mexicaness

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Danza Ceremony Honors Founding of Tenochtitlan

Calpulli Yaocuahtli hosted an Aztec Dance ceremony celebrating the 690th anniversary of the foundation of Mexico-Tenochtitlan at Natividad Creek Park in Salinas, California on Saturday.

More than 200 dancers from various calpullis from throughout California participated. Members of the community also had the opportunity to enjoy arts & crafts booths.

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Quetzalcoátl, the Plumed Serpent.

Previously, I discussed Xiuhcoátl, the Turquoise Serpent, which symbolizes time, fire, the dry season, the triumph of wisdom over ignorance, and light over darkness. Here is Quetzalcoátl, the Plumed Serpent, who exists as the opposite pole, the duality in contradistinction to the Turquoise Serpent.

Quetzalcoátl exists in numerous manifestations; He is the creator Teótl, who helped create the earth, who formed the first men, who discovered maize, and who is the generative force behind creation. He is Quetzalcoátl Ehecátl, Teótl of the Wind, who sweeps the road clean before the coming storm. And he was, finally, incarnated as man in Quetzalcoátl Tolpiltzin, the Young Prince of Tollan, who was born in the ancient city of Tulla and ruled as king; as such he is the holy man, the culture here of Mexico. Here, however, he is the Plumed Serpent, the animal spirit of the creator Teótl, the feathered snake who symbolizes the rainy season, the summer, wisdom, and abundance.

Metaphorically, in the Mexican summer, which is the season of rain, the Feathered Serpent descends to the earth and covers the land with his verdant plumage; the green grasses, the crops, flowers, and the corn, are all his precious green feathers, with which the earth is adorned. As such Quetzalcoátl represents life/death, the feminine principle, the chaos of life and birth which generates rot, decay, and death. He is abundance, food, rain, and wisdom, which springs from the female and the fecund. He is the union of the celestial (in the person of the quetzal bird with whose plumage he is adorned) and the terrestrial (the serpent), from which life on earth is born. In the first two paintings, he consumes a man. In the Mexica conception, sacrifice is necessary to life; without death, there can be no re-birth, and without death, the wheel of time cannot continue. For the Teótl sacrifice themselves to sustain us, eternally; in the consumption of corn, in the plowing of the earth, in the deaths of the animals which feed us, Teótl sacrifices Himself for the good of us, His children. Thus it is that we are required to sacrifice ourselves in return, in the reciprocal nature of our covenant with Teótl. The sacrifice required of us is one in which we do not live for our own pleasure, but for the sake of others and of the planet which we inhabit.

In the sculpture, a man - our Lord Quetzalcoátl - emerges from the mouth of the feathered serpent. This is an image of rebirth, and is the necessary opposite of the image of the Feathered Serpent eating the man. For the two are linked and are, indeed, one. However, in the sculpture, from below the chin of the man and emerging from the serpent’s open mouth is a flint knife and the glyph Atl-tlachinolli, Fire and Water, or, Conflict. In the sculpture is represented the idea that only through self-sacrifice (represented in the flint knife and in the Atl-Tlachinolli glyph) is re-birth possible.

My paintings are available on my Etsy store as prints and posters, at this link

The Mexica Movement IS NOT indigenous. You do not get to claim an Indigenous identity and speak over Indigenous peoples just because you might have some ancestry. If your heritage is a mestizx one you have privilege over Indigenous peoples.

Claiming full Indigenous identity is silencing and violent towards Indigenous peoples. You are enacting colonial violence. Redefining Indigeneity in terms of a dominant mestizx worldview is not decolonisation. It opposes indigenous rights and actively silences us.

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Xiuhcoátl, the Turquoise Serpent, or Fire Serpent.

Xiuhcoátl is the Nagual, the Spirit Animal of Xiuhtecuhtli, the Turquoise Lord, Teótl of Fire, Time, the Center, the Hearth, and Wisdom, Father to the Teótl and embodiment of wisdom. The Xiuhcoátl is also an atlatl wielded by Huitzilopochtli, the Sun at the Zenith, who personifies the victory of wisdom over ignorance.

The Turquoise Serpent is the dry season, as opposed to Quetzalcoátl, the Plumed Serpent, who is the wet season. Metaphorically, in the wet Mexican summer, Quetzalcoátl descends to the earth and covers it with his skin and plumage; all the earth is covered with his green feathers, and life blooms. In the dry Winter, Xiuhcoátl descends, and with his fiery skin covers the earth, and all the vegetation dries out and dies.

The serpent also represents the movement of time; its very body is shaped like the year-glyph, its body forming trapezoidal, year-glyph shapes, and its tail is the glyph itself. Thus, the serpent Xiuhcoátl is symbolic of day, fire, turquoise, the dry season, and wisdom.

In the photos, he appears at the top as the Spirit Animal of Xiuhtecuhtli; he circles the body of the Turquoise Lord, and from his flaming skin emerges calendar glyphs, representing time. In the detail, can be seen his curling snout and his year-glyph tail. The following two pictures are ancient Mexica stone carvings of Xiuhcoátl, and at the bottom, one of my paintings in which Huitzilopochtli, the Hummingbird on the Left, the Sun at its Zenith, holds Xiuhcoátl in his hand as a weapon with which to defeat his sister the moon, and, metaphorically, the triumph of wisdom over ignorance.

