Tarasca (neon blue) in 1380
|Languages||Purépecha, Nahuatl, Mixtec|
|Government||Confederal, theocratic monarchy|
|•||Lead Assembly||Tlacame Pátzcuaro|
|•||Domestic Representatives||Tlacame Tenochtitlan|
|Historical Era||Rise of Tarasca|
|•||Toltec Alliance founded||1337|
|•||Annexed by Xaroyaca||1396|
|Currency||Gold; Cacao seeds|
The Tarascan Empire (Purépecha: Kʼeri Tzintzuntzáni; Nahuatl: Tlahtohcāyōtl Tzintzuntzáni; Mixtec: Duñu'u Tzintzuntzáni) was a Postclassic monarchy in Mesoamerica. At its height, it was home to roughly 2.85 million inhabitants, the majority of which being of Purépechan descent. The most widely-practiced religion was Yolit’ism, or Folk Purépecha, while other interpretations of the Purépechan pantheon and indigenous religions were allowed to be practiced. Originally founded as the Tarasco Confederation (Ilhuitl ka Tzintzuntzáni) in 1180, the city-states of the Purépecha would gradually expand and centralizing throughout the 13th century, eventually forming into the Tarascan State (Iréchecua Tzintzuntzáni) in the early 14th century after the succession of Tariácuri as Cazonci. In his reign, he would expand the state's general territory, as well as culturally define the state among his neighbors, in addition to his appointment of famed Uakusï Citlali.
Although a military power, a number of science-related and literary achievements had been made in the Mesoamerican culture. The introduction of a written language script in the late 1320's allowed for a recording method of history as well as the recording of knowledge, while basic geometry and algebraic expressions were formed and studied in the following decades. In 1332, Cazonci Tariácuri would reform the state into an Empire after conquering the Atzcapotzalco Empire, as well as establishing the Toltec quadruple alliance with various neighbor states. Tariácuri would die in 1342, with his successor being his first son Nalhen, although this has been widely debated among historical scholars. Nalhen would help develop and urbanize the Tarascan Empire, although a civil war would disrupt expansion in the north, although centralizing the state's authority further.
After the end of the Tarascan-Xalisco conflict, the Tarascan Empire would expand its territory southward due to religious inclinations, starting a period of Flower Wars that would last nearly 17 years. Nalhen would be assassinated during the last decade of the flower wars, with his second son Xitlálnolli succeeding his rule and continuing the religious wars. The first two stages of the Flower Wars would end in 1389 with the submission of the K'iche kingdom and the defeat of the Zapotec rebels, however, the Empire had slowly began collapsing at this point, eventually leading into the third and final stage of the Flower Wars that saw the collapse of the Tarascan Empire.
The Uacúsecha clan, the dynasty of the Purépecha homeland, would remain in power through the reformed Tarascan Theocracy (Teōmati'cāyōtl Tzintzuntzáni), although its imperial status would be dismantled during the the end of the Second Stage of the Flower Wars. In 1396, the Kingdom would become a tributary of Xaroyaca and in the following year, be annexed to the expanding State of Xaroyaca.
The region where the Tarascan Empire stands now has been inhabitated by humans for nearly 10,000 years. The "Achtoquetlhá" (tr. First People) were regarded to have settled around this time, according to the Amoxtli Huēhuehcāyōmatiliztli. The Achtoquetlhá are seen as the spiritual ancestors of the Purépecha, as well as other native inhabitants in the region, with their original migration being from the north. Around roughly 2000 BC, the Achtoquetlhá would form the ceramic Capacha Culture, which would influence a majority of pottery in both western Mexico and South America, disputed to be a result of early ocean navigation. The Capacha Culture would exist until roughly 100 AD, when it faded away after famine struck.
Following the collapse of the Capacha Culture, the Chichimec people would migrate from the north, mixing in with the remnant populations of the Capacha to create the classic iteration of the Purépecha people. A large portion of the pyramids and primary archaeological sites featured in Michoacan are estimated to have been built from 800 BC to 200 AD in the Chupícuaro culture, although it has been debated whether or not the Chupícuaro existed in a productive form. Most of the methods of metallurgy used by the modern Purépecha are regarded to have been made prior to 650 AD, possibly having originated in Baja California. Early archaelogical religious sites for many of the dieties featured in the Purépecha pantheon are regarded to having been created between 800 AD to 1000 AD, prompting scholars to assume that the associating polytheistic religion was formed sometime from 200 AD to 600 AD.
