Source: Colorodo Education
Source: Mexica . Net
Tenochtitlan in Nahuatl means the place of prickly pear cactus. Tenochtitlan was also referred to as Mexico. The Empire of the Mexicas was also called Mexico. Mexicas means people from Mexico. Hence, Mexicano or Mexican means the same as Mexica, people from Mexico
The City of Tenochtitlan was built in the middle of Lake Texcoco. Anahuac or the Valley of Mexico was full of lakes. Anahuac in Nahuatl means "Near the water or sea."Tenochtitlan was a city built on water with many canals.
"Anahuac" as a Nation
Guillermo Bonfil Batalla (1996) In his book Mexico Profundo: Reclaiming A Civilization, Guillermo Bonfil Batalla suggests that the creation of the modern area of "Mexico" after Spain accepted Mexico's independence in 1821 - could also be equated with an enlarged concept of Anahuac:"
Independence created a new sociopolitical entity, Mexico, or "Anahuac", as was suggested at one point" (Batalla, 1996, p.97).
The original use of Anahuac applied mainly to the Anahuac Valley. Most scholars interpret the meaning of Anahuac to be something like "The land near the waters" or "the land in between the waters".
When "Mexico" achieved formal "independence" from Spain in 1821, its territory extended from modern-day Mexico to the far north in the "U.S. Southwest"... far beyond the original conception of Anahuac in its earlier form. In fact, this version of Anahuac would encompass the majority of "North America"!
Source: Nican Tlaca University of Cemanahuac
The term Nican Tlaca has been a part of the historical record for nearly 500 years. But the term Nican Tlaca is problematic if it is taken to mean “we people here”, since that meaning would be more accurately assigned to the term Nican Titlaca. Linguistically speaking, it appears that the term Nican Titlaca is the original term, from which Nican Tlaca was derived, either by social convention or some unknown decision by elites. It would seem then, that Nican Titlaca is the more “etymologically / grammatically correct” term for expressing personal-possessive identity, even though “linguistic evolution” morphed the term into Nican Tlaca.The term Nican Tlaca can be definitively shown to have originated around the mid-1500's and was used well into the 1600's. No individual can be identified as its originator. The term seems to have originated as a way to differentiate Indigenous People from Spaniards/Europeans.
In 1992, with the publication of The Nahuas After the Conquest, James Lockhart re-introduced the term via scholarship and affirmed it as being synonymous with “indigenous people”.
Source: Nican Tlaca University of Cemanahuac
The ancient Aztec (Mexica) empire in the center of Mexico City was built using lava rocks. According to Aztec sources, the main temple, Templo Mayor, was built on this spot because an eagle was seen perched on a cactus devouring a snake, in fulfillment of a prophecy. By the early 16th century, the Aztecs had come to rule over up to 500 small states, and some 5 to 6 million people, either by conquest or commerce. Tenochtitlán at its height had more than 140,000 inhabitants, and was the most densely populated city ever to exist in Mesoamerica. At a time in Europe when street cleaning was almost non-existent and people emptied their overflowing chamber pots into the streets as a matter of course, the Aztecs employed a thousand public service cleaners to sweep and water their streets daily, built public toilets in every neighborhood, and transported human waste in canoes for use as fertilizer.
Aside from crops, the Aztecs market offers various goods and services, including everything you can think of. Raw materials, finished products, jewelry, wood and even medicine could be bought in this one stop shop, and the main gathering ground for the Aztecs. Their method of exchange was through tribute and trade. They bartered using different currencies, but the economy in Aztec life was essentially driven by this marketplace, the heart of the Aztec society.
Aztecs were in control of an empire that was inhabited by a large population. This meant that the exploitation of the landscape for agricultural purposes had to be intensified. This could be seen in the use of the chinampa agricultural system, the so-called ‘floating gardens’ which could be found on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico.The most common crop grown by the Aztecs was maize, also known as corn, and it was also the most important. Maize could be stored for long periods of time, and in addition to being eaten as it was, it could be ground into flour and made into other foods.
