Chicano History


Chicano History: 4,000 years of Indigenous Mexican Civilizations

Learning our history.


Who We Are Not

Woman speakingHere's the deal: We are the descendants of the Indigenous Inhabitants of this land. 

We are not Hispanics. We are not Spaniards. We are not from Spain. We did not Immigrate to Spain and then come back. Most of us have not even had a single Spanish ancestor in the last one hundred years (often it is more than that). We may have Spanish surnames, but this is a result of colonization, mass baptism, and originally...of rape.

We are not Latinos, the colonizers of Southern Europe , who descended from Latin-speaking Roman countries. This is Spain, Portugal, Italy, France. Nothing to do with us. Do you speak Latin? I don't, and no single country in "Latin America" has Latin as its official language!

We are not Raza: the term that was introduced by Jose Vasconcellos (a very racist, anti-Indigenous man), and the insult the Spanish descendents gave us to mock their racial rape of our people (they called us "los hijos de la chingada). Is that what you want to celebrate or honor? These terms were placed on us to make us think we participated in the rape and plunderin gof ourselves. 

We even still celebrate "Dia de la Raza" on October 12....Columbus Day. Isn't that interesting...we "celebrate" our own people's rape!

We are not Raza Cosmica: an idea that claims all Spanish speakers are one people. If that is so, then that must mean Black Africans and White Americans are the same people because they all speak English (many Africans also have English names and practice European-style Christianity) !

We are not Mestizo, because that only means "mixed" in Spanish. "Mixed" is not an identity or a culture. There is no country, no language, no people who call themselves "Mixed." We are of Indigenous descent (both full-blood and mixed-blood). 

According to Mexican anthrolpologist Guillermo Banfil-Batalla, a Mestizo is often just a "de-indianized Indian."

Not even the Spaniards were "pure" White: they had a history of over seven hundred years of being conquered and raped by Muslim-Berbers and African soldiers (The Moors, 711-1492 A.D.).

The Spaniards were Mestizos (mixed) people if there ever were any: their language is from Italy's Latin as well as the Arab Moors Arabic. Their religion is from Rome. Their racial gene pool was blended with Arab Moors and before that, Mediterranean Romans. The name "Spain" doesn't even come from Spain! It came from the Romans who named it "Hispania" (after the large number of rabbits they saw there). 

We are not "half-Spanish": most of us have not had a Spanish ancestor in over 2 to 3 centuries! Having a great-great-great-great grandfather who was Spanish does not count! Sorry! (We are always encouraged to claim any "White blood" as our total identity, even if it is a few drops from the distant past!)

We are not Indian, we are not from India (nor Pakistan !). It was Christopher Columbus who introduced the term after he was discovered by Indigenous people at modern-day Haiti/Dominican Republic. His diaries show that he described the people as being "en dios" ("in with god" so to speak). Nevertheless, the "compliment" of a genocidal killer is just that...our own people never called ourselves "Indios" or "Indians" before Europeans came, and that is the simple fact.
(Ever wonder how people who are actually from India feel about this?)

We are not based on European definitions. Otherwise, we would be Europeans.


Who We Are 

We are Chianos, but not Latinos. We are mixed-blood and full-blood Indigenous people. We are Chicanos, Mexica, Zapotec, Huichole, Maya, and many others of Anahuac. The Aztec Empire and Maya city-states may have disappeared as political entities, but the people are still there.

Racial inheritance: Racially, most of our people still retain their "Indian-ness" in terms of DNA, body types, and pigment features. The fact that we are mis-named "Hispanics" or "Latinos" does not eliminate those biological facts. ("A rose by any other name is still a Rose.")

The Spaniard may have won the political/economic war, but genetically, the "Indian" won over the Spaniard. Genetically, the vast majority of us are much more of the "Indian" than Spaniard. Only 300,000 Spaniards came to Mexico (according to indigenous author Jack Forbes, author of "Aztecas del Norte"), and they were mainly men. There were 24,000,000 (million) Indigenous people in Mexico. That's a major racial differential.

Need more proof? Visit the following biological study on our people which demonstrates our Indigenous-genetic inheritance:

Most of our people still retain ties to their identity of "Mexican-ness" in varying degrees. Whether we call ourselves Chicanos, Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, or Latinos, we are still making a conscious/unconscious effort to say that we are Mexican-derived people, not "mainstream" (White). Even the "Hispanic cheerleaders" among us are forced to admit that 65% (or more) of so-called Hispanics are of Mexican origins.