Although the dates are not thoroughly accurate, it is regarded by the Amoxtli Huēhuehcāyōmatiliztli that the region pre-dating the Tarascan state was volatile, comprised mostly of clans and city-states, which had remained in a state of perpetual war for centuries prior. Around 950 AD, Tlatoani Mitl of the Toltec Empire would conquer all of the territories, claiming it for himself as well as destroying various religious artifacts. Mitl remain in control until roughly 970. According to Purépecha mythology, he would proclaim himself to be akin to the sun god Curicaueri, and when the people of the Tarascan did not agree, a large majority of them were slaughtered. It was then that Curicaueri would appear in the sky, burning the eyes of Mitl and his army, forcing them to retreat and never return to Michoacán. Although skeptical due to the religious undertones underlying the reign of Mitl being biased, it has been studied that many of the archaeological sites during this period were rebuilt, other causing pointing to a possible fire having been caused.
The remaining tribes in the region would gradually solidify into the modern-day Purépecha, ruling across various city-states and archeological sites for nearly three hundred years. Although the Purépecha people remained mostly in a state of peace during this time, many of them would form clans and exert territorial claims via a military. The region would develop into four distinct clans: the Uacúsecha (tr. Eagles), the Sïkuapu (tr. Spiders), Axuni (tr. Deer) and the Jeiaki (tr. Rabbits), who would control the cities of Tzintzuntzan and Angamuco, Urichu, Erongarícuaro, as well as Pechátaro and Jarácuaro respectively. They would operate as a loose confederation, becoming highly wealthy through their methods of metallurgy producing vast quantities of copper, silver, and gold, as well as various material accessories, such as bracelets and cups.
In 1180, Curátame of the Uacúsecha would become the first to fully rule over the entirety of the confederation as Cazonci, although his reign would only last a few years, not securing a proper standing in lineage nor uniting the confederation politically. Although many of his successors would attempt to form a unified Purépechan state, many would be unsuccessful, only establishing minor control over the governing of each city-state. Curátame would be succeeded by Pauácume around 1230 AD, who has been culturally credited for creating the first pictograms. There has been major debates surrounding Pauácume's successor, as oral tradition contradicts whether Pauácume's son Uápeani II or Curátame's cousin Sicuirancha had ruled during this period. The last Cazonci prior to the ascension of Tariácuri was Tzétahcu, father of Tariácuri, who was able to develop and create a governing system among the city-states, similar to the feudal system in Western Europe, with a form of hierarchial caste being introduced. It is debated among contemporary scholars whether or not Tzétahcu is considered the first Cazonci of the unified Tarascan state, although it is generally regarded by locals that Tariácuri was more so the first Cazonci.
Tariácuri's reign (1300-1342)
In 1300, Tariácuri was succeed to throne of Cazonci. In the first of his rule, it said in the Amoxtli that Tariácuri recieved a dream from the sun god Curicaueri, who directed his ambitions as Cazonci towards the unification and expansion of the Purépechan people across all of western Mesoamerica. Tariácuri is said to have received two of these dreams, and as such began developing the first bureaucratic and ranked military system. After the neighboring city-state of Xilotan became a vassal of the state, the first military campaign would be the invasion of the Xalisco confederation, also known as the First Tarasco-Xalisco War. Led by the young warrior-general Citlali, the war would last from 1315 to 1321, although after the siege of Ayutitlan, much of the war turned into brief skirmishes with remnants of the Xalisco states. The Tarascan state would defeated the confederation of Xalisco in a two year period, raising the divine reputation of Tariácuri and solidifying his rule among contemporary neighboring states. It wouldn't be until 1325, however, when the Xalisco states were incorporated into the Tarascan realm.
Around 1319-1320, Cazonci Tariácuri would begin outlining the first language script for the Tarascan Empire, as a means of recording history and knowledge. Although later data would support that he was supported by a number of mathematicians, most famously Tenoch, there has remained strong evidence for Tariácuri having been the original progenitor of written language in Mesoamerica. The written language script, although originally made for the Purépecha language, would expand to include elements of Nahuatl, Mixtec, and most of the languages inside the Totonac language family so as to define the language itself greater. As per scientific research, it is estimated that its overall creation would have taken a decade, with its completion date being around 1328-1330. However, it would not be formally systematically productive or used among general society until decades following Tariácuri's death.
