“…very like the teui, the small teui dog; small and smooth, shiny. It has small, pointed ears, just like a small dog. It is black, like rubber; smooth, slippery, very smooth, longtailed. And its tail is provided with a hand at the end; just like a human hand is the point of its tail. And its hands are like a raccoon’s hands or like a monkey’s hands. It lives, it is a dweller in watery caverns, in watery depths. And if anyone arrives there at its entrance, or there in the water where it is, it then grabs him there. It is said that it sinks him, it plunges him into the water; it carries him to its home, it introduces him to the depths; so its tail goes holding him, so it goes seizing him … [When the body is retrieved] the one it has drowned no longer has his eyes, his teeth, and his nails; it has taken them all from him. But his body is completely unblemished, his skin uninjured. Only his body comes out all slippery-wet; as if one had pounded it with a stone; as if it had inflicted small bruises … When it was annoyed - had caught no one, had drowned none of us commoners - then was heard as if a small child wept. And he who heard it thought perhaps a child wept, perhaps a baby, perhaps an abandoned one. Moved by this, he went there to look for it. So there he fell into the hands of the auítzotl, there it drowned him…” - Book 11 of the Florentine Codex (text retrived from wikipedia)
(Almost didn’t think I would ever be able to finish this picture ._.)
This is Ahuizotl, the 8th Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan, or 8th king if you prefer that term. I’m not used to draw historical characters, I rather come up with my own, but he’s gonna appear on my Donaji & Itzcacalotl Webcomic (EVENTUALLY,
I gotta start the comic first, shouldn’t I?), since their adventures
take place during the time Ahuizotl was ruling over Tenochtitlan; and
it’s impossible to tell a story about ancient mesoamerica without
mentioning the “aztecs”.
He’s often portrayed by history as a great conqueror and an extremely blood thirsty ruler, sacrificing over 80,000 people in the innauguration of the Huey Teocalli (Templo Mayor), and expanding the “”“”aztec“”“” empire to its maximum extension. I
want to portray him, however, as a misunderstood leader; I want him to
have a much bigger ambition that drives him to commit all that
bloodshed, but with a greater plan. Some kind of “aztec” Nobunaga Oda,
a “demon king” but at the same time the greatest mind of his time. So
for his design I wanted him to have that aggressive look, but with a
spark of charisma, I really don’t know how to explain it, hope the
drawing speaks for itself.
I don’t know anyone who knows more about Tlatoani Ahuizotl than Nosuku-k http://nosuku-k.deviantart.com/,
so I showed her this and she helped me with some design flaws I had. I
used mostly red because it gave a bigger impact than blue, but thanks to
her advices I created a balance between both, since blue was the
traditional color for the capes of “aztec” kings. So here I add the cape design. It also contains the symbolism of water and fire “In Atl In Tlachinolli”, a sacred symbol of war which also represented the sacred blood.
It is easy to confuse the graphic representations of fire and blood in
mesoamerican imagery, so here I left it to be a bit ambiguous; you can
interpretate the red part of his cape as fire, which along water means
war, or as blood, which is the end result of war itself and represents
all the blood Ahuizotl shed on his conquests.
This is my first design of him, I hope to upload a full body shot or a better illustration later. I
have designed some other characters for this webcomic, but they are
critical to the plot, so even if I’m dying to show you all, I think it
is better if I keep them as a secret, since their designs tell a lot
about them that should be a surprise.
Note that I have a serious pet peeve with the word “aztec”; they SHOULD be called mexica/mexicas, not aztecs. It is a mythical name such as “atlanteans” are for Atlantis. No one even knows if Aztlan, the place where the “real” aztecs came from, even existed.