Aztec Atlatl Battle Picture in Pencil
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Aztec Atlatl Battle in Oil on Linen Canvas
These are my recent interpretations of a picture carved into the stone of a pyramid in Honduras. The cape and quilted arm armor are as described in a book by Bernal Diaz – The Conquest of New Spain, used to fend off darts and arrows. The feather headdress follows closely the original carving. I don’t know if the colors are correct in the oil painting. My art work is a little primitive but it shows what I wanted it to show.
The People of Middle America of around 700 to 1000 years ago had developed a high degree of sophistication with the atlatl. In other places where the bow and arrow were introduced or invented the atlatl went out of favor but not in Middle America. The Aztecs favored the weapon over the bow perhaps because of ceremonial reasons. It may have been the Aztec weapon of choice because of the Aztec’s origins. The atlatl and dart are very good for catching fish from a boat. Perhaps because the Aztec village of origin was on an island in the middle of a lake the Aztecs never stopped using them. In any case when Cortez tried to conquer the Aztec empire they found the atlatl and dart to be effective against their metal armor, which the bow and arrow could not penetrate. © 2007 Bob Berg