After conquering the Xalisco states and succeeding in Curicaueri's wish of expanding the state to include the Atlantic Ocean, it is said that Tariácuri received another dream from Curicaueri, depicting an even larger Tarascan state, one that spans across all of Mesoamerica, connecting the mythical eastern sea (Atlantic Ocean) with the territory he conquered. Curicaueri, however, would cite a greater state in the east, one that is off Imperial nature. This would later be revealed as the Atzcapotzalco Empire, although archaelogically speaking, much of its major settlements and culture would be irreversably eradicated following the oncoming war, possibly becoming the first known act of cultural and ethnic cleansing in Mesoamerican history.
After settlers and Axuni's discovered the existence of Atzcapotzalco Empire, whose seat of power rested in the city of Tenochtitlan, military strategies were developed as to how the Empire would be approached in terms of aggression, as Tariácuri notes in his dream that Curicaueri had advised him to defeat such an empire in order to secure stability and access to the Atlantic. Using canoes, 200 members of the Chicahtoc Tlacatl, the highest military rank in the state at that time, used canoes to lay siege to the city at night in 1328, however, their efforts failed in succeeding to defeat and occupy Tenochtitlan. Many of the Chicahtoc Tlacatl were sacrificed in the city after their failed attack, and after not hearing any other news of the attacking army, Tariácuri declared war.
The first invasion in the Toltec-Atzcapotzalco War would be conducted in the same year as the failed siege, being 1328. A force of 3,500 were fostered and invaded many of the villages and outer-reaching city-states involved in the Atzcapotzalco Empire. The third Uakusï, Citlali, would lead this invasion against the city-states. However, much to the dislike of the Tarascan Empire, they were unsuccessful, leading to the death of Citlali in 1330 and the Tarascan forces being repelled. For the next years, the Tarascan court would instigate a number of violent attacks on many of the natives in that general vicinity. In 1335, Cazonci Tariácuri would offer an audience with the Huastec city-states of Huextla, Tuxpan, and Tollan. In this meeting, it has been retro-actively regarded by the Heas'han court that Tariácuri was able to use magic powers to influence their decision-making in this mission to set-up a super alliance comparable to Atzcapotzalco. However, it is transcribed that the primary meeting was mostly about resisting Atzcapotzalcan hegemony in their realm. The four Cazonci's established the Toltec Quadruple Alliance between themselves, as a line of offense in a campaign against Tenochtitlan and the greater Atzcapotzalco.
In 1336, the Toltec alliance invaded the Empire with a combined force of 22,000 soldiers, the largest army ever fostered in Tarascan history. The Toltec forces were able to quickly overrun and capture Tenochtitlan. With Atzcapotzalco's capital city occupied, the remaining Empire splintered off into de-centralized tribal states, being later occupied by the end of the next year. At the end of the war, Tenochtitlan was put under Tarascan jurisdiction while the remaining territory was split between Huextla, Tuxpan, and Tollan. Tariácuri would place his third son, the young Nalhen, into being Lord of the city. After the war had subsided and territory had been legitimatized, the Tarascan Empire began enforcing a number of persecution-based conflict and genocide against many of the Ethnic Nahuatl and Aztec in an effort to assimilate the group quickly and eradicate their culture. However, this practice would end at the start of the War of Succession in 1342.
Tariácuri is regarded as the most cultural defining Cazonci among the Purépechan people, often cited as a source of influence in government and the conduction of one's self. As per Mesoamerican chronology, he is seen as one of the most powerful rulers in Post-classical Mesoamerican history, establishing one of the most centralized states in North American history prior to the arrival of Europe in TBD. Many of the major technological advancements made under his rule influenced the Tarascan State's foreign appearance, with his military and cultural developments influencing surrounding cultures and states. Tariácuri would die in 1342, with his first son Hiripan being poised to take the position of Cazonci within the Empire. After Hiripan became Cazonci, the news of his reign would result in the War of Succession.
War of Succession (1342)
The War of Succession was a year-long conflict between the newly-elected Cazonci Hiripan, his brother's Tangáxoan and Nalhen, and the army of the third Uakusï Mezcoh. The conflict is summarized in two distinct sieges, both of which being staged at the capital city of Tzintzuntzan. The conflict was primarily one of leadership, as the Lords Tangáxoan and Nalhen would find the ascension of their brother, Hiripan, to the title of Cazonci as blasphemy. The third Uakusï, Mezcoh, would also find Hiripan's title as illegitimate, believing his status of Uakusï made him the most powerful and righteous Cazonci.
