The Aztecs

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The Aztec name came from the word Aztlán (“White Land”). This refers to the land that they came from, probably in northern Mexico. They were also called the Tenochca, from an ancestor named Tenoch, and the Mexica. The latter name probably came from Metzliapán (“Moon Lake”), the mystical name for Lake Texcoco, where they built their capital.

The Aztecs ruled a large empire in Mesoamerica. Each village they conquered had to contribute heavily to the Aztec economy. This system helped create a mighty state, but one that did not inspire loyalti.

The Aztec spoke a language called Nahuatl (pronounced NAH waht l). It belongs to a large group of Indian languages which also include the languages spoken by the Comanche, Pima, Shoshone and other tribes of western North America.

Tribal Jungle Music - Aztec Jungle