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Aztec Warrior Additional Resources About The Aztecs Video\
Jaguar warriors Aztecs believed that the god of the night sky, Tezcatlipoca, was represented by the symbol of a jaguar.
Eagle warriors Eagle warriors were another elite unit of Aztec military, at par in esteem with the jaguar warriors. The Shorn Ones Shorn Ones were another unit of Aztec warriors who had their heads shaved and carried a long braid at the back of their head.
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Company Credits. Messengers also alerted certain tributary cities of the incoming army and their food needs, carried messages between two opposing armies, and delivered news back to Tenochtitlan about the outcome of the war.
While messengers were also used in other regions of Mesoamerica, it was the Aztecs who apparently developed this system to a point of having impressive communicative scope.
Prior to mobilization, formal spies called quimichtin lit. Mice were sent into the territory of the enemy to gather information that would be advantageous to the Aztecs.
Specifically, they were requested to take careful note of the terrain that would be crossed, fortification used, details about the army, and their preparations.
These spies also sought out those who were dissidents in the area and paid them for information. The quimichtin traveled only by night and even spoke the language and wore the style of clothing specific to the region of the enemy.
Due to the extremely dangerous nature of this job they risked a torturous death and the enslavement of their family if discovered , these spies were amply compensated for their work.
The Aztecs also used a group of trade spies, known as the naualoztomeca. The naualoztomeca were forced to disguise themselves as they traveled.
They sought after rare goods and treasures. The naualoztomeca were also used for gathering information at the markets and reporting the information to the higher levels of pochteca.
Ahtlatl : perhaps lit. This weapon was considered by the Aztecs to be suited only for royalty and the most elite warriors in the army, and was usually depicted as being the weapon of the Gods.
Murals at Teotihuacan show warriors using this effective weapon and it is characteristic of the Mesoamerican cultures of central Mexico. Warriors at the front lines of the army would carry the ahtlatl and about three to five tlacochtli, and would launch them after the waves of arrows and sling projectiles as they advanced into battle before engaging into melee combat.
The ahtlatl could also throw spears as its name implies "spear thrower". Tlacochtli : The "darts" launched from an Atlatl, not so much darts but more like big arrows about 5.
Tipped with obsidian, fish bones, or copper heads. Archers in the Aztec army were designated as Tequihua. Typically fletched with turkey or duck feathers.
The Aztecs used oval shaped rocks or hand molded clay balls filled with obsidian flakes or pebbles as projectiles for this weapon.
Bernal Diaz del Castillo noted that the hail of stones flung by Aztec slingers was so furious that even well armored Spanish soldiers were wounded. Tlacalhuazcuahuitl : A blowgun consisting of a hollow reed using poisoned darts for ammunition.
The darts used for this weapon were made out of sharpened wood fletched with cotton and usually doused in the neurotoxic secretions from the skin of tree frogs found in jungle areas of central Mexico.
This was used primarily for hunting rather than warfare. Essentially a wooden sword with sharp obsidian blades embedded into its sides similar in appearance and build to a modern cricket bat.
This was the standard armament of the elite cadres. Also known in Spanish by the Taino word " macana ". A blow from such a weapon was reputedly capable of decapitating a horse.
Cuahuitl : Lit. Wood A baton made out of hardwood more than likely oak , reminiscent of the agave plant's leaves in its shape.
Basically an axe, comparable to a tomahawk , the head of which was made out of either stone, copper or bronze and had a two side design, one side had a sharp bladed edge while the other one a blunt protrusion.
Huitzauhqui: This weapon was meant to represent the Aztec God Huitzilopochtli. A wooden club, somewhat resembling a baseball bat.
This weapon was used for melee attacks just as it was made, but other designs were studded with flint or obsidian cutting elements on its sides. Tecpatl : This weapon was meant to represent the Aztec God Xiuhtecuhtli.
Although this would have been an effective side arm, this weapon was more commonly used in Aztec sacrifice ceremonies which may point to it being wielded mostly by Aztec warrior priests.