- Legends and Chronicles native americans native american history aztec history
Nahuatl legends relate that seven tribes lived in Chicomoztoc, or "the place of the seven caves". Each cave represented a different Nahua group: the Xochimilca, Tlahuica, Acolhua, Tlaxcalteca, Tepaneca, Chalca, and Mexica. Because of their common linguistic origin, those groups are called collectively "Nahuatlaca" (Nahua people). These tribes subsequently left the caves and settled "near" Aztlán.
Drawing: Chicomoztoc — the place of the seven caves. The mythical origin of the "nahuatlaca" tribes. From the "Historia Tolteca chicimeca". A postcortesian codex from 1550.
Aztlan is the ancient homeland where the Aztec people began to form as a civilization prior to their migration to the Valley of Mexico. Aztlan is believed to be anywhere from Western Mexico all the way to Utah. However, the exact location and existence of Aztlan remain a mystery. While in Aztlan, the Aztecs were subject to a tyrannical elite called the Azteca Chicomoztoca, according to the Codex Aubin. Guided by their priest, the Aztec fled, and their god Huitzilopochtli forbade them to call themselves Azteca, telling them that they should be known as Mexica. Some say that the southward migration began on May 24, 1064 CE, after the Crab Nebula events from May to July 1054. Each of the seven groups is credited with founding a different major city-state in Central Mexico.The newest translation of the "Anales de Tlatelolco" gives the only date known related to the exit from Aztlan; day-sign "4 Cuauhtli" (Four Eagle) of the year "1 Tecpatl" (Knife) or 1064-1065, and correlated to January 4, 1065. Cristobal del Castillo mentions in his book "Fragmentos de la Obra General Sobre Historia de los Mexicanos", that the lake around the Aztlan island was called Metztliapan or "Lake of the moon." According to Aztec legends, the Mexica tribe emigrated last due to lengthy drought between 1100 and 1300 AD. When they arrived at their new homeland, the present-day Valley of Mexico, all available land had been taken, and they were forced to find refuge on the edge of Lake Texcoco.
Drawing: The Mexica depart from Aztlán. From the 16th Century Codex Boturini. Created by an unknown Aztec hand in the 16th century.
It is not known how far north Aztlan would have been located. It may have been all the way up into Utah, so it is possible that the Aztecs did not originate in Mexico at all, but that their culture was formed in an area that is now the United States, prior to their migration to the Valley of Mexico. Aztlan would have been comprised of the states including California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Utah. If this were true, descendants of the Aztecs who are in the United States today may assert that they are not undocumented migrants, but descendants of the Aztecs who are merely returning to their home land.
Even if it turns out that Aztlan was not that far north, the Mexican people still may have a valid right to the southwest land. The clauses guaranteeing the land ownership of Mexican and Indigenous people north of the borderline established by the War of the United States against Mexico 1845-48 and under the protection by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo were violated repeatedly! The Mexican people suffered a campaign of terror and death at the guns of white racist vigilantes, lynchings by White mobs, the mass savage killings by the Texas Rangers, and genocide under the Slave Republic of Texas and under United States occupation and military control that turned the northwestern part of Mexico, into the now Southwest of the United States. The Mexican people have been subjected to violence, national oppression, racist segregation, class exploitation, mass deportations, and inequality.
However, Mexicans are waking up and realizing that the power to control Aztlan or the Southwest once again be in their hands. Many Mexican people believe that we must recognize the US-Mexico border line and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo of 1848, as null and void due to the default on the Treaty. Also, clauses in the treaty state that a free-trade agreement…promises…if Mexico is to allow the U.S. to invest in Mexico…then Mexico should…be allowed to freely export…Mexican labor. This would mean a re-evaluation of the border between the two countries.
We must decolonize our lands and our people. We should be treated as an internal colony within the entrails of the monster. Rejecting assimilation, corrupt political power, social dominant power, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism and white supremacy, and striving for liberation.
Drawing: This unusual 1704 map, drawn by Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri, is the first published representation of the legendary Aztec migration from Aztlan, a mysterious paradise somewhere to the northwest of Mexico, to Chapultepec Hill, currently Mexico City.
