famines, even though they lived by a lake. They needed clean, fresh water to drink and to water the crops. Turquoise was used exclusively during religious rites; it was one of the most treasured gemstones.

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