Aztecs – Really Cool!

I was so excited to receive this wonderful account of Adelie Filippi’s visit to Aztecs: Conquest and glory. In the following Adelie shares her thoughts on her visit and best of all gives Te Papa the big thumbs up. Thanks Adelie! 



Adelie Filippi, a big fan of the Aztec exhibition

Recently I went to Te Papa with my aunt and uncle, they were taking care of my sister and me and they took us to the Aztec exhibition, which, by the way was really cool! Apparently the Aztecs believed in a ton of different gods and that’s the reason the world existed – because these gods had shed their blood to create it.

So the Aztecs, in order to pay back the gods for creating the world, must give the gods human sacrifices. Each god had a different method of sacrifice, like burning, drowning, death by arrows, cutting out of the heart and even skinning the victim. In the case of the skinning – it was for the god of spring. I think that the priest would wear the skin of the sacrificed person for twenty days, before coming out renewed (like spring after winter).


Stone sculpture of Xipe Tótec (god of spring and renewal) on display in Aztecs: Conquest and glory. From Museo Arqueológico del Estado – Teotenango ‘Dr Román Piña Chan’.

Stone sculpture of Xipe Tótec (god of spring and renewal) wearing the skin of a sacrificed victum – on display in Aztecs: Conquest and glory. Image courtesy of Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes – Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. Photographer Michel Zabé.

While I was there I did the Aztecs character trail to see who I would be and what my job would have been if I had been an Aztec. The way the character trail works is you have to choose options A, B, or C at each of the six stations, then at the end a computer figures out who you were.

Turns out I would have been a priest, which is a bit gross because I don’t really fancy wearing any human skin that is not my own at all, and NOT for twenty days.

After spending almost 2 hours reading and looking at stuff (not to mention doing the activities) my aunt and uncle thought it was best to be off…but not before a visit to the gift shop! There I bought three of the most awesome pairs of earrings ever.

By Adelie Filippi (Fan of the Aztecs exhibition)

One Response

  1. Benjamin Parkins

    Greetings Ms. Townsend and all at Te Papa!

    That was a charming account. Currently, I’m studying prop-making at NIDA in Sydney, and honestly, for some reason no-one in my class finds interest in history as readily as me. It’s good to know I am not actually alone, especially since these days I’m always too busy to leave campus grounds!

    I’m afraid I have a bit of a selfish reason for commenting, though. I found this page because I’m conducting preliminary research on a “World Style” assignment, and I need to recreate a non-Western artifact. I’m attempting to replicate the wood carvings on the huehuetl from Malinalco:

    I was hoping you could shed some light on the method of carving this, but specifically, I have an unusual question: I need to replicate the hand of the artist. So, anywhere where a “mistake” has been made, I need to copy that error. Any damage from tomb robbing, I need to fabricate. And I have been given a week from yesterday to make it, so the sooner you could offer some comments, the better I’m afraid! I would be incredibly grateful.

    Excellent work keeping the past alive,
    Your friend in time,


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