While the Aztecs of the Sixteenth Century lived in the south central part of the present-day Mexican Republic, a wide scattering of peoples who presently live in the United States could probably be described as "distant cousins" to the Aztecs. If you belong to the Shoshone, Ute, Paiute, or Gabrielino Indians, you may very well share common roots with the famous Aztecs of central Mexico.
How is it that we can conclude that these relationships exist? Studies in historical linguistics have analyzed the Uto-Aztecan tongues - and the Náhuatl language in particular - have determined that Náhuatl was actually not native to central Mexico. Instead, it was carried south from lands that are believed to have been in the northwestern region of the present-day Mexican Republic and - before that - the United States. Most of us have already heard the story of Aztlán and the Aztec journey from that mythical homeland to central Mexico.Legend states that the Aztec and other Náhuatl-speaking tribal groups originally came to the Valley of Mexico from a region in the northwest, popularly known as Atzlan-Chicomoztoc. The name Aztec, in fact, is said to have been derived from this ancestral homeland, Aztlan (The Place of Herons). According to legend, the land of Aztlan was said to have been a marshy island situated in the middle of a lake.
For nearly five centuries, popular imagination has speculated about the location of the legendary Aztlan. Some people refer to Aztlan as a concept, not an actual place that ever existed. However, many historians believe that Aztlan did indeed exist. The historian Paul Kirchhoff suggested that Aztlan lay along a tributary of the Lerna River, to the west of the Valley of Mexico. Other experts have suggested the Aztlan might be the island of Janitzio in the center of Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, with its physical correspondence to the description of Aztlan.
Many anthropologists have speculated that the ancestral home of the Aztecs lay in California, New Mexico or in the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa.The idea that Sinaloa, Sonora, California, and New Mexico might be the site of Aztlan is a very plausible explanation when historical linguistics are considered. "The north-to-south movement of the Aztlan groups is supported by research in historical linguistics," writes the anthropologist, Professor Michael Smith of the University of New York, in The Aztecs, "The Náhuatl language, classified in the Nahuan group of the Uto-Aztecan family of languages, is unrelated to most Mesoamerican native languages." As a matter of fact, "Náhuatl was a relatively recent intrusion" into central Mexico.On the other hand, if one observes the locations of the indigenous people who spoke the Uto-Aztecan languages, all of their lands lay to the northwest of the Valley of Mexico. The northern Uto-Aztecans occupied a large section of the American Southwest. Among them were the Hopi and Zuni Indians of New Mexico and the Gabrielino Indians of the Los Angeles Basin.
The Central Uto-Aztecans - occupying large parts of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Sonora in northwestern Mexico - included the Papago, Opata, Yaqui, Mayo, Concho, Huichol and Tepehuán. It is reasonable to assume that where there is a linguistic relationship there is most likely also a genetic relationship. Thus, it is very possible that the legendary Aztlan or another ancestral home of the Aztecs - was located in the Southwestern United States.It is important to note, however, that the Aztlan migrations were not one simple movement of a single group of people. Instead, as Professor Smith has noted, "when all of the native histories are compared, no fewer than seventeen ethnic groups are listed among the original tribes migrating from Aztlan and Chicomoztoc." It is believed that the migrations southward probably took place over several generations. "Led by priests," continues Professor Smith, "the migrants... stopped periodically to build houses and temples, to gather and cultivate food, and to carry out rituals."The migrating groups included many Náhuatl-speaking peoples who became associated with the Aztec Empire: the Acolhua, Tepaneca, Culhua, Xochimilca, Tlahuica, Matlatzinca, and the Tlaxcalans - all of whom settled in the Valley of Mexico or adjacent valleys that are now in the surrounding states of Morelos, Tlaxcala, and Puebla.
- Houston Culture . Com
Friar Diego Durán (c. 1537–1588), who chronicled the history of the Aztecs, wrote of Aztec emperor Moctezuma I's attempt to recover the history of the Mexica by congregating warriors and wise men on an expedition to locate Aztlán. According to Durán, the expedition was successful in finding a place that offered characteristics unique to Aztlán. However, his accounts were written shortly after the conquest of Tenochtitlan and before an accurate mapping of the American continent was made; therefore, he was unable to provide a precise location.
