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Tales from Aztlantis
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Tales from Aztlantis

Author: Kurly Tlapoyawa & Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl

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Join us every week as we explore Mesoamerican pseudohistory, new-age nonsense, archaeological misconceptions, and other tales of adventure! In each episode, we investigate how these very topics have helped inform Chicano/Chicana/Chicanx identity, and have resulted in a distorted view of our collective Indigenous past. Your hosts Kurly Tlapoyawa and Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl invite you to join them on a fascinating journey through Mesoamerica's past, present, and future!
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Whether or not you ever heard of Juan Luna Cardenas before today, his influence on early neo-Aztekah nationalism is undeniable. He was, in essence, the father of the modern Mexikayotl movement, having influenced the likes of Rodolfo Nieva Lopez and his MCRCA,  along with countless others through his so-called “teachings.” I say so-called because his alleged ancestral teachings are more a blend of pseudohistory, conspiracy thinking, and unfounded linguistic claims than anything rooted in factual information. These teachings were adopted, repeated without question, and later distributed among participants of the early Chicano movement, especially those who were involved in danza Azteca traditions, but his influence was certainly not limited to danzantes alone. Juan Luna even presented at a 1979 NACCS conference in Colorado.Your hosts:Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.@kurlytlapoyawaRuben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.@Tlakatekatl
On a dark, rainy Monday afternoon on May 5th, 1862, Mexican soldiers led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, and bolstered by Indigenous fighters from Xochiapulco, sierra de Tetela, and other Nawa communities, defeated the French army of Napolean III at the Battle of Puebla. Today, Cinco de Mayo, the day of this battle, is generally viewed as a “drinking Holiday” by its American participants. Something that is welcome with open arms by brewing companies who capitalize on the day by encouraging white people to don sombreros, serapes, and tacky fake mustaches as they revel in their drunken debauchery. By the way, if this Is you – knock it off. Your embarrassing yourself.But, what is the actual history of Cinco de Mayo, what importance does it hold for Chicana/Chicano/Chicanx communities, and most importantly why is it celebrated in the United States?Well dear listener, If you have ever asked yourself any of those questions, you're in luck. Because on today's episode we explore:Cinco De Mayo: Why We CelebrateYour hosts:Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.@kurlytlapoyawaRuben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.@Tlakatekatl
In this episode, we talk about the racial pseudohistory of the "Black Olmec" myth, and how it serves to erase, trivialize, and destroy the cultural legacies of Indigenous and African people!Further reading:Robbing Native American Cultures: Van Sertima's Afrocentricity and the OlmecsJournal retracts paper claiming that group of Indigenous Americans were Black AfricansAnalysis of Ivan Van Sertima's Afrocentric claims on MesoamericaYour hosts:Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.@kurlytlapoyawaRuben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.@TlakatekatlLINKS:Reality Dysfunction Podcast #83 featuring Kurly and Tlakatekatl!
In this episode, we talk to Juan Tejeda about the history of Danza Azteca, Mesoamerican pseudohistory, and Juan Luna Cardenas!Juan Tejeda retired in 2016 as a professor of Mexican American Studies and Music from Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas. A musician, writer, arts administrator and Xicano activist, from 1976 to 1985 he was the jefe segundo of Xinachtli, the first traditional Mexica-Azteca Conchero dance group in Texas; and from 1980 to 1998 he was the Xicano Music Program Director at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio. He is the button accordionist and vocalist with the Conjunto Aztlan, and along with his wife, Anisa Onofre, is the co-owner and publisher of Aztlan Libre Press.Your hosts:Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.@kurlytlapoyawaRuben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.@TlakatekatlLINKS:Reality Dysfunction Podcast #83 featuring Kurly and Tlakatekatl!
Ep 4: The Declaration of Kuauhtemok – It is said that on Aug 12, 1521 Kuauhtemok delivered a message of resistance to the people. Those words have inspired Mexikas as a call to action. Join us in exploring this foundational document of modern Mexikayotl.Works cited in this episode: Invented Words: The Declaration of Kuauhtemok (2017) by @KurlyTlapoyawa & @MagnusPharao Cronica Mexicayotl (late 1500s) by Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc "Mexikayotl:" esencia del mexicano; filosofía náuatl (1969) María del Carmen Nieva LópezYour hosts: Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.
