General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 21 Sep 2017/10 Eagle
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Featherwork Shield

Courtesy of the Werner-Forman Archive

One of the best known of the 5 surviving Aztec featherwork shields, this one, now in Vienna’s Museum für Völkerkunde, was found - together with a fan and the famous quetzal headdress some think may have belonged to Moctezuma II - in a storage chest at Ambras Castle in the Tyrol. The design - probably of the water monster Ahuizotl (the name glyph of the last great conquering Aztec ruler, 1486-1502) - is made of blue cotinga feathers over a red-feather background, with gold used for the eyes, teeth, claws and for the outline of the fire-water band (an Aztec symbol for war).

The Werner-Forman Archive