Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is Aztlan in Utah?

Belgian paleographer Antoon Leon Vollemaere thinks so. After reviewing a number of Aztec documents and doing onsite research, he surmizes that the "mythical" home of the Aztecs before they headed south to found a civilization in the Valley of Mexico was a lonely mesa near the juncture of the Colorado and San Juan rivers in southern Utah.
"After 3 years of study and investigations, we located in May 1991 (Vollemaere 1991d 'De mythe van Aztlán...' in Flemish) the three mythical places:
  • Aztlán, 'Land of the Herons', ancient homeland of the Azteca Mexica, must be situated in the region of Lake Powell (Colorado River and San Juan River, Utah), at least on Wilson Mesa and Grey Mesa, but probably over a larger area;

  • the beautiful and interesting White House cliff dwelling of Canyon de Chelly (Arizona) was certainly the historic (Teo)Colhuacan, the second mythical town of the Aztec migration; it was the 'residence of the ancestors (Colhua), or 'residence of the hill bending forward';

  • the Gila Cliff Dwellings (New Mexico) were one of the several Chicomoztoc's (Seven Caves or Seven Canyons), the third most important town of the Aztec migration to Central Mexico." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicomoztoc

Here is the the migration path of the tribes.

One of the tribes that migrated south were the CUILLAHUACA, or "the Ancestral People." He believes this group stayed north in Arizona and became the Moki, another name for Hopi. There is a Moki Canyon in Utah north of the San Juan where a number of ruins have been found.

"As we see, the tribe glyph (ethnonym) represents water, running first over a square surface, and then finally falling down. This clearly indicates a waterfall, a cataract, or a rapid. Therefore we must call this Aztec tribe more correctly People of the Rapids. If they are called Colhua, it should be better to designate them by the name of Acolhua, or Water (Atl)Colhua, an Aztec tribe who came later to the region of Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico.... Therefore we may suppose that the Cuillahuaca (Acolhua / Hopi), lived in the region of the rapids from the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in the north to Moqui [Moki] Canyon (north of Hall's Crossing) in the south. In that region there are found many Anasazi ruins, potsherds, and petroglyphs. The Mesa Verde and Kayenta potsherds belong to the period 1000-1300. In this period falls the first migration (1064) of the Aztec tribes to the south."

Vollemaere believes that the event that precipitated the migration may have been the 1064 eruption of the volcano north of Flagstaff, Arizona now known as Sunset Crater.

The above photo from the Cline Library archives at NAU shows pictographs (rock paintings) of shaman figures in Moki Canyon. http://www6.nau.edu/library/scadb/recdisplay.cfm?control_num=12156

Read more at Vollemare's website: http://users.skynet.be/fa039055/aztlnkat.htm


Blogger Tecpatzin said...

Yes, I also think that the original place of the mexica and other nahuatl speaking people (namently the chichimeca) must be Arizona or Utah. Not really Aztlan, but a place where they were before. We could say, the migration was like this: Utah/Arizona --> Tamoanchan --> Chicomoztoc --> Aztlan (only the mexica group) --> Chicomoztoc (when the mexica returned to the centre of Mexico) --> Cuextecatl ichocayan, Coatepec, Tollan, Atitlalaquia, etc.. until they reached Tenochtitlan.

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