When you hear the phrase “white nationalist” the sad image of an angry young skinhead toting a nazi flag and snapping out the fascist salute may come to mind. But here in New Mexico, we have a brand of white nationalism rooted in “hispano” identity. And while the people promoting this ideology may look very different from the angry skinhead, their objectives are no less dangerous.So, what is a hispano white nationalist you might ask?Works Mentioned in this Episode:New Mexico has a Hispano White Nationalist Problem - Kurly TlapoyawaYour hosts: Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.
In 1524, twelve Franciscan missionaries were sent to Mexico from Spain to convert the previously unknown Indigenous people to Catholicism. To help facilitate this, the Spaniards constructed the Colegio de Santa Cruz in Tlatelolco in 1536, where young Indigenous nobles were trained in Catholic doctrine and taught to read and write using the Latin alphabet. These nobles held valuable insight into Mesoamerican cosmovision and helped determine how to manipulate it to serve the missionizing process.These Indigenous aides would often use Mesoamerican vocabulary and concepts when attempting to translate Catholicism into Indigenous terms. Pre-existing names such as Ipalnemoani “He by Whom One Lives,” Tloke Nawakeh “Possessor of the Near, Possessor of the Surrounding,” Teyokoyani “creator of people,” and others were repurposed to represent the concepts of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and other aspects of Christian belief (Christensen 2010, 357–58). When there were no pre-existing Indigenous names to properly convey a desired Catholic principle, Indigenous aides created new terms and expressions (known as neologisms) in their language that could adequately carry the necessary meaning (Pollnitz 2017). For example, the words teotlaxkalli (sacred tortilla) and iztak tlaxkaltzintli (little white tortilla) were both used to identify the Eucharist (Tavárez 2000, 24–25). As a result, an entirely new vocabulary to convert Mesoamericans to Catholicism was born. I refer to this appropriation and invention of Indigenous terms in the service of religious conversion as the Vocabulary of Conquest.Works mentioned in this episode:Destronando a Ometeotl - Katarzyna Mikulska The Vocabulary of Conquest - Kurly TlapoyawaTranslation in Historiography: The Garibay/Leon-Portilla Complex and the Making of a Pre-Hispanic Past - Payas GertrudisYour hosts: Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.
@KurlyTlapoyawa@Tlakatekatlwww.chimalli.orgIn this episode, we cast a critical eye on the organization known as the Movimiento Confederado de la Cultura de Anahuac, or MCRCA, and its founder Rodolfo Nieva Lopez. Now, if you have never heard of Nieva Lopez or the MCRCA before today, you are probably not alone. However, if you are actively involved in Mesoamerican cultural reclamation, Nahuatl language revitalization, Danza Azteca, or Curanderismo, odds are some aspect of what you are practicing has been directly influenced by Lopez and the MCRCA. Founded in the late 1940’s by Rodolfo Nieva Lopez, the MCRCA sought to glorify Mexico’s indigenous past but relied almost exclusively on pseudohistorical misrepresentations of Mesoamerican history and culture. The MCRCA adopted the concept of Mexicayotl as the defining characteristic of their movement and released a book in 1969 titled Mexikayotl, which outlined their overall philosophy. In Spanish, the MCRCA began to refer to their version of Mexicayotl as “La Mexicanidad.”Much like Afrocentric pseudo scholars who shamelessly over exaggerate African contributions to the world, the MCRCA had a strong tendency to falsify and embellish the cultural achievements of Pre-Kuauhtemok civilizations. For this episode, my co-host and good friend Dr. Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl will take us on a guided tour of Nieva Lopez’s life, and I will provide a brief examination of his book “Mexikayotl.” So strap yourselves in, and prepare yourself for: Rise of the Mexikayotl!Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.Twitter: @KurlyTlapoyawaInstagram: kurlytlapoyawaFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/kurly.tlapoyawa Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.Twitter: @Tlakatekatl
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Episode 0

2021-03-0707:05

Thank you for listening, and welcome to Tales From Aztlantis! Join us each week as we explore Mesoamerican pseudohistory, new-age nonsense, archaeological misconceptions, and more! In this series, you will learn about Maya gods that never existed, whether the Aztecs taught the Egyptians how to build pyramids, how neo-Aztec nationalist movements helped inform Chicano identity, what 19th-century occultists have to do with early Maya archaeology, and MORE! Please subscribe to the show! Our first full episode will debut on March 21st, to coincide with the Mexikah New Year. New episodes will be released every week.Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution. Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.
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