Origins of Aztec Tattoo Art

By Tattartist On July 8, 2010 Under Ancient Tattoos

An amazing Aztec tattoo design at man's back. What makes the origins of Aztec tattoo art so interesting?  Find out from this article.

Aztec tattoo art has been known in history as the most popular and the most flourishing kind of body art.  Even today, it is still prominent among tattoo enthusiasts because of the spirituality distinguished with Aztec culture that is associated with it making it unique in every aspect of tattooing process.  During the era of the Aztecs, they are known to have tattoos embedded on their bodies as symbols of their devotion to their god.

The Aztec tattoo art has been specifically known to be performed with complicated designs, and the tattoos were usually printed on their stomachs, wrists and chests.  Because of their distinctive appearance, it has gained an immense popularity in many parts of the globe.  However, if you want this kind of tattoo, don’t get attracted alone with its appealing look and intricate designs that you want it immediately etched in your body at an impulse.

You should be aware of its important meaning associated to the historic Aztec culture such as religious practices, rituals and spiritual beliefs.  Since the knowledge of Aztec language has been becoming very limited at the passage of time, it becomes difficult now to translate the symbols represented by this Aztec tattoo art.  The patterns used in this kind of tattoo came from the Mesoamerican region which comprises of Mexico and Central America.

There is a great significance of Aztec tattoo art to the Aztec people which is sacred to them as part of their ancient culture in performing their rituals. This body art had its beginning during the 14th century where religious rituals were practiced to revere and worship their own god named Uitzilopochtle.  The 1st Spanish conqueror who has observed the “Mayan” rituals performed by the Aztecs during that time was Hernando Cortés who landed on the soil of Mexico in the year 1519.

Aztec Quetzalcoatl tattoo for men.

He soon witnessed that these groups of indigenous people performed their rituals of embedding the images of gods and demons on their skins as part of their Aztec tattoo art process.  As believers of Christianity, the Spaniards believed that this tattooing practice involving the images of demons was evil.  A Franciscan monk who conducted an extensive study on the art of Aztec tattooing has revealed many things about the Aztec tattoo art practice.

An Aztec sun tattoo design on man's arm.

He discovered that since the tattooing process or “tatauing” as they called it in the local language was very painful, the Aztecs treated it as a form of testing their bravery.  But on the other hand, even criminals were tattooed on their face which goes to show that Aztec tattoo art was not limited only to warriors.  Some of the designs that were used for tattooing include the Sun, Quetzalcoatl and the Aztec gods.  The Sun was represented by Huitzilopochtili, the sun god, Quetzalcoatl signifies the powerful Serpent, and the Aztech dreaded gods include Necoc Yaotl, Tezcatlipoca and Tlaloc.

Amazing Aztec Gods tattoo design for male.

While the Aztec tattoo art was very popular during the ancient times, its unique meaning has diminished in popularity in the modern world requiring its immediate preservation as part of great history.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jose Rodriguez
    March 23, 2012
    5:32 pm

    i like tatto art really interested in aztec and mexican roots

  2. Martin
    September 14, 2012
    3:44 am

    Good evening… Please, the picture number 2. What is it? Is the Mayan snake chuchulkan, or aztec snake? Thank you for answer. Bye

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