Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve Ideas

Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve Ideas | Everything You Need To Know

Tattoos are something that has always been loved and equally hated. There’s a group of the public that love tattoos and consider it to be an art form etched onto the skin using permanent ink while the other group of the public thinks it is too big of a commitment and it’s just not the vibe.

One of the most controversial tattoo designs is none other than the topic of today’s article, the Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve, a full-sleeve design specifically. It is a tattoo design donned mostly by men because the Aztec Empire is heavily masculine and you can either love it or simply hate it.

Aztec Tribal tattoos have come a long way over the years and people are really starting to appreciate them because of their rich visuals and symbolism. So, if you’re looking to get an Aztec Tribal tattoo yourself, you’re at the right place!

So, keep on reading to learn more about the meaning and origin of the Aztec Tribal tattoo, the process of getting the tattoo, tattoo design ideas, etc.

What is an Aztec Tribal Tattoo?

The Aztec Empire was an ancient civilization established in Central Mexico during the 14th to the 16th Century. They reigned supreme for almost a whole century before their fall during the Spanish Conquest.

The Aztecs were a ferocious bunch of warriors and their empire didn’t have a uniform government as they preferred to rule with indirect means. They used scarification and branding to symbolize which tribe they came from, their growth in life, and to distinguish different roles in society.

For example, military men were given lip piercings at a very young age to distinguish their role as military personnel. This is where the origin of Aztec Tribal tattoos came from, as the Aztecs took their “tattoos” as a sign of pride, to honor their religious deities (Gods and Goddesses), and intimidation towards enemies during wartime, to show superiority.

Their images, signs, symbols, etc were found to be so visually rich and striking that men who wanted to be seen as warriors and brave souls decided to get Aztec Tribal tattoos to honor the Aztec culture. Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs have become so popular because of their symbolic meanings and such amazing visuals.

Aztec Tribal tattoos mean a lot of things because of their ancient wartime origination, which is appealing to men in the present age. It is appealing because Aztec Tribal tattoos don’t only show bravery and loyalty, other symbolic images also stand for certain accomplishments in life like newly adopted character traits.

Aspiring to be one of the character traits you get tattooed onto your skin, an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve can show your commitment to chasing your dreams and achieving goals.

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Deciding to etch such a tattoo on your skin in permanent black ink symbolizes how you view yourself and what you want to be, which is precisely why Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs are so alluring to women and striking to men who want to be seen as warriors in life.

The Process of getting an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve

Now that we know where Aztec Tribal tattoos come from, it is time to learn about the process of how the tattoo is inked onto the skin. Considering that an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve is a bigger scale tattoo that covers your whole arm, it is of no doubt a time consuming process, so the steps in the process of getting the tattoo are given below:

Step 1

First and foremost step in the process is to choose your style, because Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeves are either a collection of small tattoos all over one’s arm, or a large tattoo that is interconnected. There are 4 types of sleeve tattoos but the Aztec Tribal Tattoo designs generally follow the Japanese Hikae style or the Full Sleeve style.

The Japanese Hikae style tattoo starts from the chest area of your chosen arm and extends from there, connecting to your shoulder and ending at your wrist, while the Full Sleeve style starts from the top of the shoulder and goes down to the wrist. As mentioned before, both of these are larger scale tattoos so you can choose whichever style you want, based on your preference.

Step 2

After you’ve chosen the style for your Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve, for the next step you need to choose the official tattoo design which you want. Careful choosing is necessary because tattoos are permanent markings on your skin and they won’t be fading anytime soon, so make sure to finalize a design that you are content with.

Step 3

Now that you’ve chosen your design, you’re ready for the inking process! But, buckle up your seatbelts because this is going to be a looong process. A sleeve tattoo, specifically an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve is done in 3 sessions over a period of several months.

Yes, you heard that right, several months, because each session takes around 3-5 hours depending on your tattoo artist’s capacity, but after that, you need to take an interval of 2-3 weeks for your tattoo to heal before adding in more. During the first session, the outline for your finalized tattoo design will be inked onto your arm neatly.

In the second session, this is where your tattoo artist will add in all the details to your Aztec Tribal tattoo. And in the third i.e. last session, your tattoo artist will add in all the coloring and shading to your tattoo, which will make it come to life!

Step 4

For the last step, it is all about aftercare, because getting a sleeve tattoo means your movement will be quite limited for a period of several months. Not only does the tattooing process take months, but it also takes around 6 months for the tattoo design to fully heal and be ready for display.

During this time, you have to follow certain precautions like washing and moisturizing the tattooed area 2-3 times a day until the peeling stops. It is also advisable to leave the bandage on for a while before taking it off and using antibacterial soap to wash your tattooed area.

