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We Will Rise - rebuilding the Mexikah Nation Paperback – July 6, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing (July 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553693043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553693048
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,103,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

At age 20, Tlapoyawa set out to write this book as a resource for his sister, whose public school teachers refused to accept any information about Mexikan history that did not come directly from a book. He began to take what he was being taught by maestros and jefes of Mexikah Dance, as well as his mother and the books she had saved for him from the Chicano Movement, and put them into an accessible format geared for youth. Even though most of the "official" written histories available are full of the same old stereotypes and Eurocentric misinterpretations, Tlapoyawa did begin to find books that held the truth - from noted historians and Mexikanistas such as Dr. Romerovargas Yturbide, Miguel Leon-Portilla, Arturo Meza Gutierrez, Miguel Angel Mendoza, Jack D. Forbes and other scholars. Over the course of eight years, Kurly has amassed a huge collection of written accounts that no historian, scholar or certainly school teacher could dismiss. And still, it is only the beginning. As one of his primary teachers, Paz, told him, this book is a "good Mexikah primer." The quest for truth, beauty and knowledge will never end, and will never stray far from the people who live the culture. Tlapoyawa is founder and national representative of the Mexika Eagle Society; a danzante under Tleyankanke Patricio Zamora in Kalpulli Ehekatl; a former member of MEChA at UNM and El Partido Nacional de la Raza Unida of New Mexico.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Aztlan. The very mention of the word itself conjures up images of our glorious Xikano heritage - images of a past firmly rooted in Ixachilan, these lands which are now known as the "American" continents. Aztlan is our ancestral homeland - "The place of white herons" where our Aztekah ancestors lived for countless years before migrating to the south. The history of their journey, passed down through the oral and written traditions of our people is the foundation of our Native identities. It is a story which every Xikano should know.

The exact location of Aztlan remains a controversial subject, with theories placing it anywhere from the southwestern United States to the valley of Mexiko. And in all likelihood, itâs entirely possible that more than one Aztlan exists. After all, locations known as "Tula" can be found throughout the Mexikan nation. In this book I explore the possibility that Aztlan is located in the four corners area, a region which geographically and culturally lends itself to this idea.

The belief that Aztlan is located in the four corners (modern Utah to be exact) is not a new one. Mexikah leader and teacher Andres Segura (may he rest in peace) taught that we are the descendants of the people now called the Anasazi, and that our true homeland rests in the four corners region. But this belief is not confined to Mexikah spiritual leaders. Academics such as Dr. Cecilio Orozco of California State University and Dr. Antoon Vollemaere of the Flemish Institute for American Cultures have both done extensive research placing our ancestral homeland in Utah.

The search for Aztlan took an exciting turn when it was revealed that the map used for the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the U.S. and Mexiko has a location marking the "ancient homeland of the Aztecs" in Utah. By signing a treaty based on this map, the United States recognized this area as the traditional homeland of our people, and is bound by international law to acknowledge that we are the original inhabitants of this land. This in itself obliterates the notion that our people can ever be considered "illegal immigrants." Yet despite the historical, anthropological, and archeological evidence which proves our people once inhabited (and continue to inhabit) these lands, Aztlan remains down-played by some as the "mythological homeland" of our people.

By referring to our homeland as a myth, the validity of our very people (and struggle) as a whole comes into question. After all, if the place we come from is a myth, wouldn't this mean that we are myths ourselves as well? And if we as a people are nothing more than myths, then so must be our heritage and historical ties to this land. Obviously we are not a mythological people, and our ties to this land are very real. Imagine the audacity of teaching that Black people come from a mythological place called Africa or that the Chinese are from a mythological place called China. The very idea is both racist and absurd. Yet we are expected to believe that the history of our people is not relevant. We are taught that Aztlan is a complete fabrication and that our heritage is just something we happened to make up.

The fact that eight Nawatlakah, or Nawatl speaking nations, migrated south into present day Mexiko from Aztlan is a significant part of our history, as it ties our Indigenous heritage to both north and central "America." This serves as a constant reminder that our blood runs deeper into these lands than that of any European. But perhaps this is where the entire "Aztlan is a myth" idea came from in the first place. By making our Indigenous heritage nothing more than "mythology," the United States has managed to destroy our connection to this land. They have also imposed a false "Hispanic/Latino" identity on our people, making us easier to control. "What are you guys complaining about?" They will ask us. "Your ancestors stole this land from the Native people anyway!" And since they have us running around calling ourselves "Hispanic/Latinos" (white Europeans) we don't even realize that our ancestors WERE the Native people. Obviously, if we all identified with our Indigenous heritage it would make things difficult for the American power structure. They would actually have to admit that Xikanos and Mexikanos are a nation of Native people, and white Europeans are actually the "illegal aliens."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hector Garcia on June 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for those in the beginning stages of learning Nahua History. Or Aztec/Indigenous History.
Kurly Tlapoyawa's work on this book was eloquently structured for easy reading with vast information.
A must read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tlakatekatl on May 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Whatever opinions you may have on Xikano-Mexikano people, the truth is that we're not illegals on this land. Tlapoyawa gives it to you straight and tells it like it is. Citing acclaimed and reknowned scholars and authors, he takes you step by step through the different chapters of historical Mexican culture and identity. After reading this compelling and thought provoking book, there will be no doubt in your mind of the ties and right Mexikah people have on the land now known as the Southwest. Aztlan is not a myth; it is a documented historical ancestral homeland of the Nawatl speaking people, and we, the descendants of the original people of this continent, have the right to migrate freely back and forth as we please, following in the tradition of our ancestors. This book is a must read for truth and culture seekers, myth de-bunkers, and students in Indigenous/Native American and Chicano Studies.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ilwixochitl on December 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
"We Will Rise" is based on the belief that Mexicano/Chicanos must begin our liberation from the correct point of reference. The book
begins not with the Chicano Movement of the 1970s, or the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848, or even the Spanish invasion of Mexiko in
1519. It begins with our origins in the present-day Southwest U.S. thousands of years ago. It brings the reader full-circle to our current situation as an occupied nation in the Southwest. It offers a system for lifting ourselves to our former greatness and unity as a people, not through violence, but through Mexikayotl, in solidarity with our northern native brothers and sisters. It does all this in a very easy-to-read style, with clarity as well as beautiful original artwork. It is perfect for students of all ages. A truly uplifting book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ali on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an eye-opener. The information is thought- provoking and life-changing. I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone.
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