The conflict would only last two years, with Uakusï Mezcoh's army and himself being killed in the first Siege of Tzintzuntzan by Hiripan's army. The following year, Tangáxoan and Nalhen would march into Tzintzuntzan, initiating a second siege, however, Hiripan's army would be defeated, with Hiripan being killed. Tangáxoan would proclaim himself as Cazonci, but his reign would only last a few minutes before Nalhen would kill him, becoming the only son of Tariácuri to be alive and the Cazonci of the Tarascan Empire. Although separatist conflicts would continue for a couple years after, Nalhen's legitimacy as Cazonci would not be challenged for the time being.
Nalhen's reign (1343-1381)
In the first couple years of his reign, Cazonci Nalhen would primarily focus on assimilation and philosophy, something he saw his father not fully support during his tenure as Cazonci. Prior to the oncoming conflicts, Cazonci Nalhen's first two sons, Eztli and Xitlálnolli, was born during this period. Various law reforms to the Empire were made, reviving the confederal system of five states, each centering on their own respective ethnic background. This sort of regionalism would allow for a cohesive and popular trade route being established with the Huastic-Toltec Alliance states, as well as fuel a short-lived popularity in the arts and literature.
Tarascan-Xalisco War (1348-1359)
See: Tarascan-Xalisco War Something that hadn't been predicted in the first decade of Nalhen's rule was the independence of two major cultures within three years: the Mixtec Kingdom under the Zapotec warrior-general Tupac, whom had been revered in the Zapotec State as an esteemed leader, and the Xalisco Confederation, whom had resisted against Tarascan hegemony since its initial defeat in 1320. Their attempts at independence, including their individual armies having been built in similar fashion to the Tarascan model, had succeeded in their own ruthless campaigns against Nalhen's army. For a temporary time, it was well thought throughout this period, and retro-actively in historical standards, that the Tarascan Empire depended on victory for its continuation.
In 1355, after numerous failures in beginning offensive campaigns, the Zapotec warrior-general Tupac would be killed in battle and the Mixtecan Cazonci would fall ill, dying a few months after. The Mixtecan war effort would collapse in itself, with many native Mixtecan armies being slaughtered and effectively defeated in 1357. By 1359, the remaining Mixtecan forces would be pushed back into their capital, Tepuc, which is where the legendary Battle of the Red Moon occurred. After defeating both separatist states, the Tarascan Empire would solidify its control over its territorial claims, later enslaving a large portion of Mixtecan natives in the process.
Following the war, a period of mass reconstruction and re-application of the Tarascan defenses would begin. This act, of re-securing borders from invaders in addition to annual watch-guards, meant that the Tarascan Empire was one of the first territorial aggressive and defensive states in Mesoamerican history. Cazonci Nalhen's many wives would birth him three more children, the Twin Princes Necalli and Nelli, as well as the Princess Papan. The princes Necalli and Nelli would train in their youth to become warrior-generals, while Nalhen's eldest child, Xitlálnolli, would develop his skills as a leader and philosopher-scientist, in addition to being the heir apparent to becoming the next Cazonci.
First Flower War (1370-1380)
See: Flower Wars In 1370, a drought would appear across Mesoamerica, causing the Cazonci Nalhen to look towards further options of gaining collective grain for the general population. Although the drought most likely would have dissipated on its own, it was seen by Nalhen as the sun god, Curicaveri, punishing him. In an attempt at appeasement for both issues, Nalhen declared a perpetual advancement of the nation's territory so that "the people will be fed" and that "the issue of shortening food supplies will never be an issue again".
During this period of drought, a major cultural hatred towards the followers of Izel would end in his martyring that summer, and a form of religious persecution would force his followers to migrate northward into the southern Chichimecan kingdoms.
Although among many of his peers to be baseless, the first major military front would be made in the Oaxacan city-state of Teotitlán. There is little information on the campaign, although it is known that within a two year period, the Tarascan forces would annex the city-state, occupying what remained of Mixtecan and Oaxacan peoples. Although Uakusï Tonauac occupied the territory, Cazonci Nalhen would appoint the brother of his first wife, Ixdira, as Lord of Oaxaca. Ixdira's dynasty, the Iuitacan's, would reign over Oaxaca until the beginning of European colonization in TBD.
After the campaign in Teotitlán had succeeded, Cazonci Nalhen would advise the continuation of the campaign by invading the various Zapotek Kingdoms in 1373. Although little is known about the battle specifics, it is understood that the primarily battle would last five years until 1378, ending in the complete submission of the Zapotek states. The Tarascan-Zapotek Conflict has a stained legacy in Mesoamerican culture, in both the Tarascan and Zapotek civilizations, as the war appeared rather unnecessary to the success in resolving the food shortage problem.