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Rubbing or scratching your tattooed area can cause serious harm like infections, so make sure to use patting motions to dry your tattoo after washing and let scabs or peeling skin fall off on its own. You should also avoid exposing yourself to too much water and stick to lukewarm and quick showers instead of long baths and swimming.

And just like that, you’re done getting your Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve! It will be a long and excruciating process but it will be quite worth it in the end. As mentioned before, the tattooing and healing process takes several long months so make sure to plan to get your tattoo according to your schedule so that they do not clash.

Since Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs are unlike any other tattoos that get inked onto one’s skin, make sure to be patient and work with your tattoo artist throughout the whole process. Tell them what you want and collaborate with them to get a satisfactory result, otherwise, you’ll end up with regrets which are unsatisfactory considering that tattoos are after all, permanent.

The 5 Best Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve Ideas

Now that we know all about what Aztec Tribal tattoos  mean and where they originate from, it is time to delve into the realm of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs. There are many types of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs but there are some widely loved categories with their own designs.

5 of the best categories of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs are given as follows:

Aztec Empire God Tattoo Designs

From what we learned above about the Aztec Empire, it is quite clear that the Aztecs were very religious people. They considered their tattoos to be sacred and they took their worshiping duties very seriously and their religion was inspired by the Mesoamerican culture, which is why they worshiped multiple religious deities.

So, it is natural that one of the most popular types of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs is none other than the Gods of the Aztec Empire. Some of the most popular Gods of the Aztec Empire that are popularly depicted through tattoos are as follows:


Huitzilopochtli is the Sun God of the Aztec Empire, who was also related to war and sacrificial rituals in the Aztec Legends. He was known as the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan.

The tattoos depicting the Sun God, Huitzilopochtli usually represent traits that are associated with war. Getting a tattoo of the Sun God, Huitzilopochtli symbolizes sacrifice, bravery, or holding one’s own honor in the face of obstacles and hardships in life.


Quetzalcoatl was the Feathered Serpent God, who was believed by the Aztecs to be the ultimate protector of the world. He was also known as the God of knowledge, fertility, creativity, and learning things in life in the Aztec Legends.

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Because Quetzalcoatl was known as a God of many things, the tattoo depicting this Feathered Serpent God also has various meanings when tattooed on the skin. This tattoo can stand for being a token of protection against evil or symbolize that you are always looking to gain more knowledge and/or remembering to make it a goal in life to continue to attain more knowledge.


Tláloc is the God of rain and fertility in the Aztec Legends, who is also known as “He who makes things sprout”. He is an underrated but quite popular God in the present time.

Tláloc is generally depicted in tattoo designs with an Ax in his hand which he is known to use for cutting through rain clouds to release “life giving water” for the Aztec Society when drought hit them. For this reason, Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs featuring Tláloc represent the person’s respect and gratitude towards the Earth and all that it provides us.


Tezcatlipoca is the God of constellations and the night sky in the Aztec Legends. Tezcatlipoca is known to be associated with death and rebirth because he has control over the movement of the moon.

Tezcatlipoca tattoos are said to be symbols of darkness, endings, and nighttime. They represent the challenges that you’ve overcome in life and the dark periods of your life that define you.


Mictlantecuhtli is the God of death and the underworld in the Aztec Legends. His name means “The Lord of the City of the Dead”, which is a reference to the name of the mythical city of the dead that he rules over named Mictlan.

Despite being a dark subject matter, Mictlantecuhtli tattoo designs are popular in the Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs because of the meaning which is a reminder that life should be lived to the fullest while it lasts. Some people also see Mictlantecuhtli tattoo designs as a way to honor the loved ones that they have lost in life.

Xipe Totec

Xipe Totec is the God of spring rebirth whose name translates to “the flayed one” according to the Aztec dialects. He was known to be responsible for the rebirth occurrences that happen when spring descends on Earth on the Aztec fields of wheat.

Xipe Totec tattoo designs are known to represent new beginnings in one’s life after brief periods of struggle. These tattoo designs are also known to symbolize renewal and fertility.

Aztec Empire Goddess Tattoo Designs

From the above information, it is obvious that Aztec Empire followed a Mesoamerican culture of religion where they worshiped multiple deities, including both Gods and Goddesses. It is a natural subject matter that alongside Gods, Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs also popularly include Goddesses in tattoo designs.

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Some of the most popular Gods of the Aztec Empire that are popularly depicted through tattoos are as follows:


Coatlicue is the Goddess that gave birth to the sun, stars, and Huitzilopochtli according to the Aztec Legends. The Aztecs considered her to be the creator of all life and mother to everything that exists on the land of Earth.