There is a lake around Cerro Culiacan, Lake Yuriria, that makes the mountain look very much like an island when photographed from the water. In 1887, Mexican anthropologist Alfredo Chavero claimed that Aztlán was located on the Pacific coast in the state of Nayarit. While this was disputed by contemporary scholars, it achieved some popular acceptance.
Eduardo Matos Moctezuma presumes Aztlán to be somewhere in the modern-day states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, and Michoacán.Indeed, scholars are all consistent in naming the measures of "150 leagues" from Tenochtitlan that were documented by the Spanish scribes taking notes from conquered Mexica as the distance to the place of origin, coinciding in all ways at Chicomoztoc, "Cerro del Culiacan", which is indeed a humped mountain when seen from the south face.
It has also been proposed that the original site of Aztlán was the area around what is now Lake Powell. Part of the migration legend also describes a stay at Culhuacán ("leaning hill" or "curved hill"). Proponents of the Lake Powell theory equate this Culhuacán with the ancient home of the Anasazi at Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park.
Researchers who believe Aztlán was located in the Lake Powell region also cite the fact that the language spoken by the Aztecs and the Ute people belong to the same Uto-Aztecan linguistic group.
Archaeologist Kelley Hays-Gilpin from Northern Arizona University acknowledges the linguistic connection between Mesoamerican and North American peoples. However, she theorizes that the Aztec's ancestors may have traveled north before returning south. Hayes-Gilpin believes Uto-Aztecan speaking people spread north to an area of the American West that could have included Utah. Out of those cultures, some groups could have migrated south to northern Mexico, and some could have, as she says, moved to the Valley of Mexico where they subjugated tribes in that region.
The Selangor area in Malaysia has many of the features of Navajo mythology in such things as sacred caves, like the Batu Caves, an aboriginal population called the Orang Asli, a sacred lake, called Tasik biru seri kundang, or 'blue lake', of which, the locals claim has a floating, mystical island in the middle of it. Tasik biru seri kundang is south of the Batu Caves as it is in Navajo mythology and Aztec mythology. The Pulque of the Navajo and Mesoamerican aboriginals is similar to the milk offered at the Batu Caves. There is proximal spelling between Malay and Maya. Some of the Thaipusam Kavadi at the Batu Caves bear a striking resemblance to Navajo mythology masks.
However, the American naturalist, William Temple Hornaday may have inadvertently caused cross-cultural contamination by spreading his racist beliefs and his first hand knowledge of North American aboriginal beliefs and mythologies when he visited the Malay peninsula in 1878. The practices at the Batu Caves may therefore not be original or authentic to the Malaysian population.
- History Writers, Facebook; Wikipedia
It comes from codexes. Shortly after the Conquest, the Spaniards missionaries had the surviving Aztec people write their account of their peoples history and of conquest they lived through. They first wrote in pictures in binded books. Once they learned the alphabet they were able to write in words.
The Nahuat speaking Aztecs (or Mexicas, as the residence of Mexico-Tenochtitlan called themselves) were taught the alphabet as early as 1528. Then they were able to write their account of the conquest which they were eye witnesses.
In 1524 when the Franciscans arrived, they learned the Aztecs language and grammar and taught th e Aztecs to read and write it.
The Codex Floretino by Bernadino Sahagun and his native informants was originally written in the Nahuatl language in the words of the Aztecs in their own words.
The descriptions taken from an anonymous manuscript of Tlateloco was written as early as 1528 and contains accurate testimonials of the people who personally took part in the defense of the Mexica capital.
Although the missionaries were watchful eyes on what was written, the Aztec people were able to write their testimonies with out censure as they were becoming more independent. By 1550, the Nahuatl alphabet literacy extended beyond the Spanish centers of education and began to take on an independent life of its own in "Indian" towns. The Nahuas became adept not only at telling their own story through Latin script, but at using such stories to protect their privileges and advocate for their interests.
In summary, the information we have about the Aztecs comes from eye witnesses by the Aztecs themselves about their history, religion, economy, schools, laws, government, military, language and of the conquest and fall of their world.
- Aztecas Del Norte
Dr. Jack D. Forbes