Aztec Death Whistle Gave a Psychological Edge in Warfare to Aztec People

by Sankalan Baidya

The ancient Aztecs did not have guns and grenades, napalms and atom bombs. They had primitive weapons that most of us will today possibly consider as toys. However, the Aztecs did know how to get a psychological edge over their opponents. They used death whistle! Over 20 years ago, archeologists were digging out remains of Aztec civilization from an Aztec temple located in Mexico when they came across weird-looking objects.

Those objects resembled human skulls. At first, archeologists considered them as trinkets and toys that were possibly used as ornaments for burial purpose. They were simply wrong! We know that curiosity has always led to new inventions and discoveries. So, there was someone who probably became curious and decided to blow into one of those objects that were catalogued as toys.

So, what made him or her curious? Possibly the elongated pipe-like hollow shape on top of each skull-like object gave birth to the curiosity. So, that person simply got carried away and picked up one of the so-called toys and blew in some air from his or her lungs!

That was all! Possibly everyone nearby experienced a chill that we almost always associate with the paranormal. It sounded like a terrible human scream which is just enough to create a psychologically numbing effect.

That’s when theories came up about the possible usage of those so-called toys. Archeologists and other experts today think that the Aztecs possibly used those skull-shaped objects during burial of their dead and also during warfare. As far as ceremonial usage of the Aztec death whistle is concerned, some experts think that the objects were blown right before making a human sacrifice as a mournful whistle. Others think that they were blown while burying the dead and help their souls to travel through the underworld.

As far as warfare is concerned, experts say that Aztecs simply marched straight towards the enemy tribes blowing hundreds of those whistles. The collective effect of the sounds generated by the objects would have created a psychological impact on enemy tribes. Thus, those objects became popular by the name Aztec death whistle and sometimes they are described by the phrase the scream of a thousand corpses. We find the second name to be far more befitting because the sounds made by those whistles sound somewhat like humans screaming and howling in extreme pain.

Of course there is no unanimous agreement about the actual use of the whistles. For instance, medical experts think that the Aztecs possibly used the death whistle for curing ailments. How exactly that happened is a question we will like to ask those medical experts because the terrible sound the whistles create cannot possibly help someone get better and recover from illness. It can only scare the crap out of people.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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