Tattoo designs depicting the Goddess Coatlicue are said to be a reminder of the fact that we are all included as a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves; whether that be a community, family, whole human civilization, planet, or the universe.

The tattoos depicting the Goddess Coatlicue are also known to symbolize the unknown or the mysteries that surround our environment and existence.


Chalchiuhtlicue is considered the Goddess of water in the Aztec Legends whose name translates in English to “She of the Jade Skirt”. Chalchiuhtlicue is said to be a Goddess who has a calm demeanor, is kind hearted, and is generous; a stark contrast to the other Goddesses in the Aztec Legends.

The tattoo designs depicting Goddess Chalchiuhtlicue are very positive and optimistic which makes it an ideal for someone who is bright and bubbly, trying to look at the brighter side of life. Goddess Chalchiuhtlicue tattoo designs are known to represent one’s appreciation and gratitude towards the gift of life and all the creations that the Earth has given them.


Xochiquetzal is known as the Goddess of fertility, love, and beauty in the Aztec Legends. Goddess Xochiquetzal’s name translates in English to “Precious Feather Flower”.

Tattoo designs depicting the Goddess Xochiquetzal are known as a sort of lucky charm tattoo that one uses to attract a partner for themselves with assistance from the Love Goddess Xochiquetzal herself.

Goddess Xochiquetzal tattoos are also done by people who have found love and want to show the world; while the tattoo design is also meant to represent our appreciation towards the meaning and value of the feelings that love brings into our lives.


Coyolxauhqui is known as the Goddess of the moon in the Aztec Legends, whose name translates to “Golden Bells”. She is a daughter to the Goddess Coatlicue and is a sister to the Sun God, Huitzilopochtli.

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Tattoo designs depicting the Goddess Coyolxauhqui are generally inked onto the skin of women because this tattoo is seen as a symbol of femininity and maternity. Goddess Coyolxauhqui tattoo designs are also tattooed onto the skin of those who wish to honor their love for their friends and family.


Tlaltecuhtli is known as the Goddess of the earth in the Aztec Legends. She is believed to be responsible for the creation of the planet Earth that we live on and call home.

Those who get tattoo designs depicting the Goddess Tlaltecuhtli do so as a sign of respect towards the complexity of the Earth that we live on and its various ecosystems.

Tattoo designs depicting the Goddess Tlaltecuhtli also symbolize one’s gratitude and appreciation towards the abundance and the beauty of nature.

Aztec Empire Warrior Tattoo Designs

One of the most popular types of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs is the Warrior tattoo design. The Aztec Empire is known to be ferocious and an empire filled with warriors who were defined by animal names.

The 2 most popular Aztec Empire Warrior tattoo designs are given as follows:

Eagle Warrior

An Eagle warrior tattoo is the most popular Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve design that there is. The Eagle warriors were the best and toughest warriors in the society known for their strength and skill.

The Eagle warrior tattoo design is seen as a symbol of strength, honor, and courage. This tattoo also symbolizes the willingness to fight in life for anything that you believe in.

Jaguar Warrior

The Jaguar warriors were the elite warriors in the military forces of the Aztec society. Their name originated from the warriors wearing a specific type of jaguar skin hide with black spots.

The Jaguar warriors were known to be enduring and patient, their signature traits. So, this tattoo also symbolizes the very traits of endurance and patience.

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This Jaguar Warrior tattoo is generally chosen by people who are trying to represent the traits of endurance and patience. This tattoo shows that they are trying to stick with things even if they are too tough to endure.

Aztec Empire Animal Tattoo Designs

Double Headed Serpent

The double-headed serpent is seen as a symbol of rebirth and transformation in the Aztec Legends because of the double-headed serpent’s ability to shed its own skin and to be born anew. Because the color green is prominent in the tattoo designs depicting the double-headed serpent, it is also associated with fertility and birth.

The tattoo designs depicting the double-headed serpent are known as a representation of one’s growth in life as one progresses from one stage to another. The tattoo design is also an acknowledgment of the fact that the person with the tattoo inked on is still a work in progress, growing more in life.


According to the Aztec Legends, butterflies were considered to be representations of the souls of people who were peacefully deceased.  It was said that if Aztec citizens saw a butterfly, they believed that it was the soul of a loved one visiting Earth to let them know that they are doing well and they are watching you from above.

For this reason, tattoo designs depicting butterflies are often seen as symbols of the everlasting memories of the loved ones that have departed. They are a perfect type of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve design for reminding oneself that departed loved ones are never truly lost and are always present in our cherished memories.


