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Ahuiliztli of Nahuatl Tlahtoloyan (Mesoamerican) by Gambargin Ahuiliztli of Nahuatl Tlahtoloyan (Mesoamerican) by Gambargin
A concept drawing for the Mesoamerican Woman Warrior, representing the Mesoamerican Culture Such as the Aztec and Mayans and in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited, which is roughly based on the Middle ages covering 800 AD to 1400 AD. Nahuatl Tlahtoloyan is an erroneous term for the Nahuatl Speaking Alliance, loosely based on that of the Triple Alliance that dominated Central America in the Middle ages, better known as the Aztec Empire.

Inspired by the Music: Battle of Tolan - Jeff van Dyck

The Mesoamerican civilizations was a distant past, whose land and people were conquered and subjugated long ago by the Spanish Conquistadors, in their conquest of wealth and power in the new World. Alas, it was in this part of Central America that numerous highly developed civilizations coexist, like the Aztecs, Mayans, Zapotec and Mixtec, with their impressive masonry and architecture, extensive trade routes and highly sophisticated societies tha in many cases, comparable to those of the civilizations in the Old World. This drawing is dedicated to serve as a remembrance that before their fall at the hands of Old World civilizations, the land was ruled by the majestic Mesoamerican civilizations whose legacy shall remain in our imagination to this day.


----------Drawing Commentaries----------


Speaking of their Women, the mesoamericans did have their women participated in war/battle and were recorded in various historical sources and codex. Not to mention, given the dynamism of their societies, it was not uncommon to find women in position of power, much more than the Europeans from the old world from the same time period.

In this sketch, Ahuiliztli Tziquetzalpoztectzin  is drawn in a very stylized anachronistic war attires, combining the Mayan, Zapotec and Aztec style, (maybe the inca for the Sun decoartion on her headdress). Many warriors of the time did fight in little clothing, but there were also those that wore padded cloth and elaborate costumes like the famous Jaguar Warriors and Eagle Warriors. The highly decorated attires served as symbol of prestige, as well as source of inspiration during the battle, not to mention it would also be pretty disheartening to their enemies. Probably a more accurate depiction can be found in this drawing HWS: Medieval - Mexica Invasion of Japan, Kyushu by Gambargin

This is probably my second attempt at drawing Mesoamerican culture in the historically wrong sketch series, as this part of tte world isn't really my specialty. But, apart from seing how the media depicts them as war-like savages and bloodthirsty people, bend on conquering their neighbors and sacrificing human to appease their Gods, I actually found out that the mesoamerican civilization is a quite interesting topic to study, more intriguing than that of the other history that I have read before, and my intention is to share what i have discovered with you :D

Now, there's plenty of anatomical errors in the drawing (as well as lack of details), but i was a bit lazy to redraw it again =P . Also, I've been experimenting to include more backgrounds in my drawing, apart from the usual group of armed men behind the main characters to see if i can improve the overall scene. So any feedback is most welcomed :D

Now, before i begin to start detailing the history, I want to point out that I'm certainly no expert in this field and most of what I write is from what i have studied recently. So if you do find any errors, please do let me know and correct me :)

Lastly, I want to give my greatest thanks to :iconkamazotz: Kamazotz (formerly known as plummet serpent) for his feedback and information in my first drawing. His knowledge in the subject of Mesoamerica is without doubt, very admirable, and He also have the amazing talent to display his knowledge through his artworks. So i really recommend his gallery for you to check out :)


===========Historical Commentaries==========


Around the time of the middle ages, central america is ruled by various powerful distinct civilizations, The notable ones being the Mexica/Aztec and Mayans, as well as other that may sound familiar once you dig the History of post-classical history, like the Mixtec, Tarascans, Pipil and totonac. For the sake of simplification, I will focus mainly on the Mayan and Aztec (which are represented rather inaccurate and anachronistic in this drawing =P)

So, Who were the Mayans? Maya civilization rose to power earlier before the Aztec did, but they were pretty distinct in comparison to the famous Aztec. The Mayans were not a single unified entity that ruled their realm, but rather a group of several independent city states much like the Italian Peninsula during the middle ages. They were also quite advance for their time, reaching their pinnacle in the time where Europe crawling out from the dark ages. the Mayan developed pretty vibrant and sophisticated cultures, with extensive cities and road networks, tall pyramids, and pretty large collections of writing systems, one of the few that survived to this day.

Just incase if you were wondering, the Mayan did partake in Human Sacrifice Ritual like the Aztecs, but in a much smaller scale to their Water God. Though, the method of sacrificing the individuals was quite different...

