Subject: tequiua knight
Setting: Aztec Empire / Triple Alliance, 15th-early 16thc
Object: tlahuiztli war suit
* Martín Gómez 2001 p186 (reconstructing a "Comandante mexica")
"Va protegido por una armadura de algodón acolchado completa, que le cubre piernas y brazos, la llamada tlahuizli. En la cabeza lleva un decorado casco del mismo material. ... Esta imagen es una representación figurada del jefe supremo de las fuerzas aztecas en la batalla de Otumba: el ciuacoatl. Este importante personaje político, brazo derecho del emperador, era en origen el sumo sacerdote de una terrible divinidad femenina del inframundo de la que tomo el nombre. Por eso, en la illustración se le ha representado llevando sobre su armadura los atributos que identifican a esta diedad, tomados del códice Borgia. El mosaico de plumas que la adorna imita la oscura piel de la diosa, negra y gris, con garras de fiera en vez de manos y pies. Unas tiras oscuras sobre su pecho simbolizan las descarnadas costillas de un esqueleto, mientras que su casco toma la forma de una feroz calavera de nariz ganchuda y enmarañada cabellera." ...
* Miller & Taube 1993 p176
"tzitzimime Among the most feared supernatural beings of Late Postclassic Central Mexico were the tzitzimime (singular tzitzimitl), the star demons of darkness. According to Central Mexican belief, planets and constellations could be transformed into fierce devouring demons during particular calendrical and celestial events. Solar eclipses were an especially feared phenomenon, since it was believed that the star demons were attacking the sun. This concept is probably based on the fact that during total solar eclipses, stars can be discerned close to the sun, as if they were attacking and overpowering it. For the Aztecs, the end of the 52-year cycle was another fearful time. If New Fire was not created on the Hill of the Star, the tzitzimime would descend and destroy the world.
"The tzitzimime were believed to dive head-first from the heavens, and for this reason, they were compared to the spider hanging head downward from its thread. The four sky-bearers , tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, xiuhtecuhtli, ehecatl-quetzalcoatl and mictlantecuhtli, could also take on the role of tzitzimime star demons, but the tzitzimime themselves were usually considered to be female."
* Pohl ill. McBride 1991 p12 caption
"... [T]he Tzitzimitl [represented] a mythical demon who brought death and destruction to mankind."
* Spence 1994 p116-117
"The demonhood of ancient Mexico was, perhaps, the most gruesome which ever haunted any race of men. It took many shapes, and varied somewhat with locality, and it scarcely resembles any recognizable system of demonology, European or Asiatic.
"Those demons most dreaded were the Tzitzimimê, or 'monsters descending from above,' who were, indeed, stars. The interpreter of the 'Codex Telleriano' says of them: "'The proper signification of this name is the fall of the demons, who, they say, were stars; and even still there are stars in heaven called after their names, which are the following: Yzcatecaztli, Tlahvezcalpantecuvtli, Ceyacatl, Achitumetl, Xacupancalqui, Mixauhmatl, Tezcatlipoca, and Contemoçtli. These were their appellations as gods before they fell from heaven, but they are now named Tzitzimitli, which means something monstrous or dangerous.' "Tezozomoc mentions them in his Cronica Mexicana in connection with the building of the great temple at Mexico. He states that their images were at one period still necessary for the completion of the building, and alludes to them as 'angels of the air, holding up the sky,' and 'the gods of the air who draw down the rains, waters, clouds, thunders, and lightnings, and who are placed round Uitzilopochtli.' He further says that these 'gods of the signs and planets' were brought to the sacred edifice and placed round the idol of Uitzilopochtli. "They were thought of by the Mexicans in much the same manner as the mediaeval Christians regarded the fallen angels. An ancient myth tells us that at the time they dwelt in heaven, but because of their sins were expelled from its delights. It was perhaps as the dwellings of the Tzitzimimê rather than as those demons themselves that the stars were thought of, but their connection with the orbs of night is clear. They are represented in the manuscripts as taking the shapes of noxious insects, spiders, scorpions, and so forth." ...
* Cervantes 1994 p45 n23 (quoting Sahagún, Historia general)
"[Tzitzimime:] 'figuras feísmas y terribles que comerían a los hombres y mujeres ... los cuales han de venir a destruir la tierra ... para que siempre sean tinieblas y oscuridad en todo el mundo'."
* Pohl ill. McBride 1991 p10
"Those who had captured two men wore a red tlahuizli; three men, the butterfly back ornament and shell timatli; four victims, the Jaguar suit and helmet; and five captives, a green tlahuizli."
* Aguilar-Moreno 2005 p103
"In order to enter the cuauhchicqueh order, warriors had to take many captives and perform more than 20 brave deeds. The cuauhchiqueh order was of higher status than the otontin order and included in its membership many high-ranking commanders, such as the tlacateccatl, the tlacochcalcatl, and the cuauhnochtecuhtli ( eagle prickly-pear lord). Certain characteristics were particular to this order. For example, their heads were entirely shaved except for a piece of hair braided with a red ribbon above the left ear. They would also paint half of their heads blue and the other half red or yellow. The attire would include a loincloth and an open-weave mantle of maguey fiber."
* Pohl ill. McBride 1991 p44
"The cuahchicque (pl) were Elite shock troops used to provoke attacks, take on special tasks, or provide strategic assistance during combat. Apparently they declined promotion to captaincies in order to continue as battlefield combatants. A cuahchic was recognizable by his distinctive Mohawk hairstyle, yellow tlahuiztli and bark paper back-ornament.
* Aguilar-Moreno 2006 p119
"The cuauchicqueh were elite combat troops used to provoke attacks, complete difficult missions, and give strategic assistance during combat. They did not pretend to have hierarchical status and were honored to be frontline combatants. Their hairstyle consisted of a shaved head save for a crest down the middle and two side tufts, and they used a yellow tlahuiztli and a paper emblem painted in flag form attached to their backs."