Warriors, throughout our history, have been the center of survival for most tribes, civilizations, or societies. Without them, there won't be protection for people's lives. They are also one of the reasons why influential people make rules and regulations. They are the ones who make sure that we follow what was set for the peace and survival of our societies.
In our present time, they are what we call police officers, air forces, soldiers, and more. But in the past, they are just one part of society; the Warriors.
If we browse our history, they are highly regarded. They are seen as heroes who protect the tribes and the cities from whatever and whomever enemies they encounter. They are always the ones who lay their lives for the people, go to battle first, and face a threat no matter the circumstances.
From east to west of our world, no tribe, city, or kingdom doesn't have its warriors. Warriors may be different from one place or another, but they are all the same in one aspect; in fighting for their people.
Nomadic warriors do not differ, but they are unique. One of these is the tribe best known for their fierceness and coldness in battle; the Aztec Warriors. Aztec Warriors are highly regarded in their tribe, especially if they are successful in battle. They are graded in their society depending on their bravery during combat, tactical skills, heroic deeds, and if they capture an enemy.
If they are courageous enough to attack the front line with fierceness and boldness without dying, they are rewarded after the battle. But striking is not just about strength. It is also about how to win the fight.
Aztec Warriors do not just rely on their physical strength. Tactical Skills are its core. It was their edge when they conquered the Central and Northern parts of Mexico for almost two centuries. Their belief and tradition may have played a significant role in their conquest, but it does not mean they solely depended on them.
They are tacticians. They use every means they have to win a war. One of these is their marching howl, the Aztec Death Whistle. The horrible sound of one can easily distort someone's mind and emotions. You can even hear the sound of hell. Imagine it being played in a hundred before the battle.
Aside from that, Aztec Warriors were also being graded in their society by their Heroic Deeds. An accumulated number is enough to receive an honor or to move up in rank. Lastly, capturing an enemy can make one warrior leap from one rank to another, depending on how many essential enemies they have taken alive. They can even get an honor directly from their Emperor if he is impressed, whether they are commoners or nobles.
Being one of the Aztec Warriors makes them equal
In their tribe, all boys and men go through military training. At a young age, they were taught how to hunt and protect themselves. They were taught how to fight one-on-one or between groups as they grew up. And when they are ready, they are taught how to kill, which they can learn only by going through war.
Aztec Warriors focused their military activities on battle training because of their warring state of mind. Aside from trading and farming, the tribe focuses on war to obtain riches from their enemies. They also use the people they captured as a sacrifice or tribute to their gods. In this way, they can fulfill the blood needed by each of them.
The society of Aztec Warriors has a ranking system in their military order. Commoners and Nobles move up in ranks depending on their deeds and contributions during wars to obtain honor. Nobles join professionally in the command core of the army to gain that as well.
Because more honors mean a higher rank, and each class comes with a unique costume, clothing, and weaponry that the Emperor gives. These distinctive garments symbolize their status in society. In addition, commoners can gain nobility once they reach a certain rank, while the nobles are given a higher position and land.
There were six ranks in the Aztec Military Order
- Tlamani – They are the Aztec Warriors who have captured one enemy. They are usually rewarded by obsidian-edged clubs and shields, a red loincloth, and two distinctive capes.
- Cuextecatl – This is the society of the two captive warriors. Their rank recognizes them because of their unique black and red clothing called tlahuiztli, paired with sandals and a distinguishing hat.
- Papalotl – This rank, which Aztec Warriors hold with three captive enemies, is associated with their warrior goddess Itzpapalotl, or the Obsidian Butterfly. They are rewarded with a butterfly banner to wear on their backs.
- Cuauhocelotl – These are the warrior society of the tribe that has four or more captive enemies and who achieves the Eagle and Jaguar Knight ranking.
- Jaguar and Eagle - Highest Military Rank for Commoners to achieve. They are divided into two depending on the god they worship. Eagle Knights worship Huitzilopochtli one of the Aztec Gods, the god of war, and Jaguar Knights worship Tezcatlipoca. They are always seen carrying daggers, bows, spears, or atlatls and wearing a particular garment or battle clothing representing eagles and jaguars with pelts. They are also the commanders of the army. Commoners who achieved this rank were rewarded with noble privileges aside from the status itself. They receive land as an award and are also permitted to drink alcohol, which commoners are forbidden to do. They can also wear jewelry and can keep concubines.
- Otomies and Shorn Ones – This is the highest military rank a noble Aztec Warrior can achieve and is the highest military rank in the order. While Otomies are fighters from the fierce tribe, the Shorn Ones are the ones who hold the most prestigious status. But even though they are divided into two, they are still the extraordinary force of the Aztec Tribe. People greatly feared them because of their cold-blooded and stoic demeanor, but they were always the first ones in battle. They are the most fearless warriors in the tribe.