Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Aztec version of Mayan Calendar

This was definitely one of the most exciting designs to work with. The imagery is extremely rich, and the number of fine details is somewhat overwhelming.  Very often, this calendar is being mistaken for a Mayan calendar; however this is not the case. Even though it closely resembles the Mayan calendar and is, in fact, heavily based on one, this particular image depicts the Aztec Calendar. I took the liberty of creating several versions of the design: golden, silver, gilded bronze and jade. However, the actual image is based on The Aztec Sun Stone, also known as the Aztec Calendar Stone, which was… you guessed it – made of stone. Make no mistake – all my renderings of the calendar are just artistic fantasies. To the best of knowledge, the only original Aztec Calendars ever discovered were all made of stone. All other popular imagery usually depicts modern time souvenirs. 

Aztec Calendar is the calendar system that was used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.

Aztec (Aztecatl) is the Nahuatl word for "people from Aztlan", a mythological place for the Nahuatl-speaking culture of the time, and later adopted as the word to define the Mexica people.[nb 1] Often the term "Aztec" refers exclusively to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan (now the location of Mexico City), situated on an island in Lake Texcoco, who referred to themselves as Mexica Tenochca or Colhua-Mexica. Sometimes the term also includes the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan's two principal allied city-states, the Acolhuas of Texcoco and the Tepanecs of Tlacopan, who together with the Mexica formed the Aztec Triple Alliance which has also become known as the "Aztec Empire".
In other contexts, Aztec may refer to all the various city states and their peoples, who shared large parts of their ethnic history as well as many important cultural traits with the Mexica, Acolhua and Tepanecs, and who like them, also spoke the Nahuatl language. In this meaning it is possible to talk about an Aztec civilization including all the particular cultural patterns common for the Nahuatl speaking peoples of the late postclassic period in Mesoamerica.
The Aztec Calendar is one of the Mesoamerican calendars, sharing the basic structure of calendars from throughout ancient Mesoamerica, heavily based on Mayan calendar system.  The calendar consisted of a 365-day calendar cycle called xiuhpohualli (year count) and a 260-day ritual cycle called tonalpohualli (day count). These two cycles together formed a 52-year "century," sometimes called the "calendar round". The xiuhpohualli is considered to be the agricultural calendar, since it is based on the sun, and the tonalpohualli is considered to be the sacred calendar.

As I mentioned earlier, the Aztec calendar shares many aspects with Mayan calendar - a system of calendars and almanacs used in the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and in some modern Maya communities in highland Guatemala and Oaxaca, Mexico. The essentials of the Maya calendric system are based upon a system which had been in common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 5th century BCE. It also has lots in common with calendars employed by other earlier Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, and contemporary or later ones such as the Mixtec . Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements of it were the most sophisticated. Along with those of the Maya, the Aztecs calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood.

As usually, all four different versions of my design: gold, silver, gilded bronze and jade -- are available on a limited number of high quality customizable products exclusively from my Sacred Symbols gallery at Zazzle.

The above information provided in part by Wikipedia and various printed materials on sumbols of Mesoamerica. All images are Copyright © of C.7 Design Studio

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