If you are looking for some unique and stunning tattoo designs, then Aztec tattoos would definitely make a good choice for you. These are actually a form of tribal tattoo arts, related with the Aztec tribe which inhabited Mexico during the period of 13th to 16th century. These tattoos make use of unique elements, which gives them an amazing trait that they are so distinctive that you can make them out as a part of Aztec art in a single glance. Use of bold, geometric patterns gives them an eye catching appeal which every tattoo enthusiast looks for in a tattoo design. Additionally, they boast of symbolic value too.
Symbolic Significance of Aztec Tattoos
The ancient Aztec civilization made use of symbols like the sun, warriors and their calendar and all these elements have been made use of in tattoos based on Aztec design. Each of these elements was used in their religious and social ceremonies and had their own significance in Aztec culture which was carried in the tattoos depicting them. Tattoos were used in this part of the world to mark the membership of a particular tribe as well as a prized possession for warriors who had achieved some special feat in the battlefield. In other words, tattoos marked the social standing or accomplishments of warriors in the battlefield. Tattoos were an integral part of their culture and the tribes even tattooed their young children. They had deep belief in religion and God, which is why they had tattoos inked in the honor of their Gods. For this reason, the designs were not very decorative as they were concerned more about symbolism rather than aesthetics.
When we base it in the beliefs and traditions of many ancient people, they should be placed right there on your face. But these days, they have been added with some modern twists, and these can now be placed anywhere you want to. Here are some of the common placements that you might want to take into account:
- Tattoos on Back – This is perfect for those bigger size tattoos since your back has a very wide space for tattooing. It might also be easy for the tattoo artist to engrave the design in this body part.
- Tattoos on Arms – Arms are elongated in size, so these are very good locations for your Aztec art. Remember that these tattoos usually have elongated sizes.
- Tattoos on Legs – In case you do not want to place the tattoos on your arms but you still need to place them in an elongated body area, then why not place them on your legs. There is no way they cannot be beautiful there.
- Tattoos on Thigh – In case you want your tattoos to appear not that very obvious, then you can consider placing them on your thigh.
- Tattoos on Chest – A lot of Aztec art lovers also consider placing the tattoo on their chest. The tattoo will only be visible when you are topless.
Popular Aztec Designs
Aztecs were staunch believers in religion and used various elements in nature as symbols related to religion. Also, many of these elements were used to represent the status and bravery of tattoo bearers. Each of the elements used in tattoo art symbolized something special and unique which could be interpreted by anyone who would have a look at the tattoo. Here are some common designs which make use of these elements and signify something unique and special:
An eagle is a revered symbol in Aztec culture as it represents a brave and high ranking warrior. An eagle warrior would wear a traditional costume with special kind of headgear adorned with a large beak and feathers, making it bear resemblance to an eagle. This bird of power and strength was also related with honor, nobility and courage. An eagle tattoo was inked on only those warriors who had exhibited great courage and strength and also completed their training. Another reason why eagle held a place of respect in this culture is because it could fly high, close to the sun, which is an object of worship for the Aztecs. The tattoo would feature an eagle with open beak and head pointing westwards.
As said before, Aztecs were people with strong belief in religion and they worshipped the sun as one of their prime deities. They would offer sacrifices to the Sun God and observe mourning rituals during the eclipse of the sun. For Aztecs, the sun was all powerful and responsible for protection of the earth as well as heaven. Sun tattoos were borne by many people in Aztec tribes as an ode to the power and supremacy of the sun.
In addition to eagle, another bird which forms a popular element is the vulture. Both these birds are considered as warrior gods on the Aztec calendar. Besides being an important symbol in this culture, these tattoos have an awesome visual appeal, which makes them unmatched in aesthetic value.
Aztecs are known to be warring and adventure loving tribe, which means that warriors have an important place in the Aztec culture. The warriors were adorned in abstract costumes, which were decided by their rank and bravery exhibited by them in the battlefield. The eagle was considered as a costume for the highest ranking warriors while others were also given animal costumes rather than human ones. The animal themed warrior tattoos make an interesting choice in tattoos.
Skull was considered as the symbol of death in Aztec culture and skull tattoos make a popular choice among tattoo bearers in modern times too. Aztec skull tattoos are a great option for those looking to give the skull tattoo a unique dimension.
Some other elements which are used in Aztec tattoos are serpents and flowers, each of them occupying an important place in the Aztec calendar. Similarly, some artists may like to work on Aztec God designs because of their alluring appeal. Whichever design you choose among these ones, it is important to understand its symbolic meaning before having it inked on your body.