Looking to purchase a Macuahuitl? Perfect timing! We’ve just begun building our own fully-functional (though it goes without saying that we don’t suggest you use them for their original purpose!) replicas of these ancient Aztec weapons!
Made in Mexico City, just a few miles from the ruins of the once-great Aztec City, Teotihuacan, we are offering these in two styles:
- Rectangular obsidian Teeth
- Triangular obsidian Teeth
This is real obsidian, so if you purchase one of these, please be careful, as they are sharp. Contact us using our form below if you are interested i buying a Macuahuitl.
The macuahuitl was a beautiful and unusual weapon used by many Mesoamerican cultures, but most commonly associated with the Aztecs. Macuahuitl means “hand-wood” in Nahuatl, and indeed, that is precisely what it was: a wooden club with obsidian blades embedded into the side to give it that deadly edge in combat. Here are some quick facts about the macuahuitl.
What Was A Macuahuitl, Really?
Macuahuitls were unusual weapons: not quite clubs and not quite swords. In fact, the Taíno had a word for this kind of weapon: macana. Macana were wooden weapons that were still sharp enough to be wielded like swords. In the case of the macuahuitl, the wooden club was embedded with obsidian blades sharper than a steel razor. As a hacking and slashing weapon, the macuahuitl was second to none in Mesoamerica.
Where Did It Come From?
Today, the macuahuitl is most widely associated with the Aztecs, but they were not its originators. Obsidian was used commonly in Mesoamerican weaponsmithing long before the Aztecs founded their empire and there is evidence that the first macuahuitls appeared sometime during the 1st millennium CE, centuries before the founding of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. By the time of Spanish conquest, however, the macuahuitl could be found in the arsenals of a majority of Mesoamerican armies.
What Was It Used For?
Simple answer: hurting people. It was very effective. According to conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo, a group of Aztec soldiers attacking a mounted conquistador “slashed at [the conquistador’s] mare, and cut her head off at the neck so that that it hung by the skin” using the sharp edge of the macuahuitl. Macuahuitls weren’t always designed to kill, though. Some had the blades spaced out far enough that they would only maim and not kill their targets. This was not a mercy. Those who weren’t killed by the macuahuitl’s blades in combat often met them later in ritual sacrifice.
Macuahuitls were beautiful, well-crafted weapons. They were also incredibly deadly, with a potential for maiming and killing that was downright terrifying. It’s no wonder that these incredible weapons continue to loom so large in the imaginations of historians and archaeologists the world over.
Why Buy a Macuahuitl?
The most common reason for purchasing a macuahuitl is to keep as part of a collection. Aztec warriors used this weapon in battle, in a similar fashion as a sword. However, rather than merely using to kill, this weapon was used to maim enemies who would later be sacrificed in religious practices. The obsidian blade arrangement would shear skin, rendering enemies unable to engage in further combat.