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Warrior rabbits - Jaguar knight

By JoenSo
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No. 3 in my miniseries Warrior rabbits of history: a 16th century Aztec jaguar knight (or jaguar warrior).

The Aztecs obviously were of the opinion that when going into battle, you should look absolutely freaking fabulous. The higher the rank, the better you'd look. So you can probably already tell that the fabulous jaguar knights were among the elites.

These were the warriors who had taken many prisoners in battle. Prisoners that could be sacrificed to the gods - an aspect of Aztec society that was so important that they could go to war just to get more sacrificial victims. That is one of the reasons the Spaniards got so many indigenous allies to help fight the Aztecs. I guess you just don't get popular with the neighbors when you keep ripping their hearts out in honor of the gods. 

This jaguar warrior rabbit is not wearing an actual jaguar pelt, but a wooden helmet and a tlahuztli. Which is something as wonderfully cosy as a cotton onesie. The weapon is called a macuahuitl. It's a wooden club with shards of obsidian (volcanic glass) attached. Ouch! The Mesoamerican civilizations of the 16th century did know about metallurgy, but didn't use it for weapons or tools. Maybe because obsidian shards naturally become so insanely sharp that metal simply wasn't needed.

Fun fact: Rabbits have an interesting role in Aztec mythology in the form of
 Centzon Tōtōchtin - the 400 drunk rabbits. It's exactly what it sounds like. A big bunch of rabbits having frequent drunk parties. Thus we have the expression to be as drunk as 400 rabbits. Good times.

More in this series:
Warrior rabbits - Scythian archer by JoenSo Warrior rabbits - Rodelero by JoenSo Warrior rabbits - Landsknecht by JoenSo Warrior rabbits - Highlander by JoenSo Warrior rabbits - Peltast by JoenSo
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© 2019 - 2020 JoenSo
Comments17
anonymous's avatar
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DCLeadboot's avatar
DCLeadbootHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! He's rather cute for an Aztec warrior, with his obsidian club-sword thing...
(Never can remember the proper Aztec name for it... any more than I can remember the name of the Aztecian language off pat) :XD:;;
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
Haha, macuahuitl and nahuatl! I remember them mostly because I double-checked the spelling over and over as I wrote the description for this Sweating a little... Though I have no idea how they are supposed to be pronounced... Thanks for commenting and faving!
DCLeadboot's avatar
DCLeadbootHobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, okay! :XD:
I only picked up the odd Nahuatl word from games like Age of Empires II: Conquerors expansion (Montezuma campaign) and perhaps Shadow of the Tomb Raider...
Other than that, there was also a spot of personal research when I was trying to create a name for Danbuster's nature-dragon, Tlallicoatl... and even then, he shortens it to Lily because he gets all tongue-tied pronounce it - it's kind of a running gag! :giggle:
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
Haha, yeah, Age of Empires II was where I first heard Nahuatl! My friend kept beating me in that game waaay back when it first came out, and I couldn't win until the Conquerors came and I could spam him with jaguar warriors.
DCLeadboot's avatar
DCLeadbootHobbyist Digital Artist
I actually never played network games myself... only tackled campaigns and random maps. :XD:
I'd tend to play the Britons and mass an army of longbowmen with more dakka... :XD:
Trouble was that only standard difficulty, an enemy AI would crumble all to easily and then cowardly resign before I was even through wiping their settlement off the map!
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
Haha, oh yes, the good old longbowmen :D I didn't play the campaigns much when the games first came out, so I've tried them later when the HD version came.
DCLeadboot's avatar
DCLeadbootHobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, yeah... got the HD version on Steam earlier this year myself, though I haven't played the new campaigns. My interest drifted to other games by the time I'd got my Steam profile through the old campaigns.
Almost tried a random map game last Saturday, while undecided what to play, but ultimately decided to finally try out Ty the Tasmanian Tiger... which I find I'm quite enjoying (enough to add the other games on my Wishlist for consideration at a later date) :XD:
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
I've tried a few levels of the new campaigns and they are actually really good! And I didn't recognize the name Ty the Tasmanian at all, but when I googled the cover it looked strangely familiar. Don't think I've ever played it though.
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NightmarishWarlord's avatar
other jaguar knight : let's go kick some spanish ass
PhyloSallas's avatar
PhyloSallasHobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow...using volcanic glass on a weapon is just brutal...but also pretty cool. XD And it's hilarious that they were so concerned about fashion, yet also ripping out hearts, lol. Honestly, truly fascinating stuff as usual! I've started looking forward to reading your history lessons. ^_^

As for the art, I love the colors, especially the headdress. :) And there's one of those little details I love to find--the rabbit gylph on the macuahuitl, haha. :D
NightmarishWarlord's avatar
just too bad the europeans conquered the aztec world
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
I feel that the word "brutal" sums up the entire Aztec culture pretty well, haha. A fascinating culture, but man alive, they sure were a brutal and morbid bunch.

So glad to hear you enjoy these little lessons, and that you noticed the rabbit carving :D Of all the places I've posted this, you're the only one who have noticed that. And you'll probably remain the only one :P 
PhyloSallas's avatar
PhyloSallasHobbyist Traditional Artist
Oof, yeah...those guys didn't play around. Fascinating yes, but a little foreboding, haha. It makes you wonder how their culture would have evolved had it remained to modern day...but I suppose that's the nature of brutal cultures--they can't exist once society begins to learn compassion and tolerance. 

Yeah, buddy! ^_^ These lessons are amazing. And lololol, that's what I'm here for! :happybounce: I believe everything, be it people or the smallest detail in a piece of art, deserves to be noticed and appreciated by someone. It makes me so happy to know I could help that detail be appreciated! :heart:
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
Call me cynical, but I can totally imagine a society like that surviving to modern day Sweating a little... And maybe we'd just shrug at human sacrifice then and be like "yeah, well, the gods demand it, so whatcha gonna do?"

Oh yeah, I often add the details for my own enjoyment and because it will often make the image overall better, even when people don't notice them. But it's fun when they actually are noticed :D (Big Grin) 
PhyloSallas's avatar
PhyloSallasHobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha, you're actually completely right. XD there are lots of stories set in futuristic worlds where lives are treated with about as much value...I guess it just depends on culture. I'm glad that one didn't spread very far though, lol.

Yeah! Even if they're not noticed, at least we as the creators still notice them. But man, is it fun to see others find them, too. ^_^
JoenSo's avatar
JoenSoHobbyist General Artist
I guess this is why I enjoy both history, fantasy and sci-fi so much - they all open up your mind to imagine other ways the world could be or could have been. And makes us look at the things we consider normal and wonder what "normal" actually is.
PhyloSallas's avatar
PhyloSallasHobbyist Traditional Artist
That's a great way of putting it! I love to question things like that. I'm right there with you. :D
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