World History

Daily Life of Aztec Empire

The average citizen of the Aztec Empire had a laborious life. Similar to many other ancient societies, the wealthy were able to enjoy extravagant lives while the common people had to put in a lot of labor.

Home Life

The Aztecs valued the family unit highly. The spouse typically had a career as a farmer, warrior, or craftsman outside the home. The wife worked from home, making meals for the family and weaving clothing out of fabric. Children went to school or work jobs to assist in the home.

What kind of residences did they have?

Rich folks resided in stone or sun-dried brick mansions. The Aztec king resided in a huge palace with numerous chambers and gardens. Every wealthy person had a private bathroom that resembled a sauna or steam room. The Aztecs valued taking a bath in their daily lives.

Smaller, one- or two-room houses with thatched roofs made of palm leaves were the homes of the poor. They grew vegetables and flowers in gardens close to their homes. There were four primary areas in the residence. The family would often sleep in one place, on floor mats. There were also areas for feasting, cooking, and creating temples to the gods.

What did the Aztecs wear for clothes?

The male Aztecs wore long capes and loincloths. The women wore blouses and long skirts. Typically, the poor fashioned their own garments and woven their own fabric. Making the garments was the wife’s task.

Aztec society had regulations surrounding attire. These included specific laws outlining the types of ornaments and colors of clothing that certain levels of people might wear. For instance, the emperor was the only person who may wear a cloak that was turquoise in hue, and only nobility could wear apparel that was feathered.

What did they consume?

Maize, a grain akin to corn, served as the Aztecs’ principal dietary staple. To produce tortillas, the maize was pounded into flour. Beans and squash were other essential mainstays. In addition to these three main staples, the Aztecs consumed a wide range of things, such as fish, dogs, honey, insects, and snakes. The cocoa bean that is used to produce chocolate was possibly the most prized food.

Did they go to school?

Aztec legislation mandated that all youngsters attend school. This was exceptional for its period in history because it even featured slaves and girls. Children were taught by their parents when they were small, but once they were teenagers, they started going to school.

Boys and girls attended different schools. Girls studied religion, including songs and dances from rituals. They acquired cooking and garment-making skills as well. Boys typically learn how to farm or develop a skill like pottery making or feather art. In addition, they studied religion and warrior skills.

Aztec children were taught politeness and proper conduct at a young age. The Aztecs valued children who were quiet, did not tease the elderly or ill, and did not interfere. The penalties for disobeying the rules were severe.

Marriage

The average Aztec man married at age 20. Typically, they did not pick their brides. Matchmakers were used to plan weddings. The families would have to concur after the matchmaker had chosen two people to wed.

Games

The Aztecs loved to have fun. The board game Patolli was one of the most played games. Players would move their pieces around a board by rolling dice, just like many board games do today.

Ullamalitzli was another well-liked game. This was a court-based game of ball played with a rubber ball. The ball had to be passed using the players’ hips, shoulders, heads, and knees. Some historians think the game served as training for battle.

Interesting Details of Daily Life for the Aztecs

In Aztec society, elder family members were respected and given good care.

The penalty for violating a dress code was frequently death.

The Aztec word “chocolatl” is where the word “chocolate” originates.

The Aztec word “ulli” means “rubber,” and it is where the name of the ball game Ullamalitzli originates.

The sons of nobility attended a different school where they studied academically challenging subjects like law, writing, and engineering. In fact, the students at these schools received harsher treatment than those who attended schools for commoners.

In general, slaves received good treatment and had the option of purchasing freedom.