August 21, 2010

Quinceañera is Aztec ritual

History of the Quinceañera as a Rite of PassageSome believe that the tradition of the Quinceañera dates back to the Aztec period when women were brought up exclusively for bearing children and obeying their husband. They were taught such skills for survival and maintaining a home as cooking, weaving and housework. Most of these girls married by the age of 15 or 16 and were considered the society experts in domestic endeavors. Those girls belonging to wealthy families were sent to a temple or school to be trained as priestesses prior to marriage.

When the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in 1521 and both Native and Catholic traditions came together, the age of 15 became a time of decision for young women. By this time, the Spanish has imposed their religion on the Aztecs and destroyed the Aztec religion and lifestyle. The young quinceañera was required to make a choice: to devote her life to the church or to marry.
The QuinceañeraIn reality, the celebration as is today, is a Christian adaptation of the Aztec Ceremony of Woman. Even before of the Spanish Conquest, the Aztecs celebrated their girls when reached womanhood. In such ceremony, other than the banquet and religious presentation, the mothers gave advice to their daughters exhorting them for good behaviour. The Conquerors took the pagan celebration converting it to Chrisitanism as they did with other ceremonies in an effort to Catholizing the Aztec people. The Aztec dance was replaced by a Waltz and the temple by the Christian altar.Comment:  For more on the subject, see What's the Difference Between Indian and Latino? and "Most Mexicans Are Indians."

Below:  Primitive Indian rites?

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