• October 1st, 2023
  • Sunday, 12:48:15 PM

Cuentos De Mi Chante Chicano: Los Viejos Abuelos

Photo: Daniel Stange


Daniel Stange

Yo Soy Chicano. Me veo Me siento. My love is lamento. But the Latin Lover image was never offensive to my generation. I grew up with the typical machismo that is recently discouraged, though my father who modeled to me, was Anglo. He almost bordered obscene at times and by some standards would be labeled a perverted individual. It certainly put me in some delicate conversations when I began employment with the Chicana-led Sisters of Color United for Education.


I believe that our ancestors transfer the emotions and experiences through our genetic and cultural paths. Sharing this foundational belief revealed much of the tensions that my humor and mannerism would unintentionally offend among the ladies in our community. It is a valuable process to dialogue with persons of the opposite sex and keep a non-defensive attitude. Not always as easy in practice, but that’s just what we need – practice. I feel that our modern American culture has pulled the discourse of men and women into such extremes, that marriage is seldom long lasting.


Our old Grandparents were lifelong mates, often despite the lack of mutual domestic power dynamics. Perhaps there was often survival needs and certainly religious prohibitions that secured that nucleus family unit to remain intact. Still, it is not romanticizing to imagine that the ancestral lives in Anahuac and their social norms, play a role in our desire to grow old with that special someone. The natural balance was such that the mother was administrator of the family and the father would execute the necessary actions and roles that would provide for the children. The details of this balance was passed down through our culture, but to many of us, it is still undiscovered. Waiting to be remembered.


“To forget the knowledge of our primordial past, our root and essence. The continued negative concepts towards our civilization of Anahuac in our genetic bank, our historic memory, our traditions, fiestas, customs, and family concepts, of our education, of our relationship to nature, in our work, in the intimate spaces of friendship, love, death, sacred, and divine, has condemned us to exist within this ‘Labyrinth of solitude.’” These words written by Guillermo Marin ‘El Tigre’ speaks of the challenge that has endured. Awareness takes us into the path of reawakening. To re-evaluate the societal norms of our grandmothers and speak the words that Cuauhtémoc said to remember and teach to the children.


There is strength in numbers, but there’s power in self-awareness and only empowered people will manifest destiny.


There are ample publications of the final words of Cuauhtémoc online. In a later half of his speech, there’s a translation from Nahuatl that says:


“Most honorable fathers and most honorable mothers, may you never forget to guide your young ones, teach your children, while you live how good it has been and will be. Until now our beloved Anahuac, sheltered and protected our destinies.”


The Nahuatl words of the last sentence here use, tlanekiliz iuan tlapeluiliz Tonetoltiliztli. Tlanequeliztli (another spelling variation) – also refers to the will power. Netoltiliztli is your VOTE – your choice and TO (ours) refers to our collective choice hence, our destinies, Tonetoltiliztli, but our own choices also.


To me this reveals a perspective about our Anahuac viewpoint that is more prevalent today about the fate of humanity and the view that a person’s willpower is blended with that of the land (seeded into our being); that we choose our destiny and nobody is bound to fate.


The final part says: “Our ancestors and our parents enthusiastically received and seeded in our being. Now we will instruct our children how to be good. They will raise themselves up and gain strength and as goodness make real their great destiny in this, our beloved mother Anahuac.”


Some of you are the studious ones that will hopefully investigate more of these last words from Tlatoani Cuauhtémoc, others still reflect on the prophetic hopes and promises. The phenomenon that all the children of Anahuac are unconsciously seeking out their connection to culture is enough proof for me that we are seeing the return of our sun. These ideas are not intended to provide us some mythology to seek leadership and dogma that will march the collective masses. It is a responsibility of ALL descendants of Anahuac to learn these truths and find their own identity and lead their own way. There is strength in numbers, but there’s power in self-awareness and only empowered people will manifest destiny.


To me the spirit of Chicano is rooted in these ideas. That we continue to renew our identity and not allow others to label us, Hispanic or Latino or Latinx. It’s like when the Spanish came and thought they were in India and they call us Indians. A lot of us have adopted the term Injuns but our historical names were diverse. There’s a consciousness of our ancestors awakening that is in the Spirit of Chicanismo. The people of Anahuac did not believe in racisms because there is only one human race. There are many cultures and on this continent many cultures flourished and some have even been forgotten, but collectively the original cultures of North and Central América developed a universal lens of reality.


Never forget, you are descendant from great people. Los Viejos Abuelos of Anahuac developed for more than 7,000 years and produced a cultural way of life that is needed more than ever before. It’s not about going backward to live in tipis, although some people are going that way. But our true perfection in comprehending the manifestations of energy in this universe can help the scientists today. Scientific theories are all based on experimentations that utilize a ten based number system and a time count that is not in sync with Mother Nature. The understanding of our culture can correct that and many other concepts that keep us in conflict.


The next issue I want to share some history of the teaching methods and concepts that schools in Anahuac used to develop a true ethic and moral way of living in the world that promotes peace and social responsibility.

Daniel Stange is the Grant Manager with Sisters of Color United for Education in Denver, Colorado. Read the first edition of Cuentos De Mi Chante Chicano here.

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