Aztec Tattoo History
The Aztecs were a culturally elite, powerful society that flourished in Mexico between 1500 and 1700. The nation was comprised of vanquished peoples, the inherent savagery of their Aztec conquerors indicated by the vast numbers of their enemies who were sacrificed to the many gods of the Aztec pantheon.
The beautifully detailed and powerfully symbolic patterns of this Aztec art are perfect for tattoo ideas and designs, hence the popularity in the symmetry of it’s shape and form. Many of the most iconic designs in Aztec art is the circular calendar stone, similar to the mandala style which represents spiritual maps of the universe.
Aztec Tattoo Symbolism
These elaborate and highly detailed designs are a direct result of the Aztec’s devotion to the many, varied and powerful gods. The most powerful of all these deities was Huitzilpotchtli, who took the form of the hummingbird representing the sun. Also Quetzalcoatl the feathered snake, exerted a powerful influence symbolising wisdom, growth and learning when tattooed on the skin. Aztec warriors favoured their most brutal and savage god Tezcatlipoco.
The many tribes of the Aztecs all help allegiances to specific deities that would give their tribe spirit, strength and also it’s identity as indicated by these bold and strong tattoo ideas and designs.
Aztec tattoos indicated allegiance, status and rank telling the stories of the accomplishments of a particular Aztec warrior.
These tattoos are demanding, bold, commanding and often dark using mostly black and grey inks.
Maze like designs are also a strong feature of Aztec tattoos as well as the classic calendar stone with its detailed, intricate and elaborate structure.
One may choose to have an Aztec tattoo design for many reasons; an Aztec inheritance or admiration for this long gone nation’s history and culture. Some people choose these styles simply for their intricate design work and symbolism alone.
One of the most important symbols for Aztec tattoo designs is the sun itself which was seen as the guardian of the heavens, the certainty of reincarnation and as a symbol of rebirth.