• WE ARE
    TRADITIONAL

  • WE ARE
    CREATIVE

  • WE ARE
    TOLTECA

  • WE ARE
    CHICHIMECA

  • WE ARE
    AZTECA

  • WE ARE
    CONCHERO

  • WE ARE
    DANZA MEXI'CAYOTL

  • WE ARE ARE
    THE MEXI'CAYOTL INDIO
    CULTURAL CENTER

Unión - Conformidad - Conquista

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WE ARE DANZA MEXI'CAYOTL

WE ARE THE MEXI'CAYOTL INDIO CULTURAL CENTER

Timotlazcamati' miyac pampa titechpaxaloco
Bienvenidos..."estamos muy agradecidos porque Usted ha venido a visitarnos"
Welcome... "we are very thankful because you have come to visit us."

The Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center is dedicated to teaching and preserving the indigenous cultures of México and the southwestern United States. We are a community based, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to bringing knowledge of our living traditions back to our communities.  

What We Do

Since 1987 We have collected this knowledge from indigenous and mestizo people that still live the traditional ways of life, as well as from academic, scientific, and artistic sources that have carried out research on our treasured cultures. We then make this knowledge, so important for the future of our people, available to students, teachers, and others who want to begin their journey into a more traditional way of life. We focus on serving our youth in the barrios of Aztlan, especially those low- income families that may not have other opportunities to gain access to our ancestral treasures.

We are community residents, parents, artists, teachers, and counselors who dedicate our lives to diversity and social justice. We work and pray for the cultural, spiritual, ecological, economic and political floresence of our future generations. 

The Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center is a non-profit, community-based organization recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as at 501(c)(3) Tax exempt corporation. We are registered with the California Secretary of State as a domestic Nonprofit Corporation, and with the California Attorney General's Office as a State Charity.

If You have found this web site helpful, please consider donating to our 501(c)(3) non-profit community group with PayPal

 

La Danza Azteca

 

Danza Azteca, Danza Mexi'ca, Danza de Conquista, Danza Conchera... La Danza that we know today as Danza Azteca, has been called many names in the last 500 years of existence. But traditional Danzantes as well as historians, ethnographers, and ethnomusicologists all agree that the Danza we know as Azteca is in reality Danza Chichimeca of the states of Querétaro and Guanajuato. From the cities of Querétaro, Guanajuato, and San Miguel de Allende, La Danza spread to Mexico City, Guadalajara, and other parts of Mexico, until, in 1974, it arrived in Aztlan.

To Chicanos, Aztlan defines the lands where the Mexi'ca (Azteca) left to follow their god's prophecy of greatness. It is also defined as the lands taken away from Mexico at the end of the Mexican-American War. The prophecy foretold

For more research on the beautiful tradition of La Danza Tolteca-Chichimeca-Azteca-Conchera click here.

An Overview of the History of The Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center

 

During the 1970's, Chicano/Mexicano communities, (as well as the Native American communities) began a spiritual, cultural, artistic and political reconquest of their ancient American heritage. Everywhere, the young began to inquire from the old as to what had been their traditional ways. The Chicanos of San Diego, like many others throughout the Southwest, began to realize the great value and antiquity of the culture they had inherited from their parents and their elders. Music, poetry, mural painting and jewelry-making flourished within countless Chicano cultural centers of Aztlan, the newly rediscovered ancestral homeland of the Chicano/Mexicano peoples.

Perhaps the most visible, emotion-charging art to be rediscovered was LOS BAILES REGIONALES (the regional dances), the traditional Mestizo (mixed blood) dances of the many regions of Mexico. These "Ballet Folkloricos" unabashedly and colorfully expressed the dynamic vitality of the heritage brought to Aztlan by the Mexican immigrant.

While many young men and women rushed to learn these beautiful expressions of Mexico's complex ethnic past (the mixture of European, African and Asian with the Indigenous continues today), many felt a deep inner need to rediscover the Native American heritage of Mexico. They wanted to become a part of the Chicano/Mexicano's living heritage that predates the "Hispanic" or "Latino" identity forced upon them by the dominant Euro-African-American culture.

Many Chicano/Chicana college students journeyed into Mexico to discover their own family's lineage and ethnic ties to the hundreds of Native populations that still live and prosper in Mexico. It was in this time of rediscovery and yearning for the Chicano's ancient ways that a small, dark man of noble bearing arrived in San Diego, California. He was to change the self-identity of the Chicano people forever.