Even the Catholic (forced) conversion of our Indigenous people that began in 1521 was only skin deep. Our people have been fooled by the "Brown Virgin" who was witnessed by an Indigenous youth (the so-called "Juan Diego"). The name "Guadalupe" is an Arabic word, demonstrating the heavy Spanish influences of the whole "Virgin" matter. The Brown Virgin "sighting" took place on the hill of Tepyac, the shrine of Tonantzin, the Earth Mother of the Nahuas (aka Aztecs), but it was Spanirds who agressively promoted it from the beginning. The Day of the Dead originally took place in August. It's an Indigenous Mexican tradition and has no Spanish counterpart in Spain.

Witness the thousands of people throughout Mexico and "Central America" who still retain ancient practices in their religion. Witness the Huicholes of Mexico who have stubbornly refused the Spanish religion, and continue many of their ancient religious practices to this day. Witness the hundreds of Chicano murals throughout Aztlan (the US Southwest) which draw heavily on the Aztec and Maya themes. 

Witness the constitution of M.E.C.h.A. that states its primary purpose as restoring our people to their proper place as people of Aztlan, a "bronze nation."

Language: many words in Spanish (and some in English) are taken from Nahuatl, the Aztec language. In fact, there are many words in Chicano slang, called calo. Some of those words are cuate, tocayo, cochino, tamale, enchilada, coyote, chocolate, chongo, pinole, tequila, and many more.

Identity: The term Chicano is an etymological derivative of the word Mexica (Mesheeka), which was the name of the "Aztecs" who built an empire out the Valley of Mexico. From Mexica came "Mechicano" in the Spanish language, and from those people came the modern derivative of Chicano (in Calslang). 

In fact, until 1821(the Spanish colonial period ends), the term "Mechicano" referred to all Nahuatl-speaking people. Today, "Mexican" is the English version of our original identity. "Mexicano" is the Spanish-language version.

Today, the nation of Mexico takes it namesake not from Cortes or Spain, but from the Mexica (Mesheeka) a.k.a. the Aztecs. This Indigenous core is ackowledged at the center of the Mexican flag with the Aztec legend (which is debated over) that includes an eagle perched on a cactus, with a serpent in its mouth. (Note: the oldest "Aztec Codecies" do not show a serpent in the eagle's mouth at all.) 

In Mexico City, there is not a single statue that commemorates Hernan Cortes. But there is for Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec Tlatoani (ruler).

Ask Yourself This

Q: What distinguishes a Mexican from a Spaniard? 
A: The answer is: Indigenous ancestry. We are full-blood and mixed-blood Indigenous people. We were invaded by Spanish Terrorists in 1519, and since then we have been confused about our identities, due to rape and 500 years of a racial caste system, which exists throughout the entire Western Hemisphere.

Q: What do we call our homeland? 
A: We called our lands by different names before the Europeans invaded us. The region of Mexico and Central America were called Anahuac. The so-called American Southwest was called Aztlan. Our land stretched from Aztlan to Costa Rica.

Q: Were we civilized? 
A: The Carbon 14 (C-14) radiocarbon dating evidence confirms it: We had developed civilization before there was a single town or city in all of Europe. (Note: Mycenaean island culture- a historical contemporary of the Olmec in Mexico- did not have cities). This was the year 1800 B.C. at San Lorenzo on the southern Gulf of Mexico. Read pg 62 of Yale University's Michael Coe, in Mexico: From The Olmecs To The Aztecs; Thames & Hudson; 1994.

Q: How long have we been here? 
We have been the settlers on this continent many thousands of years. To put that in perspective, that's centuries before the birth of Christ. That's centuries before the first Egyptian pyramid had been built. We were on this continent for millenia before Columbus got lost and claimed to discover it himself.

Q: What are our civilizations? 
Our civilizations include the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Teotihuaucan, Maya, Toltec, and Mexica, not to mention more.

Q: Are you really a Latino? 
Do you speak Latin? Do any of your family members speak Latin? Are you from southern Europe, the "Latin" area of the world which was ruled by the Latin-speaking Romans? Are you from ANY country that has Latin as its official language?

The Mixed-Blood Question

According to Mexican anthropologist Guillermo Banfil-Batalla, the majority of Mexicans are indistinguishable from the people we all would call "Indians." Most of us are racially mixed (even though 30% of Mexico is still full-blood Indigenous and the 1920 Mexican census listed that number at 80%). This is a fact. But this is merely a racial scar from the European rape of our people. The Spaniards raped our people. No people should define themselves by acts of rape. The Anglos invaded our lands. Both Anglos and Spaniards used violence to mix with Indigenous peoples. This invasion is a source of confusion for our people today. It is the scar that cripples our identity. It is not a correct source of our cultural definition.

Take a good look at the Jews: they are the most racially mixed group of people in the world, but that does not deter them from emphasizing their non-European cultural inheritance (i.e. Middle Eastern-Sumerian). Neither should we Chicanos be troubled from being mixed-blood Indigenous people. We have an identity that transcends “blood percentage” pseudo-science. As a wise person once said, "It's not a question of how much Cherokee blood you have. You're either Cherokee or you're not."