By the turn of the 10th century, around the same time when Kingdom of England was established, the Mayan civilization went into drastic decline which stills puzzled historians to this day. No one knew whether it was caused by famine, disaster, diseases, government/society collapse or foreign invasion, but nevertheless, its people survived and were integrated to surrounding Mesoamerican culture and lasted well into the 17th century due to their decentralized nature.

Now that the Mayans are gone, it's time for another civilization to pave its way to dominance over central america, the Aztecs

So who were the Aztecs? Historians have pointed out that the Aztec were the Mexica people that migrated from Arizona to southern Mexico in the 13th century, settling down and forming several city states in the region. Some of the city states, Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan, formed an alliance together and giving birth to the triple alliance (Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān) or the Aztec Empire as we know today. The Aztec was quite advance compared to its neighbors, where it could be seen from the massive pyramids, irigations, road networks, as well as aqueducts that had been constructed by them. Aztec society was also quite sophisticated, where social mobility is pretty dynamic, which allows commoners to climb up the social ladders through deeds done at war or other contribution to the society (although not very common). Trade is also given high importance in the Aztecs Society, with traders often occupying important position, since they are the ones who often trade in faraway distances, becoming the eye and the ear of the Aztecs Empire.

As for the Rituals of Human Sacrifice done by the Aztecs, it is a historical fact. They did sacrificed large number of people in a year, probably somewhere around thousands (mostly captives from war). The record of having sacrificed 80,000 people in 4 day period is probably an exaggeration, as it meant that the Aztec must conduct a sacrifice every 5-6 seconds in that 4 day period. But we must understand their religion as to why they did this. The Aztec Religion revolves around the Idea that their Gods sacrificed themselves to keep the World Running, as such, the Aztec felt indebted to them and had to offer precious life in a way to appease their Gods. But not all Aztec gods demanded human sacrifice, some demanded hummingbirds as sacrifice, while others, different plants or insects :O.

Given the needs of having to sacrifice people, it could be understood why the Aztec had many enemies. Enemies brings war, and war brings more captives. In peacetime, the empire constitutes a mock war called the flower war, as a justification to get more captives for sacrifice. The Aztec empire was one of the largest power in the area, they had numerous manpower to draw soldiers in the events of war, and was usually victorious due to their sheer numbers. This often the misconceptions that people often associated with how the Aztecs launch their warfare, that their main objective is to capture captives. Whenever the Aztecs wanted to expand their realm, those neighboring cities and settlements received Aztec diplomats to explain the benefits of joining the alliances and were given 15 days to answer. If no answer were given, the Aztecs would sent another diplomatic envoy to warn them of the destruction for defying the Alliances and another 15 days were given to reply back to the threat. If no reply is received within the given time, or the states declared war, then only the Aztecs would mobilize its massive military force to conquer the defying states. Capturing captives were given least priorities, and killing ensues during the battle, although the Aztecs prefer not to raze the conquered cities and instead pacify the region to bring them under the control of the alliances.

However, it all came to an end when the Spanish cam, and made an alliance with the Aztec nemesis, the Tlaxcala. The two succeeded in defeating the Aztec, and in the span of just a few decades filled with war and plague, the Empire finally was brought to an end....

