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Aztec Tattoos

Aztec tattoos embody the entirety of life and death, with deeply symbolic images of warriors, heavenly bodies and animals like serpents and jaguars and skulls featuring heavily in their designs. The meanings of Aztec tattoos come from a religious fascination with astrology, and the connection between mortality and the afterlife. For example, the eagle represents courage, strength and power – a way to deal with the violent, warrior lifestyle so many Aztecs lived. Skulls may memorialize a fallen comrade, or serve as a warning to others. The Sun god represents war and sacrifice while the Rain god represents the opposite, fertility and birth. To Aztecs, life was a battle, and winning brought glory to the gods. Aztec society was highly ceremonial, and tattoos played a large role in its religion and politics, denoting class, power and an individual's connection to Earth, gods, and one's tribe. They understood the significance of the body as a canvas, and as a connection between the physical and spiritual realms. Though their civilization is long gone, the meanings of Aztec tattoos are universal. We all experience pain, joy, life and death, and the Aztecs developed a lasting and beautiful way of depicting the human experience.

242 Tattoo(s)