Women Mourners

weeping women .jpeg

Dublin Core


Women Mourners


Current Location: Museo de América (Madrid, Spain)
Date: 16th century
Collection: Codex Tudela page 52


The Aztec culture embraced public grief. Certain women were employed to cry and grieve with the families who had lost a loved one. It allows both the family, and the community, to grieve and move on. This “ritual weeping” was described by Dominican friar, Diego Durán, in his History of the Indies of New Spain, also known as codex Durán. He mentions these professional mourners as he wrote about the funeral for emperor Ahuitzotl in 1502. This event was characterized by ‘frightful weeping and moaning’ demonstrated by ‘the mourners, women who were hired to wail at the death of kings and noblemen and for those who died in war’.



“Women Mourners,” The Aztec Ritual of Death , accessed July 16, 2024, https://colonialaztec.omeka.net/items/show/5.