Special class of infantry in the Aztec Army / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Eagle warriors or eagle knights (Classical Nahuatl: cuāuhtli [ˈkʷaːʍtɬi] (singular) or cuāuhmeh [ˈkʷaːʍmeʔ] (plural)) were a special class of infantry soldier in the Aztec army, one of the two leading military special forces orders in Aztec society, the other being the Jaguar warriors. They were a type of Aztec warrior called a cuāuhocēlōtl [kʷaːwoˈseːloːt͡ɬ]. The word cuāuhocēlōtl derives from the eagle warrior cuāuhtli and the jaguar warrior ocēlōtl [oˈseːloːt͡ɬ]. These military orders were made up of the bravest soldiers of noble birth and those who had taken the greatest number of prisoners in battle. Of all of the Aztec warriors, they were the most feared. Eagle warriors, along with the jaguar warriors, were the only such classes which did not restrict access solely to the nobility, as commoners or, in Nahuatl, "mācēhualli" Nahuatl pronunciation: [maːseːwalːi] were occasionally admitted for special merit.
The life of Aztec warriors was one of constant battle, and the primary purpose for this continual warfare was to take prisoners to be sacrificed to their gods. As the Aztec Empire expanded, however, the expansion of the empire in size and power became increasingly important.
In current culture, the eagle warrior is a representation of the Aztec culture, and therefore the Mexican tradition. Some companies use the eagle warrior as a symbol that denotes strength, aggressiveness, competitiveness, and remembrance of the ancient cultures of Mexico. AeroMexico's logo, for instance, shows a cuāuhtli.