In 1974 Florencio Yescas, an elder from the Aztec communities of Mexico City, brought the Azteca dance tradition, first to San Diego, then to the rest of the U.S. He taught a small group of young men the ceremonies that give the Azteca dance tradition its great spiritual strength. This tradition has as its central focus the role of a dancer as a spiritual warrior who must defend his/her community from darkness (oppression, ignorance, fear, poverty, violence and self-hate). The Azteca dancer must "sacrifice" himself for the good of the community. This sacrifice is carried out through works of education, art, and social justice.

In the Azteca Dance Tradition, dance, music, native arts and songs combine to create a spiritual path where each dancer's body creates a physical invocation of prayer. Each dance is a prayer, each dancer is a supplicant in a prayer that is called OLLIN (movement).

 Mario Aguilar was one of the first Chicanos to learn Danza, and follow the pathof LA DANZA as a 20 year old student at San Diego State University, Mario Aguilar. He became one of the first Chicano members of Maestro Florencio Yescas group “Esplendor Azteca.” He quickly began to learn from Maestro Yescas, and soon became the leader of the Chicano-Azteca Dance circle at the Centro Cultural de La Raza in Balboa Park, Toltecas en Aztlan, the first Chicano focused Danza Azteca group in Aztlan. Toltecas mixed the path to spiritual search, with the need for political awareness and action.

In 1980, after six years of learning the spiritual, artistic, and musical aspects of the Azteca dance under Maestro Yescas, Mario Aguilar was told by Maestro Yescas he needed to go to Mexico City to be recognized as the first Chicano Capitán, or tribal leader of the Azteca dance tradition of Aztlan.

On Dec. 12, 1980 Mario E. Aguilar Cuauhtlehcoc, then 26 years old was given recognition as the first CHICANO Danza Elder, or CAPITÁN. Even at that age, he had proven to his maestro and elder, Florencio Yescas, Danza Conqueror of AZTLAN that he was serious and ready to take on this great obligation, and fulfill his duties. Florencio Yescas never received recognition in Mexico as an elder. But by his force of personality, and his great friendship with many of the elders of old family lines, he was considered to be a Capitán by many danza elders and dancers. This gave him great influence and respect in many dance circles and ceremonies.

At the request of Maestro Florencio, many traditional elders who were held in the highest esteem in Mexico gave Mario their recognition and support. These included Florencio’s own jefe (leader) Manuel Pineda, Generala Juanita May and her daughter Rosita Maya, General Felipe Aranda, Los Hermanos Placencia, Capitán Miguel Avalos, Eladio Aguillon, and others. This historical event was witnessed by fellow Toltecas En Aztlan members Bea Zamora (Mario's wife), Guillermo Rosette, and Felipe Rangel. Temoc Mosqueda, who now teaches in Colorado was also a witness.

This is why for many Chicano groups of La Danza Azteca, Florencio Yescas (as well as Andres Segura Granados) is considered a “Conquistador” (a conquerer) of the Chicano Nation, and a General of La Danza in Aztlan.

Since that day in 1980, Mario, his wife Bea, and the members of Danza Mexi'cayotl have dedicated themselves to teaching the spiritual, artistic, linguistic and political aspects of Azteca, Mexican and Chicano culture. Because the focus of the group is FAMILY, all of the children, from the moment of conception are completely involved in all the artistic and ceremonial aspects of the ancient danza tradition.

The work of teaching and preserving the Azteca dance tradition has been carried out at churches, schools, universities, recreation centers, and local Indian reservations. This has been accomplished through dance presentations, slide lectures and cultural workshops. By supporting the efforts of San Diego's local Chicano and Native American organizations and communities, Danza Mexi'cayotl is helping to empower people to create true self-determination, with an emphasis on the preservation of Native American 's rich and unique cultural legacy.

Thus, in 1987, the families of Danza Mexi'cayotl incorporated their circle into the Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center, a California Non-Profit corporation. In March 1993, MICC received 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.

With the help of various grants from the California Arts Council, the City of San Diego Commission on Arts and Culture, San Diego Gas and ElectricThe James Irvine Foundation,, The San Diego Community Foundation, The Barona Indian Reservation Tribal Council, Target Stores, and the Fund for Folk Culture, The Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center has been able to accomplish many things, including the publication of several books, as well as performing throughout California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Central Mexico.

