Aztec WarriorQUESTION: What was the Aztec Warrior like?ANSWER:
The Aztec Warrior was the backbone of this mighty and advanced civilization. From a young age the Aztec boys learned the art of warfare. It was custom to cut off the umbilical cord of a boy at birth and when dried, bury it on a battlefield -- believing that boy would live the life of a warrior forever. Around the age of 17, he was considered an adult and had to capture his first prisoner. This prisoner would often be given a broken leg so he could more easily be transported back to the village.
Young boys began their military service as a Jaguar warrior and were often used as spies. After capturing the required number of prisoners, they were promoted to the status of an Eagle warrior. This meant they would serve as scouts and foot solders. The solders became great long distance runners with good speed. The speed often afforded them the honor of being sent as messengers to the deified Aztec Emperor.
Military service was difficult but highly revered in the Aztec society. They wore uniforms embellished with feathers and elaborate paintings of war images. Their weapons were often wooden spears with an obsidian blade or maquahuitl (wooden war clubs). These well-trained warriors also carried slings and flint or obsidian knives.
Taking prisoners was considered a priority. Prisoners from other tribes were considered among the highest of trophies and presented to the Aztec rulers for use as slaves or in ritualistic sacrifices. It was customary too for every warrior to make a sacrifice of prisoners to their gods. The noble, brave, and respected warrior added riches, slaves, and territory to the empire. Capturing and sacrificing their prize prisoners was an essential part of the Aztec religion. It was every warrior’s utmost duty.