Just outside of the main entrance, you'll see this large pole in the ground. It is here that the Voladores de Papantla (Papantla Flyers) perform their high acrobatics for tourists. They all wear traditional clothes as they climb up the pole. One guy sits on the top playing a flute and the other four "fly" down the pole to the music of the flute strapped to a rope at their ankles. It's fun to watch and worth tossing in some coins when they pass the hat when they are finished.
Testing of Tequila and Mezcal
Mezcal, or mescal, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant (a form of Agave americana) native to Mexico. The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl metl and ixcalli which mean 'oven cooked agave.
By distillation, a spirit called mezcal is prepared; one of the best-known forms of mezcal is tequila.
You will be able to try Tequila and Mezcal in the same shop. Don’t think I liked them – in my opinion vodka is more delicious and effective, haha!
Agave’s many uses
While visiting a souvenir shop we have been shown some local customs. First was a custom of usage of agava (maguey in Mexico).
Agave nectar - a sweetener derived from the sap, is used as an alternative to sugar in cooking. This is used in Mexico and Mesoamerica in the production of the beverage pulque.
People have found a few other uses of the plant aside from its several uses as food. When dried and cut in slices, the flowering stem forms natural razor strops, and the expressed juice of the leaves will lather in water like soap. The natives of Mexico used agaves to make pens, nails and needles, as well as string to sew and make weavings.
You can watch my 3 min 33 sec Video Mexico Teotihuacan Local customs and shopping out of my Youtube channel.
While having a lunch we were listening to ensemble of local musicians. Well known pleasant Mexican songs including “Besame Mucho” and “Cucaracha” made our meal even more delicious and nutrient, haha! It cost us 10 pesos (1$) for a person (about 200 pesos ($17) for the 20-minutes concert).
You may see me on the picture with Mexican musicians (almost friends after beer, haha!)
You can watch my 4 min 46 sec Video Teotihuacan El Jaguar restaurant out of my Youtube channel.
Ask a desire from Aztec gods
There is a local custom for those who overcame the stair to the Pyramid of the Sun (75 meters at the height 2300m over the sea level you remember!). You have to rise your hands up and ask every desire you want best of all… And it should come true!
You may see such people, asking something important from Aztec gods, at my picture.
Raise your hand if you're sure
At the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, people touch one hand to the stone and raise the other toward the sun. I'm not exactly sure of the origin of this tradition, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the rituals that once took place here.
The Aztecs had an altar on the top that they used to sacrifice enemies to the sun god. After a priest would ceremoniously rip out the captives' heart, the body would be tossed down the sides of the pyramid.
Obsidian’s many uses
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.
In pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, obsidian represented cultural image as much as specialized technology.
One of the most significant kinds of matter in this respect was obsidian, the dark volcanic glass which, in the absence of metal tools, underwrote the economic and symbolic life of every major Mesoamerican culture for some three thousand years.
The most powerful role of obsidian is as weapon and sacrificial blade.
We have acquainted with technology of making various things out of obsidian.
Close to Teotihuacan you can visit a little factory that create souvenirs out of obsidian; buy some souvenirs. It may be cheap things as well as expensive masks with semiprecious stones.
Not just foreigners
While Teotihuacan is sure to be full of tourists, it is also a great place for Mexicans as well. I saw many Mexican travelers here enjoying this monument to the long history of the indigenous population that has been here since approximately 600 BC.
In the Citadel we did meet a man, who wanted to show us what methods the Aztecs used to make colors. You must know that in the past over here, all these buildings, pyramids and temples were colored; red was one of their favorite colors.
So this man gave a demonstration how it was done in the past. Of course they did not have chemicals, but they used natural methods, like the blood of louses to make the red color. On the picture he is showing a cactus leaf with louses on it.
Colors to take home
After showing us how the Aztecs prepared their colors, he presented us an envelope which was marked with these original colors. Inside this envelope there were 10 postcards of this wonderful archeological site. Price of this envelop with postcards was 30 Pesos.
The maguey plant looks like an aloe vera plant. It was used by the indeginous people here for various things. First it was used to make Pulque, It was used to make soap, It was used to make thread and had a built in needle. Paper was made from this plant, clothing and blankets.
It was very interesting to see this dont right in fron of us. I was facinated. So was my sister. As a matter of fact she now has a maguey plant in her home. Although i doght she will start making her own soap and clothing out of it.
Learn how the crafts are made.
Natural stone and rock from the area are used to make the recreations. I dont remember all the names of the stones. I do know that volcanic rock and jade are used. There are other rocks too but I forgot the names.
Quetzalcoatl, "feathered snake", is the Nahuatl name for the Feathered-Serpent god of ancient Mesoamerica. The name "Quetzalcoatl" literally means quetzal-bird snake or serpent with feathers (Amphitere) of the Quetzal.
The Feathered Serpent deity was important in art and religion in most of Mesoamerica for close to 2,000 years, from the Pre-Classic era until the Spanish Conquest. Other civilizations worshiping the Feathered Serpent included the Olmec, the Mixtec, the Toltec, the Aztec, and the Maya. The worship of Quetzalcoatl sometimes included human sacrifices, although in other traditions Quetzalcoatl was said to oppose human sacrifice.
Mesoamerican priests and kings would sometimes take the name of a deity they were associated with, so Quetzalcoatl is also the name of historical persons. It was also said that he had white skin, with hair on the face and beautiful emerald eyes. The Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II initially believed the landing of Cortes in 1519 was Quetzalcoatl's return. Cortes played off this belief to aid in his conquest of Mexico.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Just like in Spain, hmmmm.
Do you see those dark stones dotting the mortar on this wall? Look closer, they'll appear as raisins and prunes to you too. I saw the same thing in some of the castle walls back in Segovia last year. Our guide at Teotihuacan however, explained that in Mexico at least, this is a sign that reconstruction at a particular spot has been completed. Hmmm, that makes sense. They still look like raisins though. ;-)
their synchronous flight symbolizes the unity of the humanity with the outer space (cosmos)!
today,it's more a touristic show than a religious ritual.