There are some facts about Aztec tattoos, which are interesting to know:

  • Aztec tattoos in the Aztec culture were always done in honor of some Aztec God. They were done only during rituals.
  • These tattoos were also used to differentiate between people belonging to different tribes.
  • Aztec tattoos also symbolized a warrior’s rank and his achievements.

The placement of the Aztec tattoos was dependent on which God you want to appease. Wrist, chest and stomach were the most popular body parts where the tattoos were made. These areas are said to be the seats of power and therefore they were selected for tattooing. The language which was used for this Aztec tattoo art was ‘Nahuatl’. Read more on Aztec story of creation. Now that we know some facts about Aztec tattoos, we will look at ancient Aztec symbols and meanings.

Sun: An Aztec sun tattoo was made in honor of the Aztec sun god, called Huitzilopochtli. The sun god was the most important god to the Aztecs as he was said to be the guardian of heaven. The guarantee of after life was said to be the sun, due to its constant rising and setting. Therefore, the meaning of the Aztec sun tattoo is ‘belief in afterlife’. It was also made to show adoration for the sun god. Read more on aztec mythology and Aztec gods.

Eagle: Amongst the tattoos of animals and birds, the eagle was very widely used. The meaning of this Aztec symbol was power, strength and courage. These attributes were attached to eagles due to their amazing flying skills, large size and strong nature. A tattoo of an Aztec eagle was therefore often found on Aztec warriors. Although there are various images of an eagle that are available, the eagle with its head pointing towards the west, its beak open and several feathers sticking out from the top of its head , is said to be the authentic ancient Aztec tattoo symbol.

Warrior: This Aztec tattoo was given high importance among all Aztec tattoos. The meaning of this Aztec tattoo design was the journey of the soul to its after life. Very often it is seen that many people get an eagle also tattooed along with the warrior. As an Aztec warrior is said to draw his strength from an eagle.

Calender: An Aztec calender tattoo contains images of various facial features. According to the Aztec culture each creature represents a month. This creature is said to be a harbinger of several mythical and spiritual properties. Uitzilopochtle, the god of the Sun is often shown in many different forms in the Aztec calender. There is a lot of importance that is being attached to this Aztec symbol and its meanings.

Crocodile: A crocodile is also a part of Aztec tattoo designs. This crocodile is not a crocodile in the strictest sense of the term. It is actually a monster like creature, which resembles the crocodile. There are also various variations which are available of this creature. This Aztec tattoo symbol became famous for this fearsome nature.

Feathered Serpent: Quetzalcoatl, is the feathered serpent god. This god is the god of weather, creativity and also fertility. It is also said to be the most powerful of the Aztec gods. Therefore, this Aztec design is very popular and a lot of people derive this meaning, and get themselves tattooed with the feathered serpent symbol.

Tezcatlipoca: This is the Aztec name of the warrior god. He is usually tattooed with his tongue sticking out. His face is very fierce and therefore, is also very popular.


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