One or two fingers thick, this material was resistant to obsidian swords and atlatl darts. Tlahuiztli : The distinctively decorated suits of prestigious warriors and members of warrior societies.
These suits served as a way to identify warriors according to their achievements in battle as well as rank, alliance, and social status like priesthood or nobility.
Usually made to work as a single piece of clothing with an opening in the back, they covered the entire torso and most of the extremities of a warrior, and offered added protection to the wearer.
Made with elements of animal hide, leather, and cotton, the tlahuiztli was most effective by enhancing the Ichcahuipilli. Other officers beneath him were known to flaunt their ritzy attires in the form of unusually long wood poles pamitl with the feathers and banners fastened to their backs, much like the famed Winged Hussars of Poland.
As author John Pohl mentions in his book Aztec Warrior AD , Aztecs had the capacity to raise armies that possibly numbered in six figures by sheer virtue of their ability to amass both food and resources.
Such impressive logistical feats were achieved with the help of innovative land reclamation techniques, chinampa shallow lake bed agricultural advancements, and storage-based infrastructural facilities that acted as strategic supply depots for the marching armies.
In many ways, the large number of troops fielded by the Aztecs provided them with a tactical advantage in campaigns that went beyond obvious numerical superiority.
To that end, the Mexica army was often divided into units of 8, men known as the xiquipilli. Pertaining to these battlefield tactics, the Aztec war machine focused on the entrapment of their enemies, as opposed to choosing preferential areas for conducting their military actions.
Some of these signals were based on a relay-system composed of runners spaced at equal distances from the lines.
Other alerting mechanisms were based on smokes and even mirrors made of polished iron pyrites that aided in communication over long distances between the xiquipilli units.
And once the battle commenced, commanders had to keep an eye on the order of ornamental standards that synchronized with the blaring of conch shells and beats of drums.
These craft-producing establishments were known to manufacture exotic goods like intricate featherworks and luxury items like exquisite jewelry that sort-of flowed as currency between the princely classes of the various city-states.
To that end, the greater capacity and ability to craft such ritzy commodities mirrored the higher statuses extended to many of these royal houses — thus resulting in a competitive field encompassing a complex nexus of alliances, gift-sharing, trading, rivalries, and even military raids.
The Nahua-speaking Aztecs, on the other hand, sought to supplant this volatile economic system with the aid of their martial acumen. In essence, by conquering and taking over or at least subduing many of the royal strongholds, the Aztec nobles forced their own commercial road-map on the aforementioned craft-producing workshops.
Consequently, as opposed to competing with the neighboring city-states, these establishments now produced opulent commodities for their Aztec overlords.
These goods, in turn, were circulated among the Aztec princes and warriors — as incentives in forms of gifts and currencies to raise their penchant for even more military campaigns and conquests.
So simply put, the conquests of the Aztecs fueled a noble-dominated practical cyclic economy of sorts, wherein more territories brought forth the enhanced capacity to produce more luxury items.
Previously in the article, we mentioned how the Aztec warrior trainees took part in exercises that promoted agility and strength.
Since every boy and man received military training, all were called for battle when war was in the offing. Both commoners and nobles who captured enemy warriors moved up in military rank or became members of military orders.
Many nobles joined the army professionally and functioned as the command core of the army. While the Aztec economy depended on trade, tribute and agriculture, the real business of the empire was war.
Through war, the Aztec Empire gained tribute from conquered enemies. Starting out as a warrior in Aztec society really depended on your status, commoners and noble Aztecs would take different paths.
For the commoners, you would either start as a youth warrior, completing your training and you would have to prove your worth on the battlefield, with a cap on the height of the order you could attain.
For nobles the options were much more open, you would progress in warrior orders dependant on your. A large portion of rankings for Aztec warriors were based on how they performed on the battlefield, the ability for them to rise through the ranks was partially dependant on this.