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Idols of the Aztec gods were worshipped at home shrines and in huge rituals led by priests at their great temples. These ceremonies included dancing, singing, drama, feasts, and fantastic costumes. The Aztecs believed that the gods had given their own blood when they created the world. Therefore, in return for his protection and help, Huitzilopochtli, Huitzilopochtli, the God of Warthe god of war, demanded offerings of human blood and hearts. Warriors captured on the battlefields were not killed, but taken back to Tenochtitlan as captives, where they were first worshiped as gods, and then sacrificed.

The captives would be taken to the top of the highest pyramid. Priests, wearing brightly colored feather capes, would stretch them across a stone and then cut out their hearts with a ceremonial flint knife. The still-beating hearts would be held high as an offering to the god, and the bodies would be thrown down the side of the steep temple-pyramid. The limbs of a victim would be given as a reward to the victim's captor to be eaten. Sometimes hundreds of victims were sacrificed on a single day. Their skulls would be posted on stakes.

Top Image: Stone sacrificial knife
Center Image: Huitzilopochtli, the God of War