Life for an ancient Aztec Priest was tough. He had to deal with patients who suffered a “lousy distemper”, or from “ goatlike smell of the armpits”, and even people “harassed by the evil wind”.
In ancient and modern Mesoamerica, life is based on maintaining balance and order in everything you do whether from regular bathing or staying indoors during a wind storm but there are forces both seen and unseen that threaten to cause disorder and chaos.
The dark forces of chaos came from Evil Winds, also known by the Spanish malos aires (bad winds) which brought polluting air filled with spirits called ejecame (s. ejecat) that caused disease and even death.
To defend their homes and persons, you will find that some of the natives employ a peculiar ritual to this day in places such as Sierra de Puebla and other remote villages of Mexico where they create these paper-cut figures which represent these spirits.
Paper cut deity figures from San Pablito Pahuatlan (top) and pages from a ‘History of the Curing of the Elderly’ belonging to Ricardo de la Loma, San Pablito P. (Click on image to enlarge)