Chicomoztoc, “the place of the seven caves”

An Illustration from the Historia Tolteca Chichimeca, A post-Cortesian codex from 1550 written by the people of Cuauhtinchan to sustain their right to their lands under the Spanish Colonial authorities. They wrote their history from A.D. 116 through 1544 using a mixture of European and prehispanic styles.  

from Wikipedia

Nahuatl legends relate that six tribes lived in Chicomoztoc, or “the place of the seven caves”. Each cave represented a different Nahua group: the Xochimilca, Tlahuica, Acolhua, Tlaxcalan, Tepaneca, Chalca, and Mexica. Because of a common linguistic origin, those groups also are called “Nahuatlaca” (Nahua people). These tribes subsequently left the caves and settled “near” Aztlán, or Aztatlan.

According to written and oral accounts, Aztlán is the mythical homeland from which the aztec/mexica migrated, along with other nahua tribes, at about AD 1113, to reach the valley of mexico in the 13th century. The term aztlan means “the place of whiteness” or “the place of the heron”.
Aztlán: myth or historic place?
the migration of the Aztecs from their homeland is narrated in many indigenous and colonial sources. modern scholars have long debated whether Aztlán was a real place or simply a myth. The mexica/Aztecs told the spanish that their ancestors had reached the valley of Mexico about 300 years before, after having left their homeland Aztlán-chicomoztoc, traditionally located far north of tenochtitlan. In aztlán, the mexica ancestors dwelled in the place of the seven caves called chicomoztoc (chee-co-moz-toch), where each cave corresponded to one of the nahuatl tribes which would later leave that place to reach, in successive waves, the valley of mexico. these tribes, with slight differences from source to source, were: the xochimilca, chalca, tepaneca, colhua, tlahuica, tlaxcala and the group who were to become the mexica. oral and written accounts also mention that the mexica, and the other nahuatl groups, were preceded in their migration by another group, collectively known as chichimecas, who migrated from north to central mexico some time earlier, and were considered by the nahua people “less civilized.”

archaeology and historical linguistics actually support this traditional account. it seems now clear that the mexica were the last of many tribes who migrated toward the valley of mexico from what is now northern mexico and/or the southeastern united states due to a period of serious droughts, between 1100 and 1300 ad. this evidence includes the introduction of new ceramic types in central mexico, about the same time of the mexica arrival, and the fact that the nahuatl language, the language spoken by the aztec/mexica, is not original of central mexico


MYTH BATTLE 2 . the kingdom

AZTEC / MEXICA MYTHOLOGY . the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. The Aztecs were Nahuatl speaking groups living in central Mexico and much of their mythology is similar to that of other Mesoamerican cultures. According to legend, the various groups who were to become the Aztecs arrived from the north into the Anahuac valley around Lake Texcoco. The location of this valley and lake of destination is clear ( Mexico City ) but little can be known with certainty about the origin of the Aztec. There are different accounts of their origin. In the myth the ancestors of the Mexica/Aztec came from a place in the north called Aztlan, the last of seven nahuatlacas to make the journey southward, hence their name “Azteca.” Other accounts cite their origin in Chicomoztoc, “the place of the seven caves,” or at Tamoanchan (the legendary origin of all civilizations). insp .