In 1380, after conquering the vast territories of Mesoamerica, Cazonci Nalhen would be assassinated by a band of Zapotek slaves that rebelled sometime in the spring of that year. Although the assassins, who's names seemed to be left out of recorded history, would be soon executed publicly, the death of the Nalhen would divide the Tarascan Empire. Scholars today believe him to be a very successful Cazonci in his own right during the time period, however, it was percieved during that time that Nalhen had left the state worse off than it was under Tariácuri, creating something of a societal hatred to the Cazonci and the position itself, with many questions towards whether or not the Uacúsecha dynasty was truly divine.
Xitlálnolli's reign (1380-1386)
Xitlálnolli, the first son of Nalhen, the heir apparent and raised to become Cazonci upon his death of his father, would soon take the mantle of monarch over the de-centralized empire in 1381. Not much recorded history is held on Xitlálnolli besides having spent most of his life under the care of the mathematician Tenoch.
Cont. Flower War (1381-1389)
Although Xitlálnolli was Nalhen's eldest son and was taught the ways of government and math, his younger siblings Necalli and Nelli had been trained secretly in the ways of warriorhood, earning the ranks of Ocēlōtl by the age of 16. Now Cazonci, Xitlálnolli would order his brothers Necalli and Nelli to begin a military campaign through the southern Kingdoms of K'iche. Far from their homeland, Necalli and Nelli would reach the rank of Uakusï and serve alongside the sixth Uakusï, Tonalcotzin, leading an army of roughly 10,000 warriors through the city-states. Although what has been retroactively known as one of the first wars in the Second Stage of the Flower Wars, the K'iche Kingdom would fall by 1384, leading the way for the first year of Tarascan military occupation of Mesoamerica.
Although a successful war, by the next year, early cracks in the Empire's system would begin to appear more. in 1385, the Mixtecan confederation would form under former warlord Ocēlōtl Moyolemina. Refusing tribute and slaves to the Empire, warlord Ocēlōtl Moyolemina would forge his own military might out of angry and exhausted Tarascan soldiers, many of which had been Mixtecan and Huastec-Toltec slaves. The Zapotec Triple Alliance would follow shortly, as under former Ocēlōtl's Xiochel, Xinoch, and Teuiton, the Zapotek Triple Alliance would form among former territory of the Zapotek civilization, creating themselves as rivals to the Toltec Quadruple Alliance. Fighting to continue their control of the region, the Second Stage of the Flower Wars would culminate in military mutinies, destruction, and genocide, as members of the exhausted yet motivated Tarascan-Toltec Army give up to establish their own factions and claim territory for themselves. This would all lead to the eventual collapse of the Tarascan-Toltec Empire, with the independence of the Xalisco Confederation,' The Nahuatl Kingdom. The Six Kingdoms (of Huastec-Toltec), the Mixteca Confederation, the State of Oaxacan, the Zapotek Triple Alliance, and the freeing of the K'iche natives. The State of Xaroyaca, although debated by scholars, is likely to have been formed during the collapse of the Tarascan-Toltec Empire.
Xitlálnolli would die in 1389, becoming historically known as "The Weak".
Reign of Necalli and Nelli (1390-1396)
The Cazonci was the ruler of the Tarascan state. Considered to be the highest public position in the government, the Cazonci exercised complete economic, legal, and religious authority for the state.
The Tarascan Empire was an absolute monarchy-based confederation under the Uacúsecha dynasty, operating primarily under a system of tributes, who's leaders are included in the Tlacame Tarasco, a legislative branch of the central government. Although the central government did exist through this means of cooperation, much of the rule over the territory is kept domestically to each leader while the Cazonci acts as an overarching authority of the state. Although not having direct rule over the tributes, the Cazonci is seen as the true leader of the region and holds the power to raise armies in these tributary states when needed. The position of Cazonci is primarily heretedary, due to the Cazonci's blood being seen as divine as per their religious authority, in addition to being seen as the representation for the Purépechan pantheon.