Of course, there are some individuals who will always want us to emphasize the European blood beyond its proportional presence in our people. Their motives are shamelessly transparent and our people are awakening to their inverted logic. They can’t accept that we merely acknowledge White blood as a scar, not as our identity source. They can’t believe that we would not want to assign “equal time” to the minority of European DNA we possess. And this often upsets them greatly.

“White blood” and lighter skin are not our core identity factors. Thus, European culture is not our true heritage. This is the correct logical line of argument, not the wishful thinking we are taught to chase after. White blood is not for us to be ashamed of. It is just a scar on our beings. It was raped into our population, and that makes it a scar…nothing more, nothing less.  We Mexicans did not arrive at Ellis Island, greet the Statue of Liberty, and proceed to try to assimilate with our White brethren.  (By the way, there is no Statue of Liberty facing Mexico, only Europe.) So let's not re-victimize ourselves over that rape again. 

This mixed-blood scar has been used to trick us into believing our interests are those of Anglo and Hispanic Europeans. Their interests have never been the same as our interests.  Leave that confusion behind. Embrace yourself as a mixed-blood Indigenous Descendent. Leave the “blood quantum” pseudo-science to Europeans. Our DNA is not recessive like theirs, and that is why they focus on it so much. That is partly why they are so hostile about preserving it and  “protecting it” from us.

So you can remember this: No matter how much cream was dumped into the coffee, that coffee never became white.

Again, embrace yourself as an Indigenous Descendent. You're not European. You're not half-White or half-Spaniard or half-European (unless one of your parents is). If you are Chicano / Mexican, you are derived from the Indigenous inhabitants of this continent.


Separating Ourselves From The Vendidos (Traitors)

It is critical that we distinguish ourselves as Indigenous, (Chicana, Chicano, Mexica, etc) so that the vendidos and vendidos of our people will have been much harder time sabotaging our people as a whole. According to the Mexica Movement, a vendido is one who "aggressively works against our cause. They are usually defenders of the crimes of Europeans. "

But let's not confuse ignorance with being a vendido. Ignorance will change once given knowledge. A vendido won't.


Some facts about our collective identity

One people/one culture: We are one people united by several common Indigenous factors. These factors are independent of Europe. We did not "borrow" culture from Greece, Egypt, or the Middle East, as Europeans did. The civilizations we started came out of our own genius right here at home.

Anahuac: the cultural area of our homeland which we have inhabited and civilized for nearly 4,000 years. Anahuac includes the western United States, Mexico, and Central America.

Common mother culture: We are the children of the Olmecs, just as the Jews are the children of Abraham.

Our Olmec inheritance: dualistic religion, science, art, government, pyramid-temples.

Economic unity: Since no one region was completely self-sufficient, vast trade networks existed throughout modern-day Mexico and modern day USA. This meant that goods as well as ideas and arts were exchanged from far corners of the empire into other nations. The Mexica even had traveling merchants (Pochteca) who traded with nations as for North as modern-day Four Corners area .

Common world view: a religion based not on belief but on acknowledgment. We acknowledge one self created Creator, called Ometeotl by our Mexica ancestors and Hunab-Ku by our Maya brothers and sisters. We did not believe in " gods " as the Europeans insist it we did. We had only one God, one Creator who exists in Duality and is manifested in the thousands of forces of the Universe.

Common food culture: maize, corn, beans, tortillas, squash, etc.

Linguistic unity: Nahuatl was the language spoken throughout our homeland of Anahuac at the time of the Spanish invasion. It was the "glue" language that connected many other peoples who spoke their own languages. Archaeologists today even a class most of our people (from the Four Corners Southwest to Mexico, even into Costa Rica) with the Uto-Aztecan linguistic grouping. Although many languages were spoken, Nahuatl was the most common. It was considered the language of civilized peoples. It was the language of the metropolis of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City).

Astronomical knowledge: our people charted the movements of celestial bodies, documenting them, formulating their interrelationships through mathematics. Always observing patterns and structuring our lives to be in harmony with those patterns.

Common calendar and the measurement of Time: compare the "Aztec" calendar system to the Mayan calendar system. They are virtually the same. They both come from the Olmecs of the Veracruz region of Mexico. They both comprised of 260 ritual days and 365 civil days. Our Maya people created  the most accurate calendar in the world at the time including the calendar used in Europe. They calculated a solar year to 365.22 days. They were only off by .02 of one day (about 17 seconds a year!) .

Common sports culture: from Central America to Mexico to the four corners region of the United States there exist ball courts, which silently speak to a common cultural orientation.


We are shown above and elsewhere, over and over, that we have always had a common culture.

