Aztec Masks: A Window On Ancient Times
Aztec masks give us a window into the culture of this Mexican people of the past. These masks help us to understand this lost civilization.
The detailed craftsmanship of many Aztec masks tells of a society adept at creating and using tools. The uses of masks by the Aztec people show a complex religious structure.
Throug the study of these ancient masks we get a remarkable chance to understand the Aztec people themselves.
The Aztecs often designed their masks to represent the face of a deity. The deities Xiuhtecuhtli, Tlaloc, and Tezcatlipoca were found on many of the masks.
Masks bearing the faces of these powerful idols were a key part of many ceremonies.
The Aztecs often used these masks as a part of religious rituals. Some rituals made use of masks as a way to harness the power of beings such as deities, or ancient ancestors. Masks had many different uses, but most were ceremonial. Dancers wore masks, and the masks were sometimes worn by priests as well.
Aztec masks often had complex inlays of precious materials and generally featured a wooden base with decorations. The decorations were sometimes made of turquoise, and shells adorned many of the masks as well.
Mosaics were an important part of the aesthetic of these masks, and most masks featured some kind of mosaic technique. The hours of labor by the Aztec people that went into the creation of their masks help us to understand what an important role the masks played in Aztec culture.
Their masks went out of use with the end of the Aztec civilization itself, but many of the masks may have laid the groundwork for the masks we use today.
Although the Halloween masks we use today are less precious than the masks created by the Aztec people were, masks are still an important part of life today. The profound impact of Aztec masks may have dissipated, but these masks stand as an important reminder of how culture evolves.
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