El Cuartel General de la Danza Tolteca-Chichimeca-Azteca Conchera del Conquistador Florencio Yescas, La Cruz del Señor De Los Danzantes

In 2016, 36 years after the founding of Danza Mexi'cayotl, Capitanes Mario and Bea Aguilar has taken the next step to create stability, tradition, and a space for Danzantes to pass on their sacred tradition to future generations. In Unity with other Danza circles in San Diego County, we are forming the El Cuartel General de la Danza Tolteca-Chichimeca-Azteca Conchera del Conquistador Florencio Yescas, La Cruz del Señor De Los Danzantes.

Each group will keep their traditional and original lineage and mesa as recognized by their elders from Mexico. El Cuartel General de la Danza Tolteca-Chichimeca-Azteca Conchera del Conquistador Florencio Yescas  will operate under the leadership and guidance of  Mario E. Aguilar Cuauhtlehcoc, who will take on the role of Capitán General de las Danzas de San Diego Kosoy.

The Hierarchy of Traditional Azteca Danza Groups

The traditional Danza Azteca groups of México are organized as military units. Each group is seen as a unit of warriors who are sworn to defend their peoples faith and traditions against the forces of darkness and evil. This organizational tradition is a mixture of pre-Columbian tradition, as well as a reflection of the Spanish army that organized the indigenous overthrow of the Mexi'ca.

Each PALABRA is set up around the person of the CAPITAN or CAPITANA. In the areas near and in the City of MÉXICO-TENOCHTITLAN, as well as in JALISCO, MICHOACAN, TLAXCALA and PUEBLA, the palabra is known as the CUARTEL GENERAL. In the area north of México City, in QUERRETARO, GUANAJUATO,and HIDALGO, the palabra is known as LA MESA. As far as I can tell there are three larger overall "mesas" that in the past (now it is more in theory than in fact) oversaw and disciplined the regional groups. These were known as 1. La Mesa Chichimeca of Queretaro and the area of San Miguel Allende, to Hidalgo. This is currently known as the oldest mesa. It pre-dates the Mesa Azteca of Tenochtitlan, because the modern danza we know as "Azteca" arrived in Mexico city in the late 1890's. The original palabra that came from Queretaro to Mexico City is represented today by "Reliquia General" , an old ESTANDARTE that is still carried out into the batalla.

The Danza Elders who have come to teach in Aztlan

Omar Rodríguez Campos states that his grandfather, Capitán General Manuel Rodríguez Campos was the first Danzante to bring La Danza Azteca as a folkloric presentation to the U.S. in the 1950's. He states that Pablo Anaya, and Florencio Yescas came with him.

But it wasn't until Andrés Segura Granados came to the U.S. around 1973, that a Danza elder came to Aztlan with the intent of teaching the Danza Azteca tradition to Chicana/Chicanos. He focused on working at Universities and cultural centers. His teachings were esoteric, and he keep his followers closre to his side.

In 1974, When Florencio Yescas and his 12 young men from the Mexico City barrio of Tacuba, he focused on reaching as many Chicanas/Chicanos as possible. besides teaching at cultural centers, he taught at churches, recreation centers, and parks. His goal was to someday "see a Danza group in every barrio, at every church, park and school."

Although he did not live long enough to see his dream come true, the past 42 years have seen la Danza Tolteca-Chichimeca-Azteca Conchera del Conquistador Florencio Yescas grow llike wildfire.

In this page we have short biographies of the elders who first brought la Danza Azteca, and those elders that came much later.

Alabanzas

This word is translated from Spanish into English as “hymns.” In La Danza Azteca, an alabanza is a hymn dedicated to Catholic saints, virgins, or God. However, an alabanza is also a “meme” of bicultural significance. Even as the Danzantes sing their devotion to the Catholic paradigm of salvation, they are also (knowingly in the case of the elder Capitanes, or unknowingly in the case of the novice dancers and onlookers) reformulating the imagery, message, and significance of the words. When the Spanish Franciscan first arrived in Mesoamerica, they searched for a way to connect indigenous gods with Catholic saints that had similar attributes. Thus Tonantzin became La Virgen de Guadalupe, Tlaloc became San Isidro Labrador, and Ehecatl became el Niño de Atocha.

