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Published: Wed, March 22, 2017
World | By Lorena Waters

Aztl

Aztl

What is the meaning of the word

And that is the name of the name of the Indigenous Peoples. "It is called AZTLAN, which means Paradise, it is where the Spirit of Truth lives." -Yaqui Elder Rafael Guerrero, Colonel, Northern Division of Pancho Villa

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Aztlán is the mythical place of origin of the Aztec peoples. In their language (Nahuatl), the roots of Aztlán are the two words:

meaning "heron" and "place of," respectively. 'Tlantli' proper means tooth, and the characteristic of a good tooth is that it is firmly rooted in place, and does not move, the prefix of this word is commonly used in Nahuatl to denote settlements, or place names, e.g. Mazatlan (place of deer), Papalotlan (place of butterflies) or Tepoztlan (place of metal). The Nahuatl language is often said to include three levels of meaning for its words or expressions: literal, syncretic and connotative. The connotative meaning of Aztlan, due to the plumage of herons, is "Place of Whiteness." The mythical descriptions of Aztlán would have it to be an island.

You would replace -tlan with -tecatl to identify a resident or person from the given place. So, for the above examples, we have that people from Mazatlan would be Mazatecatl, someone from Tepoztlan to Tepoztecatl, and someone from Aztlan an Aztecatl.

The exact physical location of Aztlán is unkown, other than it must have been located near estuaries or on the coast of northwestern Mexico, although some archaeologists have gone so far to locate the present town of San Felipe Aztlán, Nayarit, as The exact place.

In Chicana / folklore, Aztlán is often appropriated for that portion of Mexico that was taken over by the United States after the Mexican-American War of 1846, on the belief that This greater area represents the point of departure of the Aztec migrations. Nahuatl-speaking peoples of central Mexico passed through this region in a prehistoric epoch, as attested by the existence of linguistically related groups of People distributed throughout the US Pacific Intermontane region, the US southwest and northern Mexico, known as the Uto-Aztecan-Tanoan group, and including such peoples as the Paiute, Shoshoni, Hopi, Pima, Yaqui, Tepehuan, Rara'muri (Tarahumara) , Kiowas and Mayos.

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