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by stapletonm
posted 30/10/2014

AZTECS – the podcast!

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What was this extraordinary empire that gave us chocolate and chillies, words like avocado and tomato, a language that survives today and much to be learnt from a people who populated the largest city of its time, practiced sustainable agriculture and valued universal education, as well leaving a legacy – the stuff of nightmares (or Hollywood epics) – of ritual human sacrifice?

On Arts Thursday 25th September Maisy Stapleton spoke to a number of expert and engaging guests about the Australian Museum’s current exhibition AZTECS.

The exhibition does not shy away from the darker side of Aztec life, such as the ritual sacrifice – beating hearts ripped from living bodies, child victims sacrificed so their tears brought rain and shrines drenched with blood – it also uncovers the amazing story of the Aztecs – their daily life, the well-organised stratas of society, Aztec art, food, markets, military life and beliefs and the religious system which underpinned their existence.

The Aztec Empire ended with the Spanish conquerors who decimated the population with guns and smallpox and worked hard to obliterate Aztec culture.

The exhibition however, concludes with some legacies off the Aztec empire – food, art, design and the joyous Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead, honouring the dead and celebrating life.

Join Maisy Stapleton as she speaks with Historian Barry Carr, Fran Dorey, the Australian Museum’s Project Manager for the Aztec exhibition and Lissa Barnum, an artist and designer who has created a glorious Offrende, or offering for the Day of the Dead.

Historian Barry Carr speaks about the legacy and importance of the Aztecs

Fran Dorey, the Australian Museum’s Project Manager for this exhibition gives the background to the exhibition, the context and history of the Aztec civilization and describes the exhibits

Lissa Barnum, artist and designer, speaks of her love and knowledge of Mexico and of the offrende she developed for the Aztecs

For further information go to:


You can also replay the whole program with its vibrant Mexican music, go to http://eastsidefm.org/arts/artsthursday/ and scroll down to September 25th


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