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Mexica Chimalli ( Aztec Shields )

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Jalisco Lancer View Drop Down
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mexica Chimalli ( Aztec Shields )
    Posted: 04-Aug-2005 at 13:12


Cuachicqueh Military Order
The Cuachicqueh Military Order might all have used the distinctive shield illustrated, however, I have seen the same shield associated with other suits in the tribute lists of Codex Mendoza.




Huaxtec style uniform
Some, but not all, warriors wearing a Huaxtec style uniform had shields that matched the suit pattern. The 2 captive warrior illustrated is a good example, but there are others.

Some Huaxtec uniforms also featured a truncated form of the same hat.   


Quetzalcuexyochimalli ("Quetzal feather Huaxtec shield")
Just glancing through the various illustrations available to me it seems that patterns with nose-moons and curved bands appear to be the most common shield designs for both Aztec and Texcalan Suit Wearers. The colours vary, and the number and position of the curved bands vary, but the general look is the same



In the Codex Mendosa it is carried by a 4-captive warrior, 2/3 of those wearing jaguar suits (who by definition have also taken 4-captives),
382 of the shields in the tribute section of Codex Mendosa are of this type, making it the most common depicted (Heath 1999). 300 of these have alternating red and yellow banded rim, but the remaining ones have the plain yellow depicted.

The feather fringe could also have red in place of the yellow.



Appears in a tribute list of the Codex Mendosa next to a red suit with a backbanner including a large red feather fan.

This particular shield is carried by a blue suited Jaguar Warrior in Pohl (1991, Plate B1 Triple Alliance Jaguar Warrior).   


Appears in a tribute list of the Codex Mendosa next to a Jaguar suit (white with black spots)


Appears in a tribute list of the Codex Mendosa next to a blue frightful spectre suit.


Wise (1980) gives this as the shield of a Texcalan captain.
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2005 at 13:20

Cuextecatlchimalli ("Huaxtec shield")
In addition to the Quetzalcuexyochimalli ("Quetzal feather Huaxtec shield"), the Aztec adopted at least two other shield designs from their Huaxtec enemy, both called Cuextecatlchimalli ("Huaxtec shield").



From a b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a suit wearer. Colours conjectural.



From b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a suit wearer. Colours conjectural.



Codex Mendoza. Pohl, 1991, describes this as the dress of a 2-captive warrior Notice the shield pattern matches the suit.



This shield appears in a tribute list of the Codex Mendosa next to a Huaxtec suit of a similar blue with darker blue hawk scratches (the parallel lines).



Variations on a slightly different theme from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Could be carried by an Suit Wearers or ordinary Clan Warriors. Colours from Heath (1999).

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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2005 at 13:24

Texcalan shield



This shield appears to be almost as popular with Texcalans as the Quetzalcuexyochimalli mentioned above. I've seen it illustrated many times in various Codices being carried by Texcalans, but only one instance of it being carried by an Aztec. Unlike other shield designs, the colours of this one always seem to be the same.

Heath (1999) illustrates a similar shield carried only by Aztec rulers - called a Teocuitlateteyochimalli ("Silver stones shield"). It differs by having white full and partial pellets instead of the circles and semi-circles.



Texaxacalochimalli ("thick lips shield")
The Texaxacalochimalli ("thick lips shield") had stylised eyes and mouth. Texaxacalochimalli were very common and occurred in various colours. The example to the left is from Heath (1999) although the colours are conjectural.   
The other examples take the style to extreme showing just circles and lines.   


From b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a suit wearer. Colours conjectural, but based on a similar shield with three circles.   This is one of the shields definitely carried by both Texcalans and Aztecs


From b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a Texcalan suit wearer. Colours conjectural.


A 3 circle variation on the design above. From Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a suit wearer.


An slightly more elaborate version again.
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2005 at 13:27

Quetzalxicalcoliuhquichimalli ("Quetzal [mawcaw] feather shield with stepped fret design")
As many as 10% of the shields depicted in the tribute section of the Codex Mendosa are of this type, and it wasn't restricted to the Cuachicqueh as a Priest with six captives is also depicted with one (Heath 1999). The type was called a Quetzalxicalcoliuhquichimalli ("Quetzal [mawcaw] feather shield with stepped fret design"). It was always in green and yellow, although either portion could be either colour. Rim always red or yellow. The codex Mendosa contains three variations on this design, and other sources contain more.

