Mexica Exhibition At the British Museum

By Sasha Dee

On Sunday the 20th September 2009 many members went to see the Aztec Mexica exhibition.

Collage of Mexica at the entrance of the British Museum

Collage of Mexica at the entrance of the British Museum

Mark the word Mexica.  British Museum does not want to call it any more Aztec as according to their scholarly study that the word Aztec was a misnomer and it stuck in the English language for at lest two hundred or so years.

The right word is Mexica. From this word Mexican culture and the city Mexico and the nation Mexico are born.

We further learned that the word Montezuma in the English language is wrong as well.  The correct word is Moctezuma.  On their publicity Moctezuma the Ruler of Mexica is proudly published.

This painting was done by the Spanish ruler of Mexco after one hundred years of the killing of Moctezuma

This painting was done by the Spanish ruler of Mexco after one hundred years of the killing of Moctezuma

So this exhibition is about a lot of learning about Moctezuma, and how Spanish General Cortez destroyed him and his culture.

COOLTAN Arts centre were given twenty tickets to the opening of this exhibition.  It was opened on Sunday at about 1.20 pm. There was a separate ticket for the lecture by the curator of this exhibition.

This exhibition is in the series of Exhibitions called The Rulers of The World.  The series started with the exhibition of the Terracotta soldiers of China that were unearthed recently.

library hall

We all waited for all the members of the Cooltan to assemble at the main hall in the British Museum.  This hall once was the part of the great and famous Museum Library.  The magnificent dome is still kept and the special exhibition on the theme of Mexica is inside it. The hall is made from white stone polished like the diamonds and the dome is a diamond and on its own it is worth for seeing and as human beings we should be proud of it as all the great exhibitions are organised here; many are free to all.  The museum is free for all people ever since it was built in 1773.

Mexica people worship masks.

Mexica people worship masks.

The exhibition is a very rich show from the valuable arts, artefacts, sketchbooks of rare paintings of the objects extracted by the Spanish Conquerors when they mindlessly killed the Mexica people and Moctezuma the Magnificent ruler.  The Mexica people themselves did these sketches and paintings under the orders of Spanish governors some years after the conquest of the Mexica.

A man with a diamond in his heart

A man with a diamond in his heart

Here we saw huge eagle bird, serpent and many other things carved out of the stones. We saw many pieces of delicate gold jewellery made with high skill of by the skilled artisans.  Many objects inlaid with precious stones, two in particular one the magnificent mask and the other the snake. Both probably used by the Mexica for their religious rites.

It was so astonishing that a great culture existed away from Europe and Asia with whom for the millions of years might have no contact at all with each other yet as human beings the Mexica created their own world, rich with culture.

Often whenever the Aztecs are mentioned we are told that this culture had a special custom of human sacrifice.  The sacrificial man is laid on the sacrificial stone and his heart is carved out and offered to the sun god.  For this special temple were built.  The European tells us as their reason for destroying this evil culture.

But the foundation of the three major religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam of Europe and Middles East had similar custom in Abraham offering his son to Jehovah according to the god’s wish, and to date all these three religions celebrate the occasion.

The reason for destroying the Mexica culture was sheer lust for the gold, land and religious madness of forcing Christianity on other people by the Roman Catholic religion of thespian at the time.

The exhibition tells us and reconfirmed in the talk of the curator that a great civilization was destroyed by the Europeans and the present efforts of the British Museum are just to create awakening about it and give the glory back to Moctezuma in their small way.  It is according to them is just a small beginning.

After listening to the scholarly lectured we all came out of the Exhibition area with very heavy heart filled with deep sorrow for the obliterated civilization.

 This is skull inlaid with precious stones, gold and silver.

This skull is inlaid with precious stones, gold and silver.

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