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Harriet Smart: ‘If it was superior, so much the better’: Political manoeuvrings in the sacred landscape of Huey Tozoztli

16 March, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Huey Tozoztli was the fourth ceremony celebrated in the Nahua (Aztec) ritual calendar which spanned 18 months. Occurring once a year, this was as a maize veneration ceremony where nobles and commoners alike plucked stalks of fresh corn to celebrate a successful harvest. However, in 1507 Huey Tozoztli was celebrated in a very different way. Far from being a domestic harvest festival, the Mexica ruler of Tenochtitlan with three allied rulers and two sworn enemies took part in a gruelling trek to the summit of Mount Tlaloc – one of the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada – to supplicate earth deity for rain in a highly choreographed ritual process.

This paper will explore the many intriguing layers of meaning of the worship at Mount Tlaloc by using the exceptional Huey Tozoztli festival to explore how the Nahuas used ritual choreography for political manoeuvring and organisation.

Thursday lunchtime programme coordinated jointly by the postgraduate-run Early Modern Discussion Group and SCEMS.
From February to May, the interdisciplinary Forum meets in the Humanities Research Institute at 1:05pm.


16 March, 2017
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
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Humanities Research Institute
34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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