Aztec Warriors are said to have often gone to war in order to expand the empire and to meet the needs they had to provide sacrifices for their beliefs and rituals. War was a necessary part of Aztec life and they would often be able to The Aztec’s were very strong with their opinions on war and sacrifice, they would supply blood to make sure the sun returned, and sacrifices were a convenient way to do this.
The Aztec army was composed of a variety of classes and ranks, from this they build a hierarchy structure to their army allowing them to organize and go into battle and into war with confidence. The Majority of the army was built around commoners who had the basic training of fighting behind them and were often outside of the warrior ranking system. A smaller part of the army was constructed from Aztec nobility who ranking in the army was denoted by their achievements, these were the professional warriors whose full time occupation was battle and war.
“he would have to capture prisoners to show his skill in battle, if they were to capture more they would be further on the road to being a prestigious eagle or Jaguar warrior”
For a commoner to rise in status it would have to be proved in battle and taking captives was a big factor. The Aztec’s were known to not instantly kill their enemies or victims, but to bring them home to their ruler who would sacrifice them in ritual ceremonies. This would be part of the training for a young man that he would have to capture prisoners to show his skill in battle, if they were to capture more they would be further on the road to being a prestigious eagle or Jaguar warrior which was the first available rank not limited to nobility.
The First type of Aztec warrior was the Eagle Warrior. The Eagle Warriors were the scouts of the Aztec Warriors as well as being good fighters. They were the eyes, ears, the messengers who would find the information necessary to lead and strategize an attack. These warriors often wore helmets adorned with eagle feathers and heads. They adorned their armour with feathers and carried brightly coloured shields.
The second type of Aztec warrior were the Jaguar Warriors. The Jaguar Warriors were considered to be the all out fighting troops and full time warriors. The brute force of the Aztec army, they wore Jaguar skins over their heads with their faces peering out beneath the jaguar mouth.
The Otomi name was based on the Otomi who were respected for their vicious fighting style. It is not clear whether the otami were a true type of Aztec rank or whether it was clearly a band of outsiders who found alongside the Aztec’s. Whichever way they were considered allies and fierce fighters.
The Shorn Ones
The Shorn Ones were the most respected and prestigious Aztec warrior rank. Once again as we have seen before in the Aztec warriors their dress was unique to the rank. The Shorn Ones would have cleanly shaved heads with a single long braid in tact from the back of their head. The shorn ones painted their faces with vivid colours to show their ferocity and were renowned for not taking a backwards step in combat.
Aztec Warriors and their Weapons
Depending on their rank and status the Aztec warriors would be armed with various weapons from wooden spears tipped with sharpened rock tips. Slings were used to catapult rocks and stones at their enemies from distance and Wooden maces or clubs were used in closer combat, again with inset stones and rocks what would be use to cut and slice into their opponents. Spears and Shields were also common weapons, with the shields being fringed with bird feathers as decoration.
Rulers and Warriors
All Aztec rulers would at one point begin their career as a warrior, it was in important part of the Aztec way of life and the rituals it contained, to be a ruler in this world you would have to first prove yourself as a worthy warrior on the battlefield.