The Aztec society believed that the Crocodile’s body was used to form the earth. For this reason, it was seen as a godly creature and held in very high regard by tattooing the animal on their bodies to show honor.

At present times, the Aztec Crocodile tattoo has become a symbol of strength in life. The Crocodile tattoo represents creation itself and it also symbolizes one’s aptitude to solve complex problems in life such as, forming the Earth with one’s body, hypothetically of course!


The Aztec Empire often associated frogs with water which is crucial to agriculture and for health. Frogs were one of the ancient symbols that were used as tattoos by humans.

Aztec frog tattoos were believed by the Aztecs to promote swift healing and safety, which is why they were worn as protective amulets. Today people get frog tattoo designs for the same reasons as they are known to symbolize protection and guidance.

Aztec Empire Symbolic Tattoo Designs

While all of Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs are symbolic and rich in visuals, the materials of the Aztec Legends are the most symbolic tattoo designs. They have been very significant in Aztec Tribal tattoo designs because of their meanings and how nearly symbolic they are.

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The 4 best symbolic Aztec Legends tattoo designs are given as follows:


The Aztec Calendar has been a significant driving force in the Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve designs for a long period of time. Over centuries that have passed, it has served its purpose by being a symbolic tattoo design that has let people etch their important events in life onto their skin.

The Aztec Calendar is a tattoo design that mostly signifies important personal or familial events, celebrations, or happenings in one’s life. The date of the event is etched onto the skin with black and gray ink using the classic Aztec Calendar and sometimes, dates and years in normal numbers are also featured.

Sun Stone 

The Sun represented the entirety of the Aztec Heaven named Tollan, which only accepted warriors and women who died during childbirth. The Sun was seen as the end by the Aztecs and was given very high priority, it was cherished dearly.  

For this reason, the Aztec Sun Stone or Sun tattoo symbolizes oneness with our land, The Earth, protection against evil, and acceptance amongst mankind alongside sharing a mutual love for the world we live in.


Ollin is the Aztec symbol that is associated with the God of fire, lightning, and dogs named Xolotl. Ollin is seen as a representation of seismic change and brief periods of transformation.

For these characteristics, tattoo designs depicting the Aztec symbol Ollin make an ideal tattoo design for those looking to symbolize transformation. This Ollin tattoo design is perfect for anyone that is looking to move forward in life while remembering where they came from and looking toward where they’re going.


The Aztec society believed Toltecs to be their predecessors who were a Mesoamerican culture present from the 11th Century AD to the 14th Century AD. They were known to build many important establishments including pyramids and monuments and they were very well renowned for their artistic culture.

Tattoo designs depicting the Toltecs pay homage to the Toltec culture and there are many designs to choose from, where each has a different meaning. For example, two of the most popular Toltec tattoo designs are pyramids and humanoid statutes, where the former represents royalty and power while the latter symbolizes steadfastness.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much does an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve cost?

An Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve can cost anywhere from $1500 to $6000, which is heavily influenced by your choice of tattoo artist and tattoo parlor alongside the tattoo design you choose.

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How long does it take to get an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve done?

It takes around a few months to get an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve inked onto your skin because it is done in sessions with 2-3 week intervals.

Is getting an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve a painful process?

No, the arm sleeve is considered a low-pain area which is why the process of getting an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve is not that painful.

How long does an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve take to fully heal?

It takes around 5-6 months for an Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve to fully heal.

What does an Aztec Tribal Tattoo design mean?

An Aztec Tribal Tattoo design generally is done to celebrate one’s heritage or to show appreciation towards the Aztec Empire. So, an Aztec Tribal Tattoo can have different meanings based on which design you choose to get.


Aztec Tribal tattoos have come along so far and have become so popular because they signify tough masculinity and the makings of a warrior. The images and symbols of the Aztec Empire are so beautiful and rich in detail that they have inspired countless tattoos today for those who seek to be assertive and show complete dominance in life.

The outstanding history of the Aztec Empire is all about showing respect to the Earth, mankind, and utmost loyalty. Aspiring to be one of the traits portrayed by the Aztec Empire and getting a tattoo inspired by their culture shows that the person with the tattoo inked on knows what they want in life and is committed to doing that.

This is the reason why Aztec Tribal tattoos are so popular amongst men and they choose to get this piece of history inked onto their skin to represent strength and loyalty. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no time to hesitate so read up on all the information provided above and choose the best tattoo parlor near you to get your very own Aztec Tribal Tattoo Sleeve inked onto your skin!