It is very sad that only a trace amount of these civilizations remains, but whatever they had left shall always remind of the greatness of these people, as a proof, that great civilizations once ruled the land with pride and honor.


~~~~~References and Other Related Media~~~~~


Developed from the Original Concept of Tziquetzalpoztectzin of Nohpalli Empire - Concept

Maybe related to her Northern American Neighbor, the Mississippian culture Immookalee of Mississippian Ani-Yvwuyu of America by Gambargin and the Southern American neighbor, the Inca Nusta'a Ninasisa Qwaha of Inkatinsuyu (Inca) by Gambargin

Will definitely come in contact with the Iberian Marquesa Elvira Lopez de Ibarra of Imperio Iberia by Gambargin or maybe, the Viking Gunnhildr Freysdottir of Vikingrunionen (Norse) by Gambargin.


A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:

HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.22 by Gambargin
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:iconvariones:
Variones Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice:) you perfectly draw a pencil!Fabulous 
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:iconandesgirl:
andesgirl Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Student Photographer
I could help you with the Incas.  Let's see... I do know that Inca warriors wore checkered tunics, and they wore small feathered headdresses. I have a whole book on the Incas, if that might help.
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:iconkamazotz:
Kamazotz Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much for the mention, I am honored I could help you! It looks great btw. One thing I will mention though, is that in Guatemala the Maya there did partake in ritual human sacrifice of warriors by extracting the heart much like many of the Aztecs practiced. They even have their own skull racks. :) Most of these sacrifices were to their God, Tohil, who was like Quetzalcoatl to them. Interestingly, the Plumed Serpent to the Aztecs did not require human offerings. In the Yucatan, the Maya there practiced human sacrifice by drowning them in Great Well of Chichen Itza for fertility rituals to Chaak. Also, and this is a small little bit, but recently, it's believed that the Aztecs did not come from the American Southwest when they migrated to Tenochtitlan. Their homeland is believed by most these days to be in the Western Mexican state of Nayarit. Haha apologies for nitpicking lol, it's a bad habit of mine D: But like I said great image and I am honored I could have helped. :D
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:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
I think your women warriors are getting more brutal as your series progresses. Also, nice work on the armor, especially on her ornamentation. She's obviously a very high ranking noble to have jewelry/armor like that.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Probably a general, or a battle priestess. The higher the status, the more elaborate attires they wear into battle (at least from what i've read) :)
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:iconlavenderl:
lavenderl Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice, I especially like the background.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Thank you!
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:iconlavenderl:
lavenderl Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014   Photographer
Great one!!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014   Photographer
You're welcome!
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:iconschweinebeine:
Schweinebeine Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
wow have to love the facial expressions and the background, getting better and better :P
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Thanks man! Just practicing on the background lately, it's quite nice to try different things :)
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:iconmistasilentkiller:
MistaSilentKiller Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome :D

Did you know that Al Andalus made numerous contacts with Mesoamerican cultures throughout their 800 year rule before the spanish even came.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
I've heard, but not in detail. Please tell me more bro, you have just caught my curiosity....:O
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:iconmistasilentkiller:
MistaSilentKiller Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well there are lots of stories but I can't remember them all so I will just tell you from what I remember, Abu al-Hasan al-Masudi wrote that there was a voyage from Al-Andalus to the Americas in 889. The voyage left from the port of Delba (the same place Columbus’ voyage would begin) and sailed for months westward. They eventually found a large landmass across the ocean where they traded with the natives, and then returned to Europe. Al-Masudi records this land across the ocean in his famous map and refers to it as “the unknown land” .

After that two more voyages from Muslim Spain to the Americas were recorded. One in 999 and was led by Ibn Farrukh from Granada. The other is recorded by the genius mind of the geographer al-Idrisi, who worked in the multi-cultural and religiously tolerant Sicily of King Roger II in the 1100s. He wrote of a group of Muslims who sailed west from Lisbon for 31 days and landed on an island in the Caribbean. They were taken prisoner by the Native Americans on that island for a few days. Eventually, they were freed when a translator who lived among the natives that spoke Arabic arranged for their release. They eventually sailed back to al-Andalus and told their tale. The important part of this account is the existence of an Arabic speaker among the natives, indicating that there must have been more unrecorded contact between the Arab world and the Americas, what I think about this is that the Abbasid traders sailed there in 650 probably.

Well at the last moments of Al-Andalus another Muslim faction from West africa made its way to the Americas with a fleet of 2000 ships, wanna know about that too? :)
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
Thank you brother, this is certainly some interesting points you've mentioned :).

I must say that this is something that i find really intriguing, however, this part of the history is what i would refer to as pseduo-history because I have never found any peer-reviewed research paper on the subject of Muslim Contacts with the New World. If such claim is true, then the part where the West African contact of America prior of the arrival of islam (via the Olmec) as well as Ancient Rome (from statue artifact, thought it's been debunked) is also plausible.

