The eleventh month of the Aztec Xiuhpohualli
(calendar) was Ochpaniztli. This was a time for the for sweeping out the house, sweeping clean the roads, and mock combat for women. Teteo Innan
, the Mother Goddess and Toci
, the grandmother, were honored, as were Centeotl
. This month also marked the beginning of the corn
harvest. In comparison to the western calendar, the month covered the dates we know as September 1 through September 21.
At the beginning of this month a woman, acting as Teteo Innan, would scatter corn meal in the marketplace and then would lead the women in mock battles, initiating the beginning of the war season.
A nobleman says to his daughter:
Seize the broom; be diligent with sweeping. Do not neglect the offering of incense.
When it is so, when you have made preparations, what will you do? What will you seize on as your woman's work? Perhaps the drink, the grinding stone? Perhaps the spindle whorl, the weaving sword?
Apply yourself well to the woman's task, the spindle whorl, the weaving sword. Open your eyes to the way to be an artisan, to be a feather worker; to make designs by embroidering, to judge colors, to apply colors to please your sisters, your ladies, the noblewomen. Look with diligence; apply yourself to learn how the heddles are provided; how leashes are provided, how the pattern is placed.
It is as if you were to be of the eagle warriors, of the ocelot warriors. Well should you assume your shield; may all the little shields rest in your hand.
A "clean sweep" of the homes and roads and temples would take place at this time, marking the beginning of a new season. Also, an elderly woman would be chosen to represent Toci, the grandmother. She would be beheaded, skinned and her skin would be worn by a priest for the rest of the month to honor Toci. Military ceremonies were held at the borders of the traditional enemies and warriors would be chosen to be sacrificed to the gods to bring favor to the warriors in their upcoming battles.