Máscara Maya? Mayan Mask?

This Post is just a bit of a self indulgence. I have a small collection of masks and am particularly interested in prehispanic designs. I came across this mask on a local Facebook Marketplace posting. It appears to be quite touristic in nature and I wanted to share the find with a Mexican folk art group in an attempt to find more detail on it. … Continue reading Máscara Maya? Mayan Mask?

Origins of the words Aztec and Mexico

These two words which are integral to the heart of México are inextricably intertwined. It has been posited that the root for the word México was metl, the Náhuatl root of the word maguey or metztli (the moon) and xictli (centre or navel). Others, being friars of the Franciscan or Dominican variety, thought that the Mexican peoples were of Hebrew descent (being one of the … Continue reading Origins of the words Aztec and Mexico

The Triple Alliance

How the terms Mexico and Aztec may have entered history. Who were the Aztecs? Were they an actual people like the Totonacs, the Zapoteca or the Mexica; or did the word Aztec define something else entirely? The first published use of the term “Aztec” was when Father Francisco Javier Clavijero Echegaray included it in his book La Historia Antigua de México (1780). A few decades … Continue reading The Triple Alliance

Huitzilopochtli, Tenochtitlan and the Opuntia Cactus

The Mesoamerican deity Huitzilopochtli  was the patron god of the Mexican people and is the primary God of War (and the Sun) in the Aztec pantheon. The legend goes that after he was betrayed by a nephew he killed him and removed his heart. This heart was left on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco and, like many creation legends involving plants, from the rocks upon … Continue reading Huitzilopochtli, Tenochtitlan and the Opuntia Cactus