List of Cazonci
(Born – Died)
(? - 1230)
|Uacúsecha||N/A||Founded the Tarasco Confederation|
(? - 1250)
|Uacúsecha||Son of Curátame||Possibly developed the first pictograms|
|3|| Uápeani II|
(? - 1270)
|Uacúsecha||Son of Curátame|
(? - 1290)
|Uacúsecha||Son of Uápeani II|
(1267 - 1300)
|Uacúsecha||Son of Uápeani II||Founded the Tarasco Kingdom|
(1291 - 1342)
|Uacúsecha||Son of Tzétahcu||Established the Tarascan State|
| 1342- 1343|
|Uacúsecha||Son of Tariácuri||Overthrown by Tangáxoan|
(1311 - 1343)
| 1343 - 1343|
|Uacúsecha||Second Son of Tariácuri||Overthrown by Nalhen|
(1318 - 1380)
| 1343 - 1380|
|Uacúsecha||Third Son of Tariácuri||Developed the modern Empire|
(1349 - 1390)
| 1381 - 1390|
|Uacúsecha||First Son of Nalhen||Last Cazonci of the Empire|
(1357 - 1396)
| 1390 - 1396|
|Uacúsecha|| Third Son of Nalhen
Twin brother to Nelli
|Transitioned the Empire into the reformed Tarasco Theocracy|
(1357 - 1409)
| 1390 - 1396|
|Uacúsecha|| Fourth Son of Nalhen|
Twin brother to Necalli
|Twin Cazonci to Necalli; Final Tarascan Cazonci|
List of Districts
As of its collapse, the Tarascan Empire had eight official districts within its realm. They are as followed:
The Uakusï was the highest rank in the Tarascan military, comparable to the position of General.The Uakusï are seen as fearless, mostly consisting of savage warriors in the military, that have proven themselves to be capable of leading large and extensive armies with success. They are commonly decorated with wearing the skins of Golden eagles and other superior birds, as to fulfill their position requirement, they are to kill at least three so that their bodies may be dissected and applied to the wearer properly. For warriors to become an Uakusï, they are to fulfill the "Sacrifice", by having a captured nearly ten enemies as well as having killed over fifty men in combat. Many of the Uakusï are trained in very harsh conditions, so as to create a more dangerous warrior. The most commonly used equipment among the Uakusï is the Macuahuitl, or the Tepoztopilli, in addition to their Otlachimalli being engraved with the Golden eagle and the symbol of their original clan. Each Uakusï is given a title to hold, mostly representative of a spiritual animal or a manifestation of a specific diety. As per Tarascan tradition, there can only be up to two alive and active Uakusï's in combat, although their service is derived as eternal, even after death.
The Ocēlōtl is one of the highest ranks in the military, comparable to the position of Colonel.
The Ocēlōtl are seen as honorable strategists and hardened savages, akin to the Uakusï. They are trained in very harsh terrain, much like the Sïkuapu and remain highly-skilled in combative capabilities. They are dressed in the skin of Jaguars, of course only after hunting and killing one, as well as being decorated with a symbol of their state and the Jaguar on their Otlachimalli. Their primary weapon is Macuahuitl. Some of the requirements for becoming an Ocēlōtl include the killing and skinning of a Jaguar, a checked kill-count of ten, and performing the Ciēk (spiritual dance) in public. At their height in leadership during the Flower Wars, there were a total of 500 Ocēlōtl's.
The Sïkuapu is the median rank in the military, comparable to the position of Captain.
Members of the Sïkuapu were large in numbers, sometimes higher than members in Axuni. As a warrior class, they are decently trained in direct combat, although their combative capabilities are not perfected. The Sïkuapu are trained in harsh terran, brandishing the Tepoztopilli and a lighter version of the Otlachimalli. Although their Otlachimalli were not decorated directly, it is known that their bodies were primarily decorated throughout their training by the elders of Purepecha. In joining the Sïkuapu, special houses exist that organize the soldiers into competative squads, often represented by the clan of which they originated. The largest number of Sïkuapu that have been used in a conflict was 15,000.
Society and culture
The official religion in the Empire is Yolit'ism.
Music in the Tarascan Empire wouldn't exist until the beginning of the Flower Wars, primarily as a result of returning Axuni's and Sïkuapu's re-purposing the cultures they interacted with during the Teotitlán Campaign. As such, many of the musical instruments developed during this time, such as flutes made of clay, ocarinas, rattles, and various drums were most likely originally developed in the neighboring southern territories.
Music would achieve cultural importance within the Tarascan Empire, when the elder Cazonci Nalhen heard an interesting rhythm emitting from a group of the musicians on the street. It is regarded by oral history that Nalhen would select this rhythm, later becoming Tlacatiyancuicatl (National Anthem), as the official anthem of the Empire.