The Aztecs made every child - boys,
girls, and slaves - go to school. There were different schools for
different purposes, but everybody had to go. It was the law. Kids were
taught proper behavior and a specialized profession. Teachers were
highly respected. Being a teacher was a specialized profession.
people in the Aztec empire ended up being farmers, fisherman, and
hunters. But some were trained to be soldiers, doctors, priests,
merchants, traders, craftsmen, ball players, engineers, builders, and
highly respected and highly trained. They were fierce fighters. They
almost never lost. The Aztecs were nearly always at war. The Aztecs
needed captives to feed their hungry gods and tribute (from the captured
tribe) to increase their wealth. Some soldiers lived long enough to
retire. Those who did retired in comfort and wealth.
had an easy time of it. Other tribes were afraid of the Aztecs. They did
not try to hurt the traders in any way. The Aztecs almost always, well,
pretty much always, got the best deal in any trade. Traders brought back
cocoa beans, jaguar skins, precious metals, and gorgeous jewelry. They
sold their goods to merchants in the city.
also specialized. A merchant might sell only jewelry or only baskets.
There were almost no robberies because Aztec punishment was swift and
deadly. In the capital city, there were as many as 60,000 people in the marketplace buying and selling
wares. No one used money. Goods were bartered and small
differences in value were evened up using cocoa beans.
specialized. All priests were religious leaders. Some were active in
government. Some acted as teachers. Some created the many records
the Aztecs kept, written in hieroglyphics. Some conducted the many
sacrifices needed to feed the hungry gods.
were trained in the Aztec schools. They made about 1000 different
medicines. They healed wounds and set broken bones and even offered
specialized professions, engineers and builders were highly respected.
Trained in the Aztec schools, they were people who built the floating
gardens, the temples, the pyramids, the plazas, the homes, and the
Aztec craftsmen were
truly talented. Since all kids had to attend school, those who had a
talent for art were pulled from the regular school and placed in the art
school. They were taught how to use gold and silver and paints and clay
in their art. Much of the Aztec art was colorful and religious.
matchmaker's job was to work with a young couple, who had decided to
marry, until the couple had "tied the knot". This expression
comes from the Aztec. The final action in an Aztec wedding ceremony was
to tie two coats together, one worn by the bride and one by the groom.
But matchmakers had other talents. They were the fortune tellers, the
soothsayers. They studied omens and signs and made predictions.
were highly respected, especially ballplayers. Some athletics were
professional athletics. For the very best, this was a specialized
profession. Professional ballplayer did not work in the fields or spent
time hunting. Their job was practice shooting a rubber ball through a
Aztec Ball Game & Players