Aztecs. Know much about ’em? Before last week’s visit to Melbourne Museum and their Aztecs exhibition, the little I understood about Aztecs came from a mish-mash of an 80’s cartoon I loved called The Mysterious Cities of Gold, an abominable colonialist movie by Mel Gibson called Apocalypto and Tintin graphic novels. After the Feast of the Revered for Aztecs, I now know better. And until the 10th of August, at Melbourne Museum – you can too!
Today’s blog post is the first of the #myfamilylens posts for Voices of 2014 using a brand-spankin’-new Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera, inspired by the prompt of ‘grateful’. In my case, I’m grateful that I wasn’t born in the Aztec period! I usually use a larger, heavier DSLR for all my photography on Ruby Slipper, so I’m looking forward to using this light weight but feature-packed vintage styled Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera while out and about over the next few months – I even made this film using the camera which produced pleasingly high-resolution images and steady imagery.
Before we entered the Aztecs exhibition, we were treated to a little frivolity. This included champagne and tacos a-plenty, chilli-chocolate churros , Brazilian showgirls and a tequila tastings (ooh! firewater. FIRE WAH-TAH!) plus Aztec-themed nailart and a mariachi band. Although highly enjoyable, occasionally throughout the evening I did wonder how the Aztecs would have viewed our soiree.
The Aztecs exhibition itself is magnificent and haunting. Did you know that the Aztec civilization occurred in tandem with the Renaissance? Although ancient, the Aztecs are more modern than you might expect – valuing education for all, enjoying advanced farming and irrigation, trade, recreational sport and taxation. Oh yes, and ritual sacrifice too.
Don’t think that because the Aztecs’ beliefs system involved ritual sacrifice it was as a result of their lack of humanity or care for one another. The beautiful icons and decorative artistry featured throughout this exhibition shows their love of beauty and deep spiritual connection to the land. In short, the Aztecs felt that for life to go on, sacrifices must be made – of many kinds including human and animal. Word to the wise – don’t visit the Aztecs exhibition if you’re feeling down, queasy or world-weary. Go in with an open mind and a robust spirit and learn about this interesting society and fascinating period of rule.
A modern goddess of the Melbourne kind, it’s Leeyong of Stylewilderness who sacrifices nought but vintage clothes to the sewing machine spirit. Dress up or dress down, take your time to enjoy Aztecs – on show at the Melbourne Museum until early August.