Eaten Up By Stereotypes
"Remember the sacredness of all things."
The name Tenoch is part of the name originally given to Mexico City
"Tenochitlan". It is derived from the tree which produces the
tenochtli (red, hard, prickly pears). Tenochtli is the symbol of
human hearts sacrificed to the sun.
Without documentation, what makes this the exact location where Mexico
was founded? The following facts will help show that:
The sun and its nahual 'double' the eagle are one and the
same, that is, their names are interchangeable. Likewise, the moon is
identified with its nahual the rabbit that lives on
it. Unlike the sun, which is all fire, the moon is a place of quiet peace.
The home of the rabbit is a symbol of fertility. This is also the reason
why the pyramids at Teotihucan are called the 'sun' and 'moon'.
Even though the sun defeated the moon, that does not deprive the moon of
its place in Mexcio's beliefs. The moon's role is that of keeping the
waters of the cosmos, sending rain, and preserving the moonlight. Here is
a metaphor concerning the rabbit:
"The earth, in conjurings, was called 'face-up' rabbit, for thou art
resplendent mirror..'; that is, the rabbit is the reflection of the earth
on heaven or viceversa".
This gives Mexico a meaning of "In the navel of the Moon". Since the
postions of the lakes, upon which Mexico City was founded, are shaped like
a rabbit and correspond to the same pattern on the moon, thus:
Mexico = The Rabbit's Navel"
The "Aztecs" "[Hopi]"emerged in the Valley of Mexico, or Anahuac as it was called
by its peoples, around the 14th century. Aztec legends tell of seven
Nahua tribes, known as the Chichimecas. According to Aztec myth, the
journey from Aztlan (ancient capital of modern day Nayarit) to Anahuac
was directed by Huitzilopochtli (left-handed hummingbird), who
represents the sun god, and his sister Malinal Xochitl (grass flower),
manifested as the moon. Near the end of the journey he abandoned his
sister, who took refuge in Malinalco (today a famous archeological center).
Malinal's son Copil (royal crown), also representing the moon,
attempted to incite the people of the Valley to destroy the Aztecs at
Chapultepec (hill of the grasshoppers). On the Cerro del Penon (Hill of
the Big Rock) war was waged between Huitzilopochtli and Copil. Copil was
killed by Huitzilopochtli, who told Tenoch to go and bury his
nephew's heart at the site where the high priests had been seeking for
nearly a century (Aztec century = 52 years). This spot is said to
be located in the "Plaza de Santo Domingo".
Aztlan is the mythical place of origin of the Aztec peoples. In their
language (Nahuatl), the roots of Aztlan are the two words:
aztatl - tlan(tli)
meaning "heron" and "place of," respectively. 'Tlantli' proper means
tooth, and as a characteristic of a good tooth is that it is firmly
rooted in place, and does not move, the prefix of this word is commonly
used in Nahuatl to denote settlements, or place names, e.g. Mazatlan
(place of deer), Papalotlan (place of butterflies) or Tepoztlan (place
of metal). The Nahuatl language is often said to include three levels of
meaning for its words or expressions: literal, syncretic and
connotative. The connotative meaning of Aztlan, due to the plumage of
herons, is "Place of Whiteness." The mythical descriptions of Aztlan
would have it to be an island.
You would replace -tlan with -tecatl to identify a resident or person
from the given place. So, for the examples above, we have that people
from Mazatlan would be Mazatecatl, someone from Tepoztlan a
Tepoztecatl, and someone from Aztlan an Aztecatl.
In the origin myths of the Aztecs, they emerged originally from the
bowels of the earth through seven caves (Chicomostoc) and settled in
Aztlan, from which they subsequently undertook a migration southward in
search of a sign that would indicate that they should settle once more.
This myth roughly coincides with the known history of the Aztecs as a
barbarous horde that migrated from present-day northwestern Mexico into
the central plateu sometime toward the end of the first millenium AD,
when high civilizations of great antiquity were already well established
in the region. It is known that the Aztecs had a sector ("barrio") in
the Toltec city of Tollan, and the cultural influence of the Toltecs on
the rough-edged Aztecs was subsequently to be very marked. On the view
of some scholars (e.g., Nigel Davies), all of Aztec cultural development
was an effort to recreate the grandeur that they knew at Tollan.
The exact physical location of Aztlan is unkown, other than it must have
been located near estuaries or on the coast of northwestern Mexico,
though some archaeologists have gone so far as to locate the present
town of San Felipe Aztlan, Nayarit, as the exact place.
In Chicano folklore, Aztlan is often appropriated as the name for that
portion of Mexico that was taken over by the United States after the
Mexican-American War of 1846, on the belief that this greater area
represents the point of parting of the Aztec migrations. In broad
interpretation, there is some truth to this in the sense that all of the
groups that would subsequently become the various Nahuatl-speaking
peoples of central Mexico passed through this region in a prehistoric
epoch, as attested by the existance of linguistically related groups of
people distributed throughout the U.S. Pacific Intermontane region, the
U.S. southwest and northern Mexico, known as the Uto-Aztecan-Tanoan
group, and including such peoples as the Paiute, Shoshoni, Hopi, Pima,
Yaqui, Tepehuan, Rara'muri (Tarahumara), Kiowas and Mayos.