Various culture warriors

Whether the Amazon warrior are myth or reality, doesn’t change the fact that history has appointed them a special place, if the stories are true, the Amazon warriors are to be feared, respected and avoided wherever possible.

The Taira and the Minamoto clashed again in 1180, beginning the Genpei War , which ended in 1185. Samurai fought at the naval battle of Dan-no-ura , at the Shimonoseki Strait which separates Honshu and Kyūshū in 1185. The victorious Minamoto no Yoritomo established the superiority of the samurai over the aristocracy. In 1190 he visited Kyoto and in 1192 became Sei'i-taishōgun , establishing the Kamakura Shogunate, or Kamakura Bakufu . Instead of ruling from Kyoto, he set up the Shogunate in Kamakura , near his base of power. "Bakufu" means "tent government", taken from the encampments the soldiers would live in, in accordance with the Bakufu's status as a military government. [6]

Of course, there were incentives that encouraged accommodation. Each summer after 1050, rewards were handed out to loyal clans during giant rituals, social gatherings, and clan-against-clan games conducted in the enormous central plaza. All who attended became absorbed into the Cahokian monolith. Why would clan members not accept the valuable exotic objects, finely crafted ornaments, and decorated pottery vessels–never mind the ready supply of food, drink, and medicine–available to Cahokia’s residents, who, in a similar turn of noblesse oblige, might patronize their own kin? Besides, were they not all–residents and rural kin–one community? Did not the entire population sing the same songs, dance the same dances, play the same games, eat from the same pots, and labor on the plazas and pyramids when they met at Cahokia?

The noble class had a variety of vocations open to them.  They would have positions of leadership and influence, as mentioned above.  They would also have some wealth, and unlike the common people they were allowed to enjoy works of art.

The higher level of nobility, usually hereditary to some extent, were the pilli (singular pipiltin ).  They would hold high positions in government or in the military.

There were also various classes of common people.  There were farmers, who were very efficient.  There were merchants, who would travel and trade.  These people had a fair amount of freedom to be independent and wear stylish clothes .  There were artisans of various kinds.  Every type of job needed to run a society that you can imagine.

Another occupation of status was to be an athlete.  Aztec culture had its own version of Ulama , a game played in Mesoamerica.  The game was very popular and the players were celebrities.

Aztec life was permeated by religion.  The cycles of the calendar and rituals associated with it to keep nature in balance and appease the gods were a big part of Aztec culture.  For more, see Aztec religion . Everyday life Except for the nobility, the people were quite poor, even though great wealth was available in general. The people lived in adobe homes, made of mud bricks. One building was for sleeping and cooking and eating and worship. Another building contained a steam bath. It was believed that the bath was important for good health (a bath is never a bad idea!). Houses of the noble class were bigger, and, as mentioned, were more lavishly decorated. Read more about Aztec homes...

Life was much as it is most places in the world today - relationships, shopping, music , meals, entertainment was all there. There was poetry, dramatic presentations, art and athletics.

A big part of entertainment for the Aztecs was the Aztec ball game . Special occasions drew the spectators, and the players were celebrities.

But in Aztec culture the warrior was glorified for religious reasons. Taking prisoners and sacrificing them to the gods was an increasingly important ritual. Though life was very structured, it seemed close to chaos as the people tried to avoid natural and imagined disaster. Age and death As people got older, and more disease arrived, the the religious healer would be called for. Medical science and religious ritual went side by side. When death came, people would be cremated or buried, depending on how they died and the family's choice.

See more Aztec homes from Yautepec here .

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Of course the noble class and religious leaders would wear clothing that was much more adorned, though still tilmas and loincloths and skirts would be worn.  There would be symbols of their particular affiliation on the clothing or in a head dress.  The more prestigious clothing became brightly coloured.  Gold was often used in clothing, and pendants, feathers, furs, and other forms of decoration were used.  Jewelry such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets were also worn by the upper classes.  Like tribes still in mesoamerica today, some wore "ear spools".  Of course, for certain rituals costumes were worn which became even more elaborate.  Aztec masks were used for rituals, representing various Aztec gods. The merchants Merchants were in a class all their own, and had a certain amount of independence that most people didn't enjoy.  They often were allowed to wear more elaborate clothing. The military The military had their own costumes, based on what military group they belonged to - the eagle or the jaguar, for example. Even for the Aztec warrior, there was a hierarchy that was reflected by how adorned their costumes were. Those who were war heroes were allowed more jewels and more stunning clothing.

The ancient Aztec clothing of the warrior offered some protection, and their head dresses also served as helmets. Some of the chiefs even wore a layer of gold. Warriors carried a simple decorated shield. They used bows, spears, and the maquahuitl - a combination sword and club.

For more, see these Aztec warrior drawings.

Ancient Aztec Clothing: Importance

Ancient Aztec clothing was a huge part of the economy. You could buy a slave if you had enough material. People brought thousands of clothing items as tribute to the powerful empire. Clothing both united people and separated them - much like it still does today.

And now for some fun - why not make your own ancient Aztec clothing? .

For more information on the Caddo people, we’ve compiled a brief bibliography of books about the Caddo. It is available here .

The largest powwow in North America is the "Gathering of Nations." It is held every April at the sports arena of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. This event attracts over two thousand Native American dancers, hundreds of drummers, tens of thousands of Indian spectators and several thousand non-Indian guests. In addition, it features a large Native American crafts market and many food stalls. There is a modest admission fee. I attended this spectacular event in 2005.

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