The Cuachicqueh Military Order might all have used the distinctive shield illustrated, however, I have seen the same shield associated with other suits in the tribute lists of Codex Mendoza





From b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a Texcalan suit wearer. Colours conjectural.


From b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a suit wearer. Colours conjectural.


From Lienzo de Tlacala. Carried by a Texcalan suit wearer with a large fan backbanner (the backbanner is likely to be the Quiahiztlan royal banner). Colours Conjectural.

Mixtec style
Heath (1999) says these patterns were based on Mixtec designs. All are from Lienzo de Tlaxcala with colours from Heath.



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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2005 at 13:31


Representations of Quetzalcoatl ("Feathered serpent")
All are rendered in black and white, usually with white dots (stars) on the black part (Heath, 1999).   The number of stars could vary.



This is the shield of the 4 captive Warrior Priest. The Priest wears a black suit and Huaxtec hat, both with white dots like the shield. (see Pohl, 1991, Plate C2 Mexica Warrior Priest ).



Shield with a feathered serpent from a b/w illustration from Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Carried by a Texcalan suit wearer. Colours conjectural, but likely to be black and white - note the lack of stars.   
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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2005 at 22:02
Beautiful examples of Aztec art. It is a shame that they were useless against Spanish steel.
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Aug-2005 at 17:28
That is something I often wonder about.
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
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  Quote Markolitos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Aug-2005 at 20:54

Originally posted by Belisarius

Beautiful examples of Aztec art. It is a shame that they were useless against Spanish steel.

The spaniards should be lucky they could hide behind a huge army of aztec enemy's, their swords no matter how sharp could not stand alone against fierce Mexica's.

Oh yeah and btw jalisco, as usual your info is gold and i will most definatly use it for the mod!



Edited by Markolitos
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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Aug-2005 at 21:25
True. It is a common misconception that the Spaniards were the backbone of the force that toppled the Aztec Empire. 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2005 at 07:06

nice shields Jalisco arriba el atlas compa



Edited by Aztecateotl
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Nov-2005 at 01:35
hey jalisco, i thought u'd be interested in this one check out these shields
that i found on the net the feather work is beautiful and amazing
s1

http://www.consciousart.de/galleries/mixed-media/apodaca.php
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Nov-2005 at 07:07

Beautiful.

I've been planning to try my hand at feather art for a while now.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2006 at 17:12
I am sorry, but can you please refresh the images. Looks like these links are off now.
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  Quote Chimalpopoca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2006 at 18:59
Alguien conoce algun link en donde se hable de los diferentes tipos de pinturas faciales y corporales que usaban nuestros Guerreros Aztecas a si como tambien su significado y el tiempo en que se podia usar???  de antemano les agradesco su ayuda Tiahui Mexicas!!!!
Jamas nos conquistaron, Seguimos Vivos!!!!!!!!
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  Quote Chimalpopoca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2006 at 19:05
Jalisco Lancer me podrias enviar por favor el link o las imagenes de los Chimallis que pusiste arriba?? es que no los puedo mirar solo salen cuadritos con una X...
Jamas nos conquistaron, Seguimos Vivos!!!!!!!!
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Nov-2006 at 13:37
http://www.balagan.org.uk/war/iberia/1492/mexico/painting_guide_shields.htm

Heres the website
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  Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2007 at 23:05
interesting! The featherwork shields that were used by quite a few mexican and central american nations have always been an interest of mine.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that it's possible that the feathers actually helped make the shield more resilient, quite apart from their decorative use. Can't remember precisely where, though.
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2007 at 06:25
I've read exactly the same about Aztec suits from one author. The padded cotton protected the wearer from a heavy impacts but the feathers provided a hard surface to protect against piecing weapons. No idea if it's really work though.


Edited by Paul - 02-Sep-2007 at 06:27
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
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  Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2007 at 13:50
Presumably it worked fairly well, otherwise they would have used different materials. I also read somewhere that the "tails" of featherwork or cloth hanging down from the shields were actually there to slow or tangle up enemy strikes. It's admittedly hard to see how well that would actually work, but It's not out of the realm of possibility.
Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no longer call lord and god? "Thou shalt" is the name of the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, "I will." - Nietzsche

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  Quote Yaomitl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2007 at 06:30
Well, if nothing else, I imagine a florid trim of feathers flapping around the edge of a shield would make it a lot more difficult for one's opponent to make an accurate judgement about where to strike with his macuahuitl.
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