Painting of "La Catrina" on one of the streets of Guaymas, México.Para the ancient Mexicans, Death had no moral connotations of the Catholicreligion, in which the ideas of Heaven and Hell are used to punish or reward. On the contrary, they believed that the directions for the souls of the dead were determined by the type of death they had, andnot by their conduct in life.
Thus, the directions they could take the dead are:
The Tlalocan or paradise of Tlaloc, god of rain. This site is directed those who died in circumstances related tothe water: the drowned, those who died as a result of lightning, dying from diseases such as gout or dropsy, scabies or buboes, as well as children sacrificed to the god. The Tlalocan was a place ofrepose and abundance. Although the dead were usually cremated, the predestined to Tlaloc were buried, as the seeds to germinate.
The Omeyocan, the paradise of sun, chaired by Huitzilopochtli, thegod of war. To this place came only those killed in combat, the captives were slaughtered and women dying in childbirth. These women were compared to warriors, as they had fought a great battle, givebirth, and buried in the courtyard of the palace, to accompany the sun from the zenith to its concealment by the west. His death caused sadness and joy, because, thanks to his bravery, the sun tookthem as companions. Within the Middle American values scale, the fact of inhabiting the Omeyocan was a privilege.
The Omeyocan was a place of permanent joy, which was celebrated in the sun and wasaccompanied with music, singing and dancing. The dead who came to Omeyocan, after four years, returned to the world, turned into birds and beautiful colored feathers.
Dying in war was consideredthe best of deaths by the Aztecs. For them, unlike other cultures, within death there was a feeling of hope, as she offered the chance to accompany the sun in its daily transcend birth and become a...