Aztec imagery is both historically and culturally powerful while richly imbued with an ancient artistic heritage. Aztec warrior tattoos can represent many aspects of this ancient civilization. Here are some Aztec warrior tattoo design ideas incorporating brief historical backgrounds for each Aztec warrior class.
What do Aztec Warrior Tattoos Represent?
Aztec warrior tattoos represent more than just battle and brute strength. The following elements are all inherent within the image of the Aztec warrior:
- Strength, courage, bravery: Aztec warriors were renowned for their bravery. Warfare and battle was part of Aztec culture. The Aztec warrior was a feared opponent, strong of body, fierce in battle and unwilling to retreat.
- Honor: Honor in battle was vital. Retreat could result in military demotion or even execution at the hands of fellow Aztec warriors. Honoring the Aztec Gods was inextricably linked with honor on the battlefield.
- Discipline: Disciple was instilled in every Aztec warrior from a young age. Central to this was Aztec military training. Every Aztec youth began his military training at the age of 15 before going to battle at the age of 20. Training was tough and only the strongest finished with honors from their superiors.
- Sacrifice: Self-sacrifice on the battlefield and sacrifice of the enemy to the Gods was a key element of Aztec warrior culture.
- Heritage: Latin American heritage can also be displayed with an Aztec warrior tattoo; specifically, those areas of Central America and Mexico once ruled by the Aztec civilization.
Aztec Warrior Tattoos – Aztec Eagle Warrior Tattoo Design Ideas
For stylish Aztec warrior tattoos look no further than the Aztec Eagle Warrior. The Aztec Eagle Warrior society consisted of veteran Aztec warriors who, once admitted through heroic acts in battle, were permitted to don the specialized eagle battle dress.
Aztec Eagle Warriors were tough, unwavering fighters. For young Aztec warriors of the commoner classes, born with little material wealth but trained in battle, acceptance into the ranks of the Eagle Warriors was something to be aspired to. Promotion was difficult, but not impossible.
Aztec Tattoos – Aztec Jaguar Warrior Tattoo Design Ideas
The Aztec Jaguar Warriors were basically the same as the Eagle Warriors but wore the jaguar battle dress. This gives further range for Aztec warrior tattoos. The historical backgrounds are the same, but the artistic possibilities are different.
Eagle Warrior tattoos can be embellished with further eagle designs (such as an eagle backdrop or exaggerated eagle characteristics for the warrior figure) while the jaguar image can be developed with the Aztec Jaguar Warrior tattoo design. Personal preference is obviously the deciding factor here. For the indecisive, why not merge the two? Custom tattoo designs make the possibilities endless. The incorporation of varying Aztec weapon types also offers differing stylistic possibilities.
Aztec Warrior Tattoos – Otontin and Cuahchicqueh Aztec Warrior Tattoos
While not as well known as the Aztec Eagle and Jaguar Warriors, the Otontin and Cuahchicqueh warriors were the true elite of the Aztec military orders. These were hardcore Aztec shock troops who vowed never to take a step backwards in battle.
A bit of research will be necessary for Aztec warrior tattoo designs incorporating Otontin or Cuahchicqueh warriors. Unlike the Eagle and Jaguar warriors, images for these warrior classes are not so common online. The Cuahchicqueh (the “Shorn Ones”) are more visually striking than the Otontin. These warriors had their shaven heads painted half blue and half red or yellow.
Where to Find Images for Aztec Tattoo Designs
Searching for images for Aztec Warrior tattoo designs is best done online. Try changing the main Google (or other search engine) search page to “Images” and search for “Aztec Warriors”. This should bring up a variety of related images. Some will be modern representations while others are historical Aztec “Codex” images. Also try an image search for “Aztec Tattoos” for some more general tattoo design ideas.
Local libraries are also a good source of images – ask for books relating to Latin American history and the Aztecs. Images found in history books, or online, can be photocopied and given to a tattoo artist. The tattoo artist can then design a unique and custom-made Aztec warrior tattoo for approval.
- Aztec Tattoos – Tribal Art: this article covers a range of Aztec tattoo design options including Aztec calendar tattoos, mythical tattoos and simple tattoo designs using Aztec symbols and glyphs.
- Aztec Body Art – Tattoos, Body Painting, War Paint & Aztec Makeup: this article covers the use of body art within the Aztec civilization itself. Surprisingly, the Aztecs did not use tattoos or body paint to the same extent as many of their neighboring tribes.
- Aztec Tribal Piercings – Aztec Nose Rings, Lip Plugs & Ear Spools: piercings played an important role in Aztec society, particularly within the warrior classes.