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Exploring the Family Life of the Aztecs

In Mesoamerica, Aztec culture had many interesting practices and beliefs. Their family life was especially important, even though some of its characteristics might seem strange today.

The Mesoamerican culture considered it important for married couples to have kids. Aztec parents would have big celebrations that would last over a day when their baby was born. They would also wait to name their newborns until the celebration. During labor, women were helped by neighbors and other local women since they had no midwives. After giving birth, the mother would wash herself and her newborn in the river or the closet body of water, and the umbilical cord was kept in the house.

The Mesoamerican male's responsibilities included supporting his family and his government through his hard work and paying taxes. Young women were taught to do chores such as weaving and cooking while young men often followed their fathers while they worked. One of the main roles of an Aztec female was to raise children until they were ready to leave the home and marry.

Until they were old enough to help their families, young children typically played around at home. They developed toys with pottery, some coming in the form of a dog on wheels or other interesting builds. Disobedient children were punished in various ways by their parents, including the use of spines to prick the children.

Bathing was an important part of family life and routine. This practice was used to both clean and purify individuals. Most homes contained a steam bath and a bathhouse was typically heated by a fireplace. As water was thrown on the interior walls of the bathhouse, steam would slowly fill the room.

Aztec family life was an important part of their culture. It is interesting to learn about the practices of prior civilizations and compare their beliefs and traditions to the things we see today.

[Source: Eyewitness Aztec]

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