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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aztec Princess Still at Large -Catrióna Rueda Esquibel

Grandeza Azteca (Jesús Helguera)
by Glenn Robinson

The quote below is within a scholastic journal on sfsu.academia.edu posted by Catriona Rueda Esquibel.

Within the paper titled Beyond The Frame, Women of Color and Visual Representation is Esquibel's section titled Aztec Princess Still at Large.

I found the section below interesting because I have noticed that some people do not think of Mexicans as Indigenous Native Americans. And I've also found it interesting, if not a bit confusing, that my wife does not identify strongly with her native heritage even though she clearly has indigenous Native American (continent) roots.

Esquibel states:

"Why are these images so prevalent? What pleasures are derived from viewing the sleeping or dead body of the Aztec Princess? On the one hand, it may mark a nostalgia for the lost ideal of pre-Columbian culture. Popo mourns his lost love, dead by her own hand before their wedding, and contemporary Chicanos mourn the lost “empire” of the Aztecs. At the same time, the sensual detailing of Ixta’s body seems to represent a disavowal of colonial violence. The first part of that dis-avowal would state, I know very well that Indians died horrible deaths in the colonial institution of New-Spain-which-became-Mexico. Yet, the disavowal continues, I prefer to imagine Indian death as the romantic tale of tragic love, through the visually pleasing image of Ixta’s body. The disassociation of Ixta’s death from colonial violence is crucial to the success of both the image and the legend. Finally, the death of Ixta is a visual signifier of the constant reinvention of Native Mexicans as extinct: Native Mexicans are represented as always-already dead. As Norma Alarcón has argued, “the historical founding moment of the construction of [national Mexican] mestizo subjectivity entails the rejection and denial of the dark Indian Mother as Indian... and to actually deny the Indian position even as that position is visually stylized and represented in the making of the fatherland” (“Chicana Feminism” 374). Thus the construction of the nationalist subject as mestizo — and as the legitimate inheritor of Mexico rests on this depiction of Aztecs as extinct, and as wholly separate from contemporary indigenous populations and social movements." - Catriona Rueda Esquibel

La Leyenda de Los Volcanes (Jesús Helguera)

To learn about The Legend of the (smoking) Volcanoes in the Valley of Anahuac click the photo.


Glenn is a European-American married to a Mexican-American. They have two children - made in California. Glenn is interested in progressive immigration reform, and desegregation within schools and communities. He is a life long learner with interests in sociology, anthropology, psychology, history and politics. Connect to Glenn at CommunityVillage.us


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