The Shorn Ones known in classical Nuahtal as the cuauhchicqueh were an elite order of Aztec warriors in the Aztec army. Along with the order of the Otomoies, who placed just under them in rank, the Shorn Ones were considered the best of the best, the most elite to fight for this military civilisation.
Of course not every Aztec warrior could become a shorn one, you would have to show extreme courage, bravery and skill on the battlefield to even be considered. Once you became a member of this elite group, your military options would be greatly enhanced. The shorn ones were typically considered for high ranking roles in the military, where bravery and courage were deemed essential skills.
The essence of the Shorn Ones can be summed up in their motto, to never take a step back in battle.
Not every Aztec warrior would become a member of the elite Shorn Ones, partly because entry required the warrior to show incredible skill and bravery that most warriors would be able to achieve. The Shorn ones would have to capture many sacrifices on the battlefield, a common task for members of elite Aztec orders like the Otamies and the Eagle and Jaguar warriors. In addition its reported that you would have to perform twenty brave deeds to gain member ship to the Shorn Ones.
As with any of the high ranking orders within the Aztec army, the warriors accepted into the ranks of the Shorn Ones were granted various privileges. Just like the Otamies, the Shorn Ones were granted a house in the emperor’s palace, separated into the commoners and the nobility within the order. In addition the prestige of being a member of the Shorn Ones would also raise your personal status in the general Aztec society, commoners would respect and revere you as one of the mightiest Aztec warriors alive.
The Shorn Ones were highly visible on the battlefield, in Aztec society the higher your status the more flamboyant your dress and style could be, so the Shorn Ones were typical of this.
The war suit, the tlahuiztli was bright yellow or gold, which also tied in with their shield, which was the same shade, tailed with leather strips to protect the legs and offset with a green pattern on the shield face. The Shorn Ones back banner, their Pamitl was tall and slim, with red and white stripes, and a green feathered head so they would be easily visible in the heat of battle.
For decoration the shorn ones would often wear shell necklaces, and earrings, and it was common for them to wear a mohawk hairstyle, adding to their already fearsome reputation.
As the highest ranking warrior order in the Aztec military, the Shorn ones, the cuauhchicqueh would have been a dominant force on the battlefield, never backing down from an attack, and inspiring the Aztec army into greatness with their bravery. In society they would have been a dominant force also, the respect given to this, the highest order would have been very powerful. The Shorn ones would be respected and treated as an elite by the entire Aztec society.