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King Jaguar Claw

By TheSax66
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8 Deer Jaguar Claw (tentatively known as Iya Nacuaa Teyusi Ñaña) was a legendary mesoamerican king born in the year 1063, amongst a mosaic of warring mixtec kingdoms led by a large variety of dynastic houses vying for power and control. Raised in campaign, he would quickly become a prominant political and military leader from his home kingdom of Tututepec, expanding his realm through marriage, political intrigue and constant, merciless warfare. With his closest ally, 4 Jaguar (ruler of the sacred city of Cholula) he would conquer and unite most, if not all, the mixtec kingdoms, providing the first and last instance of political unity among his people.
His ambition however, would not go unpunished; In the year 1115 his rule would be cut short as a rebellion of mixtec lords led by his political rival and nephew "4 Wind", last male survivor of his house (that had rivalled 8 Deers claim to the powerful kingdom of Tilantongo, and thusly slaughtered by 8 Deer in 1101), would defeat him in battle, taking him prisoner and ending his life at the age of 52, sacrificed to the gods.
His powerful yet short lived empire would again fracture into many competing kingdoms, as his sons struggled amongst themselves and old dynasties came into fruition once more. They would remain independant and in constant warfare for almost three centuries, until their eventual conquest by the Aztec empire.

In my illustration he is shown to be covered in black body paint, as well as yellow and red facial paint and white painted hands. He is wearing a red feathered vest, likely of cotton armour (ichcahuipilli), as well as a his famous jaguar helmet and a large number of jewelery made of gold, pearls and jade. He is wearing a back rack made to look as what I can only assume is a drum with flint bladed rims and a macaw feathered interior. His shield, as most mixtec shield are depicted, is small and strapped to his arm in much the same way as a rodela, with a clam shell motif. In his shield hand he is carrying atlatl darts, while his right hand carries a spear.
UPDATE: The facade of the building was inspired by archaeological remains of mixtec and zapotec architecture of the period, of which complex geometric *frets* are a common feature.

Lastly, Although my illustration attempts to be as accurate as current knowledge pemits, most of our knowledge of 8 Deer Jaguar Claw comes from codexes pertaining to the 14th century, around two centuries after the death of this figure. As such, the artistic depictions depicted in these codexes could:
a) be accurate representations of the 11th and 12th century
b) be accurate representations of the 14th century (which themselves might not have changed to much from 2 centuries earlier)
c) be representations of even earlier period, and just be old conventions recycled for newer stories.
Which ever the case I hope I did justice to one of them.

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© 2018 - 2020 TheSax66
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Africa2000's avatar
Africa2000Hobbyist Artist
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TheSax66Professional Digital Artist
;) (Wink) 
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AdmiralVanTrompHobbyist General Artist
Fantastic art and very interesting background. Good job on the research for both!
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TheSax66Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much!