Nahuatl and Cultural Nationalism

Rudiger V. Busto rude at
Thu May 24 18:02:51 UTC 2001

It is clear from the recent exchange with Voz de Aztlan that the
attention to and controversies over the "accuracy" of Aztec culture
remains crucial to sectors of Chicano nationalists. While I disagree
with the tone of Voz, members of the list must be aware of the impact
philological "evidence" has on the construction, maintenance and
contestation of Chicano expressive and political cultures.
The first generation of Chicano activists, artists and scholars were,
for example, heavily influenced by Leon-Portilla's _Aztec Thought and
Culture_. Chicano students in my courses are hungry for translations
of Nahuatl texts, especially the cosmogonies "The Birth of
Huitzilopochtli", "Creation of the Fifth Sun", and "Los Cinco Soles"
and especially the mysteries in and around the Nican Mopohua. We
also find re-inscriptions of these stories in Chicana feminist art
and literature (for example, Cherrie Moraga's interpretation of the
Birth of Huitzilopochtli, and her conjectures about "El Sexto Sol" in
her book _The Last Generation_.
Rudy V. Busto rude at
Assistant Professor 650.723.0465 (office)
Religious Studies 650.725.1476 (fax)
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2165
"...who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand ? "
--- Samuel Beckett

John Frederick Schwaller                             schwallr at
Associate Provost                                        406-243-4722
The University of Montana                           FAX 406-243-5937

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