Aztec Tattoos

The isolated and legendary civilization of the Aztecs of Mexico are known for the intricate patterns and imagery that is rooted in their history. Because of the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century, much of the Aztec’s culture is available and widely known. Their dense mythology and religious beliefs created a plethora of artwork and roleplaying that is emulated into beautiful imagery. The warriors, in particular, have been reinvented and used to resurge the Mesoamerican pride.

One of the most prevalent Aztec tattoos is the image of an eagle clutching a rattlesnake in its talons, a symbol of the Aztec’s settlement at Lake Texcoco, what is now Mexico City. It is a representation of new beginnings, strength, and stability. The image also serves as a good omen, a sign of fortune to come.

In Aztec mythology, one of the most significant deities is Tlaloc, the water god and a fertility god who also ruled one of the worlds of the afterlife. His image is found repeatedly in the codices created by the infiltrating Spanish as well as the ones created by Aztec priests. He appears elaborately and colorfully armoured with a headdress, bulging eyes and sharp fangs. Among the dozens of deities in the Aztec pantheon, Tlaloc is represented four times, as a symbol of each of the four corners of the universe.

Costumed Aztec warriors also create stunning tattoo imagery, draped in jaguar or other animal skins to enhance their intimidating appearance. They often wore elaborate headdresses as well, emulating the gods, complete with jewelry and colored feathers. The more successful the warrior, the more ornate his dress, on and off of the battlefield. The fierce visage of a seasoned warrior creates a stunning image that conveys a formidable character. Accompanied by intricate decoration, the image of the warrior represents survival, integrity, and skill.

Aztec imagery is rich and colorful, rooted in a complicated history. They warriors were notorious for their graceful and determination in warfare so the warrior image is a perfect representation of that strength.