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Chicano Cultural Myths

As the Chicano Civil Rights Movement spread and gained strength, its leaders focused on incorporating pride in the Chicano heritage into the movement.  In particular the legacy of the Aztec people was emphasized and their beliefs and character became part of the Chicano cultural myths.

Aztlan Myth

It was known that the Aztecs lived in the southwest for quite some time before moving to Tenochtitlan in what is currently Mexico City.   Because many of the Chicano people were from the southwest they easily identified with this race of noble warriors.  The connection to the Aztec people served to increase the confidence and self-esteem of the Chicano people and especially it youth.  And if their ancestors were originally from an area in the United States then the Chicano people could lay claim that this country was also their native home and they were not foreigners.  One of many Chicano cultural myths it gave the people a sense of belonging and pride.

Quetzalcoatl Myth

Another of the Chicano cultural myths is the myth of Quetzalcoatl.    On the human level, Quetzalcoatl was a Toltec ruler or priest that brought enlightenment to his people. (Often confused with Quetzalcoatl at the metaphysical or cosmic level) He is seen as a kind, benevolent ruler who despised cruelty of any kind.  He was quick to dispense with human sacrifices and cannibalism.  The Chicano people look to this image as the perfect ruler.  Their duty is to emulate him in their daily lives.

Coyolxauhqui Myth

Coyloxauhqui was also known as the moon goddess.  She is revered by the female Chicanos called Chicanas as a symbol of male and female coming together in harmony. Colonial mythology interprets this symbol as being unseated by Huitzilopochitl, the “God of the Sun and War.” While some see this as violence of men perpetrating on women, the symbolism originates with Astronomy and the changing of positions of the astros.

These are just but three of the ancient Chicano cultural myths that have been adopted by the Chicano people to provide them strength and guidance.