|Aztec merchants were called pochtecas, and
they were the ones that brought in so many marvelous things to
the Tlatelolco Market. Some common items being golden jewelry,
feather caps, tortoise shell cups, spices, and cocoa beans. Merchant
life was hard and very dangerous when traveling long distances
and visiting foreign places. The pochtecas kept to themselves.
They lived in a separate part of the city, had their own laws,
and had their own temples to worship their own gods, one of these
gods being Yacatecuhtli, or 'Lord Nose' which was the god of
merchants. The pochtecas were the ones that helped to
make Tenochtitlan so rich. But the pochtecas, even rich
pochtecas didn't show their wealth in their clothes, they
wore very basic clothes in public. The pochtecas' wealth
was mostly spent on expensive feasts to try to impress the other
pochtecas. Since the pochtecas carried so many
valuable items with them, they quietly left cities at night and
had secret warehouses for storing their goods in fear of thieves.
Pochtecas weren't just merchants. They also served as
spies to the ruler of Tenochtitlan in the lands they visited.
The pochtecas had great cover for being spies: they spoke
many different languages and easily blended in with other tribes.
By 1500, the were rivaling the nobles' wealth and power.
|In the Aztec times there were no carts or horses,
so none of this would of been possible if their weren't any porters.
The porters were the ones that transported all of the goods back
and forth to the cities. Porter life was very tough. They carried
huge loads on their backs with a strap around their forehead.
What was not carried by porters was transported by water in a
simple dug-out canoe made from a single tree trunk.
YOU KNOW That Aztec porters had to carry 60-90 pound loads on
their back with a strap around their forehead for more than 20
miles a day usually with bare feet!