Origin

 

The origin of Mexica people is confused, although most chronicles coincide about their emigration from a place called Aztlan. They also agree that they were a group with a complex social structure, carriers of the great Mesoamerican heritage.

Several groups left Aztlan, each with their own cultural background, and they defined their destiny during their pilgrimage. For the Mexica group, their separation from the others conditioned their future, as Huitzilopochtli ordered them to do so, changing their name from Aztecas to Mexicas.

Most chronicles refer to Mexica-Tlatelolca group as part of Tenochcas, but upon arrival of Europeans, Tlatelolco was subjugated to Tenochtitlan.

Some narrations tell that differences began during pilgrimage time, founding first the city of Tlatelolco. Other stories refer that it was after Tenochtitlan foundation when differences among them arose, leading to Tlatelolco establishment.

Some authors point out that Tlatelolco foundation took place 13 years after Tenochtitlan, in 1337 of the Common Era, being the beginning of official historiography.

After the establishment of both cities, they began to grow and so their needs. Ethno-historical sources point out how Tenochcas managed to link their past to a cult Tolteca lineage represented by Colhuas. Tlatelolcas did the same with Azcapotzalco lineages; this might be the essence of the difference between both Mexica groups.

Stories mention how they jointly struggle to extend their domains, to bring to the chosen people al kind of goods and to feed their god at the expense of the defeated.

Their armies conquered almost every settlement known, boasting of being the center of their universe; together, they forged their splendor based on warfare.

Tlatelolcas characterized for being great merchants; they needed to control the best commercial routes. To avoid paying tolls was possible thanks to military conquest and territorial annexation.

Conflict between fellow peoples was old when it culminated in the terrible war of 1473, when Tlatelolco is definitely defeated and turned into another Tenochtitlan tributary people.

War was quick; after just one day, Tlatelolco was been overpowered in spite of children, women and elders participation: Tenochca army did not consider the battle ended until they looted their houses and market. A tribute was settled, which consisted in one of every five parts of whatever sold in the market, and from then on, Tenochtitlan determined who would rule over Tlatelolco.

Sahagun confirmed that during 46 years Tlatelolco had no seignior; it was in 1519 AD, when Cuauhtemoc recovered the government. Other sources mention that Cuauhtemoc was designed by Moctezuma II in 1515.

Some years after, Europeans arrival to this land accelerated the collapse of Mexica society. Tlatelolco was the last bastion of Mexica power under Cuauhtemoc leadership, resisting more than 80 days without food or water.

In August 13th 1521 Tlatelolco finally fell under Spanish army, being the end of Mexica glorious history.

 

Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas esq. Flores Magón, Nonoalco, Tlatelolco; Ciudad de México, C.P. 06900

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