My paintings are available as limited edition prints in my Etsy store at this link.

You can come at me all week if you want about why you think I shouldn’t speak up about being silenced by neo groups like the Mexica Movement.

But you’re the ones so indoctrinated by colonial narratives and nationalism that you think by calling yourself something you’re not, just simply changing a term you use for yourself is somehow revolutionary. That appropriating an identity and experience that is not yours is enlightening and empowering. Without a care to how it further marginalises Indigenous peoples.

You want to stick to some decontexualised definitions of what Mestizx and Indigenous mean so that you don’t have to acknowledge what has been built around these terms, what has been become socially defined for centuries. You can’t deal with the fact that you are oppressed in some ways and carry privilege in other ways, that you are part of an oppressor group that continuously enacts violence against Indigenous peoples. So you have to have it all, claim all the oppressions.

We are sick of it. We are sick of being silenced under a faux veil of revolution and decolonisation. You are enacting colonial violence when you erase us and oppress us. You cannot erase the privileges you’ve had by changing your identity to one that does not belong to you. You are feeding the colonial mindset by erasing Indigenous peoples and pushing to redefine our cultures with a pan-indigenous sheen which was taught through colonial state approved cultural celebration.

You are doing the complete opposite of decolonisation and deassimilation.

On of my paintings; a devotional image of Xipe Totec. You can find a print of this image in my Etsy store at this link.

Here, Xipe Totec, the Flayed Lord, is painted as the Lord of the East. He is the Teótl of Spring, corn, and the morning sun. He stands on the head of the goddess of the earth, for the corn is born of her flesh; about his legs grow corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, and amaranth, for as Lord of the Spring he feeds and nourishes us. He wears the skin of a flayed man, for at the dawn of time, he peeled off his own skin, from which grew corn, to feed his starving children. He carries in one pair of hands his Mist Rattle, which announces the coming of the rains. In another hand, a knife, symbolic of his sacrifice, and of death which is necessary to life, and finally, the Red Mirror, in which he sees the future, the past, and the truth of men’s hearts. To either side stand his children, who are us, the Mexicayotl, in adoration.

Nahuatl word of the day - ahuacatl

Sustantivo. Especie de drupa llamada aguacate, fruto del árbol del mismo nombre; testículo.

Noun. Drupa species called avocado, fruit of the tree of the same name; testicle.

Diccionario de la lengua Náhuatl o Mexicana by Remi Simeon, page 16

I would like to point out that testicle is a secondary/slang definition for ahuacatl much like a slang definition. All of the words in Nahuatl that use ahuacatl as a stem only use the avocado definition.

ahuacacuahuitl - árbol de aguacate/avocado tree

āhuacaizhuatl - un tip de árbol de aguacate/a type of avocado tree

ahuacamilli - un huerto de aguacate/an avocado orchard

ahuacamolli - una delicadeza hecha de aguacate y chile/a delicacy made of avocado and chile (aka guacamole)

ahuacaxihuitl - hoja de aguacate/avocado leaf

ahuacaxochitl - flor de aguacate/avocado flower


If you’re curious, the word for testicle was atetl (”a stone in water”) Think of ahuacatl like nut or ball in English or huevo in Spanish. Sure, you can use either word to mean testicle, but its inherent definition is not testicle.

Educate others. Don’t let them perpetuate false information and ideas about this beautiful language and the people that speak it.

‘Hispanic’ and 'Latinx’ are labels put on all of the people who live in & descend from “South and Central America” regardless of who fits these identities! I am saying that I am not Hispanic or Latina because the European squatters that came and invaded indigenous land and made fake borders with the name “Latin America”. I am not Spanish because they raped and murdered my ancestors. I am not Hispanic because the Spanish banned indigenous languages, burnt our books and forced us to speak Spanish. I am not Spanish because of the slave name “Garcia” my ancestors were forced to take in an effort to ethnically cleanse us from our culture. I refuse to use those labels, Indigenous people are fully capable of choosing our own

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Si desea leerlo traducido al Español, esta aqui en mi pagina del face

The Descent of Quetzalcoatl to the Underworld, 2. You can find a large print of this painting on my Etsy page here.

This is from the mythological sequence describing the descent of Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, to the Underworld, to recover the bones of the ancestors from the Lord of Death, in order to create the new, and current, race of men. Here, Quetzalcoatl and his spirit animal, Xolotl, descend through the nine layers of the Underworld in order to ask Mictlantecuhtli, the Lord of Death, for the Precious Bones. He descends upon a white rope adorned with eagle plumes, which symbolizes the Milky Way. The levels, in order from the top, are: the river which borders the land of the dead, and in which swims a red dog, the Crashing Mountain, The Place of Obsidian Knives, the Place of Frozen Winds, The Beast of Flowered Destiny, The Place of Human Banners, the Place of Arrows, and The Place of the Heart Eating Beast. The last level is where they confront the Lord of the Dead, in the Place with No Smoke-Hole, which is to say, a place from which there is no escape. Here, the Lord and Lady of the Dead stand before their temple, with their servants the Fleshless behind them, and at their feet the Precious Bones of the ancestors.