TX-08 Tlaxcaltec Warriors
The Tlaxcalans, or Talaxcaltecs, are an indigenous group of Nahua ethnicity who inhabited the republic of Tlaxcala and present-day Mexican state of Tlaxcala.
Despite early attempts by the Mexica, the Tlaxcalteca were never conquered by the Aztec Triple Alliance. The Aztecs allowed them to maintain their independence so that they could participate in the xochiyaoyatl (flower wars) with them to facilitate human sacrifice. The Tlaxcaltecs served as allies to Hernán Cortés and his fellow Spanish conquistadors, and were instrumental in the invasion of Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire, helping the Spanish reach the Valley of Anahuac and providing a key contingent of the invasion force.
A flower war or flowery war (Nahuatl languages: x?chiy??y?tl, Spanish: guerra florida) was a ritual war fought intermittently between the Aztec Triple Alliance and its enemies from the “mid-1450s to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1519.
Whether a Flower war was arranged simply to satisfy religious demands for sacrificial victims, to train young warriors and to ensure social advancement for warriors or if it had underlying purposes of wearing down the enemy and terrorizing neighboring lands is still debated by scholars. Some scholars maintain that the Flower wars were more like tournaments, with no more political purpose than to satisfy warriors in vying for advancement and provide ritual bloodletting and sacrifices. Other scholars see darker political aspects to these ritual wars: to demonstrate Aztec might, to wear down the enemy through attrition and to allow Aztec leaders to subjugate their own people through fear of losing loved ones.
The Aztecs had never managed to conquer the Tlaxcala. While the Tlaxcala were also Aztecs, they refused to pay tribute to the Triple Alliance. Montezuma might have thought that through the Flower wars, the Triple Alliance would be able to wear down the Tlaxcala and capture more of their warriors than they could afford to lose. If so, the Tlaxcala delivered the final blow: they allied with the Spanish in conquering and defeating the Aztec Empire.