The Aztecs created a rich variety of art works from massive stone sculptures to miniature, exquisitely carved gemstone insects. They made stylized hand crafted pottery, fine gold and silver jewelry and breathtaking feather work garments. The Aztecs were as intimately involved with art as they were with their religion and the two were tightly interwoven. Our knowledge of the Aztec culture mostly comes from their pictogram codices and their art.
Pochteca were professional merchants, traveling long distances to obtain the luxury goods desired by the nobility: feathers from tropical birds, rare gems or jewelry and pottery created by other Mesoamerican cultures. The pochteca obtained anything rare and special, as well as the white cotton and cacao beans, earning them a special place in the Aztec society. They had their own capulli, laws and section of the city, even their own god, who watched over traders.
They often had dual or even triple roles in the empire, besides being simple traders. They often communicated crucial information from one area of the empire to another. And some served as spies for the emperor, often going disguised as something other than trader. This last group, the naualoztomeca, traded in rare, easily carried goods such as gems, rare feathers or secrets. Some pochteca were the importers, others dealt in wholesale goods and others still were retailers.
II.She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,Rising with her tiara of proud towersAt airy distance, with majestic motion,A ruler of the waters and their powers:And such she was; her daughters had their dowersFrom spoils of nations, and the exhaustless EastPoured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers.In purple was she robed, and of her feastMonarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased. 1e1e36bf2d