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An empire in the middle of a swamp

Imagine that a sales person of a multinational company prepares himself to do business by cutting his own tongue and beheading a quail at midnight. Too surreal a thought, is it not? Today it is, but was less so half a millennium ago when the merchants of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital built on a swampy island, did the previously-mentioned ritual every time before setting out on their trips.

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