*mexico

The problem with Cinco de Mayo we can’t ignore 

For Americans, Cinco de Mayo is another excuse for excess — to drown themselves in Mexican beer and margaritas, and wear sombreros for fun, as if donning one imbues one with actual culture. “Cinco de Drinko,” was how Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer referred to it last year, before she tweeted an apology, while the hosts of MSNBC’s Way Too Early had to apologize for their own margarita-and-sombrero incident. Indeed, on this one day, Americans drink more beer than on St. Patrick’s Day or during the the Super Bowl.

While the United States will go to great — even deadly — lengths to secure its border from Mexican immigrants, it will gladly accept aspects of Mexican culture that it can bastardize. 

And the saddest part? The real history gets lost. No, Cinco de Mayo is not “Mexican Independence Day.” 

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 when the Mexican Army defeated invading French forces, despite being outnumbered. Highlight PUEBLA, a STATE within the country of Mexico. To those who are going to go out tonight to drink tequila/margaritas, eat Mexican food and dress in sombreros and sarapes, do not pretend that you are “celebrating culture or Mexican heritage”. Today is about observing Mexican resistance against white imperialist schemes. Today is about brown people prevailing against all odds, as we have always done, and will continue to do. You do not get to ridicule, criminalize and dehumanize Mexicans and then appropriate our moments of brown resistance for your dumbass parties. I do not have patience.

La Quemada bones show people ate their enemies and hung up the bones

People living at the La Quemada archaeological site 1,500 years ago would eat their enemies then hang up their bones for display.

A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  analysed human bones found at the Mexican site that was occupied between 500 AD and 900 AD.

Bones at several different areas had been processed for display, with signs of disarticulation and defleshing – for what purpose this was, though, remained a mystery.

By looking at the differing cut marks and treatment of the bones, scientists have said the differing locations of the remains likely points to what their role was in the society at the time. Read more.

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Five plates from vol. 3 of Antiquities of Mexico - “fac-similie of an original Mexican painting preserved in the Borgian Museum, at the College of Propaganda in Rome.”

Antiquities of Mexico is a 9 volume folio set produced between 1831 and 1848 which reproduced codices and artwork from Mesoamerica held in European collections. Unfortunately we have not digitized all the text volumes which contain (some) notes on the contents and meanings of the plates so I can provide no additional context for these incredible art works. 

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Mexicana y japonesa. Primer generación americana. My great grandmother was Japanese, nobody ever really knew how or why she ended up in Mexico but we’re glad she did because none of us would be here without her. I’m proud of my heritage and I’m so lucky I now have a son to share that with.