Jaguar warriors or jaguar knights, ocēlōtl (singular) [oˈseːloːt͡ɬ] or [1 ] ocēlōmeh ( [oseːˈloːmeʔ] plural) were members of the [1 ] Aztec military. They were a type of Aztec warrior called a [2 ] cuāuhocēlōtl . [kʷaːwoˈseːloːt͡ɬ] The word [3 ] cuāuhocēlōtl derives from the eagle warrior cuāuhtli and the Jaguar Warrior [ˈkʷaːwt͡ɬi] ocēlōtl . They were an elite military unit similar to the [3 ] eagle warriors. The jaguar motif was used due to the belief that the jaguar represented Tezcatlipoca, god of the night sky. Aztecs also wore these dresses at war because they believed the animal's strengths would be given to them during battles. [ Jaguar warriors were used at the battlefront in military campaigns. They were also used to capture prisoners for sacrifice to the Aztec gods. ] citation needed Many [2 ] statues and images (in pre-Columbian and post-Columbian codices) of these warriors have survived. They fought with a wooden sword studded with [4 ] obsidian volcanic glass blades, called a macuahuitl. They also used spears and atlatls. They believed their feathered shield had magic powers.
To become a jaguar warrior, a member of the Aztec army had to capture twelve enemies during two consecutive battles. This was said to honor their gods in a way far greater than killing enemy soldiers in the battlefield. For a warrior to kill an enemy was considered clumsy.
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