Death: tradition and culture
It is not at all unknown to know that for Mexicans, death is not a taboo subject, quite the contrary, it is a concept that is reflected on a daily basis as part of the collective culture. Proof of this are the traditions, celebrations or holidays in which this tradition is commemorated, for example on October 31, or the first days of November. But where do these beliefs originate?cias?
death in ancient civilizations
The act of celebrating death not as a deity, but as a natural event in life, dates back to pre-Hispanic times, when the Mexica performed rituals in honor of their deceased in the months of September and November, (dates on which the harvests they finished).).
These took advantage of the harvest of the land and food to offer to the god of death,Mictlantecuhtli. On the other hand the Aztecs believed that after life there was something else; a kind of destiny for souls, which could only be accessed through offerings.
Jewelry as a pass to the afterlife…
So what were those types of offerings that were offered to a Mictlantecuhtliso that souls could rest
Some objects could be cereals or other types of food, but the biggest gift was definitely gemstones and jewelry.
Also in other types of rituals, the body of the deceased was dressed with fabrics, jewelry and feathers, and then left to burn all night until the next morning, this to merge the soul with the offerings.
Favorite stones in pre-Hispanic times
Next, we will mention what were the favorite stones to include in rituals and festivities.
Jade was one of the most popular materials in ancient civilizations due to its beautiful color and brilliance. This stone was the favorite of the social elite both for daily use and for offerings to the gods. The deceased used to carve a jade mask to accompany them on their way to the afterlife. At Guapinol we have different pieces of original Jade that you can look at in our stock by making click here.
Opal was another material found among the gemstones that adorned necklaces, bracelets, nose rings, earrings, and other accessories. Opal jewelry used to be worn by people belonging to the nobility and priests. Find in Guapinol exclusive pieces with opal.
Gold is a material that could not be missing in the production of jewelry and ornaments. It was a very popular material and mixed with jade, pearls and turquoise it was very popular in those times. Today remains of tombs have been found with jewelry that is still in good condition.
Finally, Turquoise was a material used to create jewelry such as bracelets and earrings, as well as mosaics, sculptures, weapons and more. It was a valuable gemstone for the ancient Aztecs and Mixtecs of Mesoamerica. It was used in rituals and as an offering to ancient deities.
Precious jewels and crystals played a very important role in pre-Hispanic times, since their meaning went beyond being a luxury or accessory; they were rather the connection between life and death, a bargaining chip that ensured the joy of the gods and eternal rest.
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