Gonzalo Alvarez 🐓 Profile picture
Oct 8, 2018 19 tweets 18 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Ma Cualli Tonalli! (have a good day in Nahuatl) Today is #IndigenousPeoplesDay and I want to introduce you to the beautiful Nahua culture of Mexico. Learning it has empowered me as a Latinx, and I know its intimidating to learn!... So here's a fun and simple thread to start🙌🏽1/16
Did you know the word Aztecs refers to people of Aztlan, a fictional place where the Aztec tribe came from. That tribe split and then formed into smaller tribes around Mexico. These are the Nahua tribes, not Aztecs. American's aren't Britain anymore right? Same concept! 2/16
the tribe most people refer to as the "Aztecs" we now call the Mexica, which was the tribe that founded Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. This impressive city was built in the middle of a lake!! A freaking lake. 3/16
The Nahua Language was Nahuatl (Nah-Watt-thul) and was written like Hieroglyphs! This is the indigenous language of Mexico, NOT Spanish. Kinda how the indigenous language of America is Navajo, NOT English. but sadly that changed with the European and Spanish conquests. 4/16
Such a cool language! It's basically a lot of root words. Ex. Altepetl means city-state. Alt=water, tepetl=mountain. Water mountain! Guess what Coatepetl is?
I recommend @DavidOBowles Nahuatl class, which I'm currently taking, if you want to learn it.
nahuatl.thinkific.com/courses/bcn101… 5/16
The Nahuas were AMAZING artists and created Amoxtli, or accordion-folded Codex Book, full of badass illustrations of their gods, rituals, history, ect. Few remain after the libraries were burnt by the Spanish.😢
BUT you can check em out here fo FREE: bit.ly/2ILaqj1 6/16
This art looks different doesn't it? Its cuz these codex books were made by the Spanish AFTER they realized their mistake. LITERALLY. Rewrote. History.😩 This is post-conquest art. The above is Pre-conquest art. (the good stuff) My fav codices are Borgia and Fejervary Mayer👌🏽7/16
See this sun stone? This is the Aztec sun stone, depicting the Sun God, Tonatiuh. NOT the Mayan calendar (on the right) TWO DIFFERENT TRIBES. TWO DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. TWO DIFFERENT ARTSTYLES. Similiar but different.
It's okay I didn't know the difference in 2012 either. 😅 8/16
Their day calendar was called the tonalpohualli, and consisted of 20 day signs and 13 numbers. When you were born, you'd have a symbol and number, kinda like a Zodiac sign, which determined your destiny! I'm 8🏠
See yours and learn to read it here: goo.gl/tYzeb3 9/16
"But Aztec and Mayan art is so similiar!" This one's for my artist people. The "Aztec" artwork is more "rigid" "geometric" and I would say "Bold", whereas the Mayan artwork is more "curvy", "organic" and "swooshy"(yes I said swooshy), similar to Japanese ukiyo-e art 🤔😮 10/16
The Nahuas believed in MANY Gods. One for water, Tlaloc, one for war, Huitzilopochtli, even one for the arts and the LGBT community Xochipilli! Each god had their own look. The Nahuas know whats good character design.👌🏽
Learn more about them here: goo.gl/7MFdzt 11/16
Let's tackle the elephant in the room. Yes Nahua tribes made human sacrifices to their gods. However, they were willing, if not, happy to be sacrificed to keep the world going! These cultures didn't fear death but viewed it as a part of life goo.gl/QdEgxe
What happens when you die? Depends. Died in battle, sacrifice or giving birth? you'd go to the sky becoming a butterfly or hummingbird. Normal death? You'd have to go through the 8 videogame-like levels of the Mictlan to reach this cute couple💀💏
bit.ly/2IKKdkC 13/16
Finally, Day of the dead was a compromise between the Catholic Church and the Nahuas. They had Month of the dead, worshipping Mictecacihuatl, lady of the dead, and the Spanish tried killing it. (Didn't work) So they combined it with All Saints day 🙄 bit.ly/2y9l5Ql 14/16
Okay,I'm done. This is only the surface, but I hope everyone learn sumthin and are interested in learning more! Feel free to comment, ask questions, or correct me! I want more of this in mainstream pop culture folks and if you do too, plz follow these awesome people below✊🏽 15/16
Welp. Those 5 hours of writing were definitely worth it. I did NOT expect this😅 Thank you so much for the love and shares I hope new people find this and get as passionate for the culture like I once did!!!
IF I forgot any people PLEASE add yourself! Also please recommend others you know whose work involves the Nahua culture in any way, shape, or form! There are so many hidden gems out there ✊🏽
🙈So for those who don't know my work, I'm creating an all-age Mexican fantasy adventure graphic novel series using all this beautiful culture! It's called the Legend of Polloman, and right now I'm having the last pre-order for chapter 1 at %50 off 🐔

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