A Few interesting Facts about Aztec Weapons
Tenochtitlan which is now Mexico City was the heart of the Aztec civilization and it is where the first Aztec weapons were made. The Aztec empire was formed by the leaders of Tenochtitlan and it was the most powerful city in the area. It was a combination of the biggest three cities in the region which also included Texcoco and Tlacopan. It became more powerful by attacking surrounding cities and forcing them to obey their laws and pay taxes.
This empire quickly grew and there was need for many warriors. Not only to take over surrounding villages but also to maintain law and order. When a boy turned 17 years of age, he then became a man in the Aztec society. All children were taught things like astronomy and studied all topics when it came to education. But if a boy had shown interest in becoming a warrior, then he would learn lessons straight from the battlefield.
During this time warriors were considered to be heroes. But there were different ranks these warriors could complete. If they were in a higher ranking or finished a certain mission they were rewarded. Many warriors did not have a long life expectancy. There were many wars and conflicts that took place at that time and there was a huge need for efficient Aztec weapons.
The history that was recorded from the Aztec era suggests that the methods used for war were organized, complicated and religion based. Each one of the Aztec weapons was used for a specific reason and was a one of a kind item.
Maquahuitl was by far the most popular weapon. It resembled a sword but was made form wood. It has a long design with a hand grip on top. It is a basic sword stem with 5 smaller pieces of wood extending outward horizontally. It was a powerful weapon and although it wasn't used for a stabbing, it was said that this weapon could cut off a horses head in a matter of seconds.
The Aztec's used slings to shoot rocks at the enemy. These slings were made from Maguey plant fibers and they were incredibly effective in injuring another warrior even from over 600 feet. They resembled the sling shots of today but the Aztecs were cunning with the ammunition. They curved each stone to be used into a V shape or oval shape so that the stones would cause more damage.
Bows and arrows were used by the Aztecs and the bows were known as Tlahuitolli. They were constructed flawlessly and stood five foot tall. The arrows were called Yaomime and bones or flint was used to curve a sharp pointed spear at the tip. Over time, the Aztec warriors became very proficient at using these weapons and they could hit a moving target 450 feet away.
Atlatl is the Aztec word for wooden spear thrower. It is used to throw darts even at far distances with accuracy. It was constructed and carved out of wood and gold metal plating was used to decorate the spear. Although this weapon could be fatal it was very light weight and easy to carry. The Atlatl was used for ceremonial rituals and in war. It was known to pierce through any body amour the enemy might wear.
Clubs were used by Aztec warriors and these clubs were also designed to do harm. Cuauhololli was made out of wood and had a large ball shaped rock inserted on the end. The rocks or stones were carved into oval and arrow shapes to cause more damage. Cuauhololli were used to smash and demolish and were very effective in ground battles.
All of these weapons were a cut above any weapons used by competitors who were forced to do battle with the Aztec people. This is one of the main reasons the Aztec empire survived and thrived as long as it did.