Lets speak of Al-Masudi, the famed muslim historian that recorded contacts with civilizations far beyond than many of the historians of His time. The land, which he referred to his Map as "The Unknown Land" is no stranger to Jewish and Christian Scholars where many of them could be found in Al-Andalus. At that time, people believed that somewhere beyond the Atlantic ocean (Oceanvs Occidentalis ) lies the land called Atlantis, derived from earlier Greek manuscripts. Since we all know that the scholars of Al-andalus translated many of the Greek classical works, "The Unknow Land" is more of a common knowledge back then. The voyage which is claimed to be written by Al-masudi, was claimed to be written in year AD 956, the year of his death, where he spent most of his days in Syria and Egypt writing his book, Al-Tanbih wa-l-Ashraf, where there is no single mention of trans-Atlantic voyages ever occured. For the note, even Al-Masudi himself assumed that it was impossible to have regular trans-atlantic trades, as no ship could sail beyond the "limitless sea"

Now, as for the Mesoamerican contacts, the Muslims ruled Al-Andalus from roughly 7th century till 13th century, from the time of Umayyad Claiphate, to the time of independent Taifas Kingdom as well as the Berber rule (Almoravids, Almohads to Marinids). This era corresponds to the time where Mayan ruled at their peak in late classical era (7th century - 10th century) as well as Aztecs (10th - 16th century). The Mayans was the only pre-columbian civilization whose writings are still preserved today, a factor which helped us to learn their histories, while the aztecs, meticulously recorded their contacts, diplomatic and trades missions troughout their rule. Neither of these civilizations recorded any inbound trans-atlantic voyages. As for the Muslims that ruled spain, no surviving records of trans-atlantic voyage ever found or even mention of mesoamerican civilization, which is rather strange given that their histories are properly recorded, even to contact as far as China :D

This brings the question of Ibn-Faroukh, the muslim who sailed from Grenada. The only surviving record of his journey was from the writings of Don Manuel something (i can't remember the name exactly) on the history of Canary Isles, written in Spanish in the mid 19th century. While the writing outline his journey towards the canary islands and those on the west and beyond, most of the names are derived from Ptolemy’s geography or Pliny the Elder’s description of the Fortunate Islands, some of which, contained the letter 'p', a letter which is does not exist in Arabic letters. There's lack of chronological credibility on the history of Ibn-Faroukh, and until it is proven true, i take it as a mythical legend for the time being ;)

As for Al-Idrisi written works on the Trans-Atlantic voyage, the most probable place the voyager reached first was somewhere on Azores, Merdeira or even parts of Canary Island (most likely) where they got captured. The Knowledge of Arabic language is possible, because the inhabitants of Canary Islands were the Guenches, or the Berber people that migrated to the island in somewhere 2000 years ago, and still maintained contact with the Moors of West Africa.

Lastly, if the Arabic Language was indeed spoken in the Americas, at this stage, I haven't found any linguistic correlation between the native Mesomaerican language to Arabic Language. If there was indeed a contact between the Arabic World and the American Word, either of the two would have at least words borrowed from each other, similar to how the original word for Chocolate derrived from Aztec "xocolatl"....which also brings another question, if trades/contacts/communications between the American and Arabic/Andalusian world had already been established before Columbus, shouldn't these new-world produces be mentioned in any of the written Arabic histories? things like Maize, Chocolate, Tobacco, etc? :o

Phew, that was an essay i wrote there, but these are the points that i want to brought forward after reading the history of Andalusian Spain and Mesomaerica. Maybe there are others that knows more on this subject than me and maybe correct anything wrong from this points of view :)

Speaking of which, tell me more on the fleet of 2000 ships from west Africa. Was it a voyage conducted during the time of Mansa Musa :?
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:iconlemniskate:
Lemniskate Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
Is that scale armour on the guy on the left?
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Not a scale armor, but a stylized featherlike armor, attached on padded cotton clothing, worn by the aztec eagle warriors :)
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:iconlemniskate:
Lemniskate Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014
So what are the feather-scales made of?
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014
It's made up of feather, i guess? attached to cotton cloth..
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:iconryanryzzo:
RyanRyzzo Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I KNEW I would find Battle of Tollan in the descriptions! :D
Fits the drawing perfectly! Pull up those Spanish trousers and run as fast as you can in the other direction, because the powder is wet and the sword has rusted stuck into the scabbard! Run awaaay! Run awaaay!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Owh yeah! The song really gave that feeling, especially if you are playing as the Aztec landmowing those arrogant Spaniards (but their horse...their horse is the problem).
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:iconjeandulin:
jeandulin Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
Nice realistic and beautiful work; and good documentation all is right; the flower war inspired me the amarian way of war in my universe, because those women developped weapons used to unable ennemies more than kill them, and after they captures them as prisoners aimed to serve them; an amarian warrior woman can gain 2 prisoner per battle:)
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Great! I really have to read more on that Amarian story of yours :)
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:iconpaivatar:
Paivatar Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Amazing detail!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Thanks :)
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:iconincueye:
Incueye Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I love the expression on her face and the details!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Thank you for the compliment :)
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, nice job on the headdress in particular! It's cool that you're trying to do more backgrounds now!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Indeed, thanks for the kind words! Looks like i will be including background more in my future artworks, it's pretty fun :)
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:iconmetal-fornever:
Metal-Fornever Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good sir this is amazing
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Thank you
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