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Ceremonial stone hachas were evidently of high value, but many questions remain regarding the context in which they were originally used. Recently it has been suggested that some “may well be markers or trophies representing teams or individual players, which were placed on the sides of the ballcourts on certain occasions.” (Helmke, 2018, p. 15).
The ritual form of the Mesoamerican ballgame had close associations with both warfare and sacrifice, and jaguar elements were sometimes included in a player’s regalia. Jaguar warriors were the most elite military class among the Aztecs, and it was a rank achieved only after defeating several enemies in battle. Warriors—and rulers stressing their military prowess—are depicted wearing jaguar helmets and headdresses...