We Indigenous peoples share a unity of culture and history that transcends any in-fighting we had. If you make a checklist of it all, we have had more in common than we had in differences. Our lands were a common cultural region with sub-cultures and political divisions, not completely cultural ones.


Why Should I Acknowledge Myself As Indigenous
 and not "Half-Spanish"?

First of all, because you want an ethnic correction of yourself.

Secondly, because we need to distinguish ourselves from the European cultural agenda and vendidos that keep us marginalized and brand us as foreigners in our own land. For centuries, we have tried to " fit in and work hard ". We have sacrificed our culture, adopted a foreign culture, become Christianized, accepted the yoke of " foreigner ", worked the hardest jobs for the least pay. . . And always, we have remained at the bottom economically and politically. Only when they want our votes, do they show up in our neighborhoods asking how we're doing.

Third, many of us have not had a Spanish ancestor for over 3 centuries! How long do we have to keep calling ourselves "half-Spanish"...500 years? 5,000 years? Forever?

Many of us, have even gone so far as to identify themselves in the name of the colonizers (Hispanic/Latino) and try to look like them with dyed hair and contact lenses. What more can we sacrifice to "fit in"? We have already sacrificed everything from our land to our pride. Obviously, there is no more that we can concede, and we will never be able to "fit in" to this Euro-centric system. We have no choice but to be ourselves without worrying if White people approve of it.

The best chance we and have to attain that goal is to revive and unite into a common Indigenous culture. A culture that places our interests at the forefront as opposed to a Euro-centric culture that relegates our Indigenous people to a footnote in their Euro-centric universe. This best chance we have is to reclaim our Indigenous cultures (as one united People of Anahuac).

Keep in mind that most of our cultures had been destroyed by the European invasion. 99 percent of our books were burned, 95 percent of our population was killed off. However, some materials survive to and some eyewitnesses had documented many important elements of our culture.

Not all of our cultural practices have been relegated to oblivion, museums, or dusty books in libraries. At least 30% of the population of modern day Mexico is full blooded indigenous, many of whom have retained knowledge and vestiges of our former cultures, although admittedly, much of it is contaminated with Christian ideas and rituals.

What we are basically dealing with, are a the tattered remnants of what once existed. Those remains include the surviving cultural knowledge of our people and the post-conquest documentation. Is there any one culture in which we breathe life into again? Of all the cultures that were present in ancient Anahuac, only the Mexica have had enough materials and knowledge survive to legitimately reconstruct-or reconstitute-what once existed.

Just as Italians rebuilt their nation from the highest point of their cultural history, we too can reconstitute the highest point of civilization achieved in our history. It is an Indigenous, collective-focused civilization; not Euro-centric and self-centered. And just like Italians, we too are of mixed blood heritage (the Italians have Germanic, Etruscan, Arab, Carthaginian-African, and Phoenician bloodlines).

Fortunately, ample material now exists from which we can draw upon to rebuild the highest point of our civilization before it was invaded and raped by Europeans. This is what the Italians did after the fall of Rome, and recently the Jews. This is the kind of unity we need, not the sham " Latino unity " that enslaves us to the Spanish language, thinking, identity, and culture. 

There is now more literature available regarding our traditional theology-although, much of this is filtered through a Judeo-Christian world view. Nonetheless, we can reasonably expect to be able to piece together much of the wisdom of our ancestors and apply it in the modern world. There is hope. Unfortunately, even the oral tradition has been corrupted by Europeans.

But we must recover our culture if we are to be anything more than pawns in a game of cheap-labor chess; if we are to be people with dignity and pride once again; and if we are going to have a future where we control the wealth of our land. We must be committed to non-violence and civilized behavior. Of course, when it comes to self-defense, we must behave like any dignified people do.

Otherwise, we will remain cheap imitations of Europeans who we cheer for, but who do not have our interests at heart. We need to take back our own identity. We need to stop living a pseudo-identity, with a counterfeight history, and with slaves' names, worshipping a European-depicted god.

 We need to know our history, our heroes, our songs. In sum, we need to know ourselves again. And we must be uncompromising in this pursuit. Future generations depend on it.


Civilizations >> Click to learn more

Disclaimer: While I acknowledge a deep debt to 
Olin Tezcatlipoca and the Mexica Movement for the information on this web site, 
I am not currently affiliated with them nor is this site currently "endorsed" by them.

Not Latino. Not Hispanic. Not Mestizos. Not Raza.
We are full-blood and mixed-blood Indigenous people of Anahuac.
We are Chicana, Chicano, Indigenous human beings. 
We are Mexica-Azteca, Zapotec, Huichole, Maya, Otomi, and more.
We are Anahuac.

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Source: | Mirrored from Geocities at the end of October, 2009.

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