Phoenix saga: Aztec spirit rises, 500 yrs after Spanish conquest

Table of Contents ‘Still alive?’‘My getting shines’ Let us say you have seen some pyramids even though touring all around Mexico. Now, you are going for walks down the street in beautiful Mexico City, using in the sights. You switch the corner and are greeted with a sight to behold! […]

Let us say you have seen some pyramids even though touring all around Mexico. Now, you are going for walks down the street in beautiful Mexico City, using in the sights. You switch the corner and are greeted with a sight to behold! Resplendent dancers in splendid feather headdresses and overall body paint alongside traditional healers are executing historical rites. Suddenly, you are in the coronary heart of the Aztec spirit, 5 hundreds of years just after the Spanish conquest.

On Friday, the Mexican authorities will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the “slide” of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan to the conquistadors and their indigenous allies.

But Sergio Segura Octocayohua and other individuals like him who attempt to protect Aztec lifestyle program their personal celebrations the working day prior to in honor of the “heroic defense” of the town.

“Inspite of staying distorted, our identification, philosophy and record dwell on,” Octocayohua claimed throughout a break from overseeing therapeutic rituals in the coronary heart of the capital’s historic district.

“We no for a longer period combat with weapons. Now we fight with terms, identity and dance,” the 58-calendar year-aged claimed.


A man performs a ritual before an Aztec dance at the Zocalo square in Mexico City, Mexico, July 31, 2021. (AFP Photo)
A male performs a ritual ahead of an Aztec dance at the Zocalo square in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, July 31, 2021. (AFP Picture)

All about, people of all ages performed choreographies that alternate twists, stomps and energetic movements of their limbs, accentuated by their colorful plumes and the rattling of seeds tied on legs.

‘Still alive?’

Crowds of travellers stopped to look at – some exclaiming “This is Mexico!” – as the rhythm of the huehuetl, a regular drum, combined with the aromas of incense and corn from street food items.

“Quickly they see us and say ‘oh, wow, are they however alive? How unusual!'” veteran dancer and tour guidebook Tezcatlipoca, who only gave a single title, claimed wryly.

“Looking at it as a exhibit is fantastic simply because this has not died,” the 70-yr-outdated added.

Dance and purification rituals on the internet site of the historic Aztec money resonate deeply for these trying to get to safeguard the traditions for potential generations.

“It really is just one of the sites with the most cosmic electricity, but it have to be cleaned simply because it has also noticed a ton of blood,” claimed Octocayohua.

He views the conquest by the Spanish, with its battles and massacres, as a “humiliation.”

Dance, primarily based on the movements of the moon and the sunlight, is the most visible manifestation of a thriving non secular and philosophical motion that aspires to restore the splendor of the Aztec legacy.


A bodypainted man prepares to perform an Aztec dance at the Zocalo square in Mexico City, Mexico, July 31, 2021. (AFP Photo)
A bodypainted male prepares to complete an Aztec dance at the Zocalo square in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, July 31, 2021. (AFP Photo)

“Dance is a way to understand their values and look at of the cosmos,” said Ocelocoatl Ramirez, whose foundation Zemanauak Tlamachtiloyan seeks to maintain the indigenous society.

“The goal is to share it with individuals, to do a thing in communion,” extra Ramirez, who for a long time has instructed fans who dance amid the aroma of medicinal crops.

‘My getting shines’

The rhythm of the huehuetl drum and the deep audio of the atecocolli, a seashell utilized as a type of trumpet, seem to be to appeal to younger folks in distinct.

“If I dance some of my tradition, my remaining shines – I glow – I feel at just one with the universe,” mentioned Maria Cervantes, 22, who has been a scholar of Ramirez since she was 15.

A different historical tailor made that has endured given that Tenochtitlan times is the city’s renowned street foods.

The odor of corn wafts by means of the streets of the historic center.

Minerva Martinez, 40, sells tlayudas, a kind of corn tortilla that dates back again to pre-Hispanic instances.

“The Mexica (Aztecs) also cultivated it and we farmers also plant the corn,” stated Martinez, an indigenous Otomi who believes that the Tenochtitlan legacy “however exists.”

Scholars trace the roots of street meals back to the laborious preparation of substances and dishes this kind of as tortillas or tamales – a type of corn dumpling – whose use also had a ritual mother nature.

“This complexity suggests street foods has often been a regular reference point– thoroughly Mexican and pre-Hispanic,” mentioned chef and historian Rodrigo Llanes.

Lashell Coykendall

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