Young Aztec Boys:
A baby boy in the Aztec culture was held with high esteem! Once the child was born, the priest looked at the day and the astrology of the day to determine if this was a good or bad day to be born and named. (Quick Fact: The Aztecs had an 18 month calender with 20 days in each month. Every month had a special symbol!) A baby boy after birth was heralded as a potential warrior. A few days after birth a midwife places a small shield and bow and arrows into the fragile infants tiny hands. As just tiny infants they are already set onto a path which would lead to the most public and masculine of duties in the Aztec culture: warfare. When a young infant turns three or four years old they begin to follow their father to learn of his father's skills that would soon be passed down. It could be simple tasks as being a quite hunter or just carrying loads that they have collected. Children helped their parents carry water, collecting firewood, carrying bundles to the market, fishing and collecting maize grains. One of the most important skills to learn is how to steer a canoe At age fourteen a son in the Aztec's was taught how to catch fish in a canoe. At age fifteen, each male learned the history and religion of the Aztecs. The religious and civic duties of everyday citizenship, the art of fighting and war, and the craft or trade of his specific calpulli. Aztec children were expected to be loyal and obedient to their parents. Punishments could range from treating with spikes or being sold into slavery! (Quick Fact: Yes! Poor parents did sell their children into slavery!) Some children were even put to death.