Image for post
Image for post
Image Source: liberationnews, 2014.

Originally published in: In Kuauhtlahtoa: Journal of Native Resistance, 2003.

While most people throughout occupied Ixachilan celebrated the “thanks-taking” hoax holiday, I found myself down in south Tejaztlan, in a small town just minutes from the border. The few days I was there, I took the time to contemplate the beautiful starry night sky and enjoy the pleasant weather. It is truly amazing to look up and see the splendor of the universe and ponder on how our ancestors perceived it. The city nights that I’m used to can never compare to what one can experience in a small town. I recall my happy childhood years, spent in rural Mexiko, and I will always remember the beauty of the night sky, covered completely with sparkling dots. Funny how it’s the simple things that one treasures and misses the most. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Legend

There’s a Mexican ballad, “La Celda 27,” that used to be very popular many years ago. Perhaps one of the best interpretations of the song comes from Conjunto Primavera, a norteño band that played in the Chihuahuan variation of that musical style. The band itself was also immensely popular at one time, largely in the nineties and the early aughts when norteño music was still hot on the charts. Were it not for Conjunto Primavera’s rendition, the song wouldn’t be as popular as it is.

The song itself is purportedly based on an old legend dating to nineteenth century Durango, Mexico during the Porfiriato Era. The name of the song translates to “Cell 27” (as in jail cell) which, according to tradition, was in the Carcel de Durango located in the capital of the state — Ciudad Victoria de Durango. …


This is a term paper I did my senior year in college for a class titled, “Women in Latin America.” I offer it here in memoriam of Sor Juana’s 325th anniversary of her death. –Tlakatekatl

Image for post
Image for post

Modern feminism has long been assumed to have originated with white-Anglo-Saxon-protestant (WASP) women, but a closer inspection reveals that not to be entirely true. Some of the earliest voices of feminism originated not in Anglo-Protestant society, but in Spanish-Catholic ones. The following essay highlights two prominent women of the seventeenth-century Spanish speaking world that championed women’s rights centuries before the WASP feminist movement that materialized in the nineteenth-century. …


“May 5, 1862 and the siege of Puebla,” a 1901 image from the Biblioteca del Niño Mexicano, a series of booklets for children
“May 5, 1862 and the siege of Puebla,” a 1901 image from the Biblioteca del Niño Mexicano, a series of booklets for children
“May 5, 1862 and the siege of Puebla,” a 1901 image from the Biblioteca del Niño Mexicano, a series of booklets for children detailing the history of Mexico.

Year in and year out, the Mexican-American holiday Cinco de Mayo spurs countless discussions and commentaries from well-meaning folks who want to set the record straight on what the celebration is and is not about. I too have delved into this conversation in the past but stopped doing it long-ago, because I grew tired of repeating the same thing year after year. My approach to the topic has been one of trying to answer a very specific underlying question about the celebration itself: Why do Mexican Americans celebrate this holiday in the United States more so than even Mexicans do?

I used to think that Mexican Americans celebrated the holiday in the US because General Ignacio Zaragoza was a native Tejano. Zaragoza was born in La Bahía del Espíritu Santo, Tejas back when it was still a part of Mexico — La Bahia is now known as Goliad, Texas. The way I saw it, since the hero of that victory had been one of our very own Tejanos, in my mind, it was logical to say that Zaragoza was the reason for the season (to borrow a phrase). …

About

Tlakatekatl

Chicano activist, danzante Mexika, & scholar with a PhD in history. Research explores Chicana/o indigeneity and its deep connections to indigenist nationalism.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store