Upcoming Events and Performances
We will try to keep this area as current and timely as possible. We will list only events that are free and open to all of the community. If you need more info, pleases contact: cuauhtlehcoc@cox.net
Help us continue our work in our communities with a donation!

For 36years, the Mexi’cayotl Indio Cultural Center (MICC) has been dedicated to teaching and preserving the indigenous cultures of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. We are seeking support four our 2014 season and ask that you please consider making a contribution in support of our free workshops and community events.

The Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center is a non-profit, community-based organization recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as at 501(c)(3) Tax exempt corporation. We are registered with the California Secretary of State as a domestic Nonprofit Corporation, and with the California Attorney General's Office as a State Charity.If You have found this web site helpful, please consider donating to our 501(c)(3) non-profit community group with PayPal.

We look forward to working closely with you this year and thank you in advance for your continued support. If you have any questions, please contact us at (619) 694-8711 or by email at panayajr@cox.net. You can also visit our website at www.mexicayotl.org.

Our Mesa..Our Cuartel General... Our Oratorio: The Spirits Behind Our Work

The difference between a true "TRADITIONAL DANZA CIRCLE (or Calpulli, Teoyahualli, Palabra, etc.) is ORGANIZATION. A true palabra is one that will outlast its founder, sometimes for over a hundred years. Gourps that are based on a cult of personality or on a focus on making money with the danza fail in this way to be a part of the ancient legacy of LA Danza Tolteca-Chichimeca-Azteca-Conchera. Below we explain what these "palalbras" (words or concepts) MEAN TO danzantes, And how we are carrying them out.

Mesa: The word “table” is used interchangeably with the words “palabra,” “cuartel general,” and “oratorio.” In La Danza Azteca, a traditional group, headed by an acknowledged Capitán or Capitana, must have an altar where every ceremony begins and ends. This altar is usually in a special room in the leader’s home and is called the “oratorio” (oratory). In this room is the mesa or “table” where the altar is kept. The word mesa also means the ruling hierarchy of a group the Capitanes, the Malinches, the Alférez, and the Sargentos.

Cuartel General: These words in Spanish mean “the general quarters.” Every traditional Danza group is organized as a military unit. Its headquarters, where the group keeps their standard, their weapons (musical instruments and candles), and their relics is also known as the “oratorio.” From the Cuartel in the dance group leader’s home, the group departs to go into battle (the dance rituals). See Oratorio, palabra, mesa. Dance/Danza: For my study, the capitalized word “Danza” means the Aztec Dance.

Oratorio: The word “oratorio” is used interchangeably with the words “palabra,” “cuartel general,” and “mesa.” In its simplest sense, it is a physical space where the Danza group is centered. The group’s altar, weapons (musical instruments) estandarte, and relics are kept there. In its sense as a third space of identity, it is a room that is alien to normal Euro/African-American concepts of home décor and function. The oratorio is an enlarged and expanded version of the Mexican home altar. Persons, who are proud of their Mexcoehuani roots, usually have some type of altar in their home year round, even if they do not practice any religion. The altar is an identity marker. For the Danza group leaders, the oratorio further delineates their roles and obligations as leaders of spiritual warriors with an ancient lineage.

Here is a page with the usual palabras that traditional groups have. While some groups in Aztlan have added "capitanes or malinches del caracoles" These and other types of "palabras are not traditional in Mexico.

Capitán General
Mario Cuauhtlehcoc Aguilar

Capitana
Beatrice Zamora Aguilar

Heredera
Sofia Me:ztli Aguilar

 

 

 

Heredero
Andrés Ehecatl Aguilar

Segundo Capitán
Rolando Pérez

Sargento De Marcha
Luis Miguel Tovar

Sargento De Marcha
Alejandro Ochoa

 

Sargento De Campo
Pedro Anaya

 

Sargento De Clarines
Ray Berdugo Jr.

Capitana de Sahaumad

Veronica Enrique

Capitana de Sahaumador
Gisela Moreno

 

 

 

Heredero
Andrés Ehecatl Aguilar

Segundo Capitán
Rolando Pérez

Sargento De Marcha
Luis Miguel Tovar

Sargento De Marcha
Alejandro Ochoa

 

Sargento De Campo
Pedro Anaya

 

Sargento De Clarines
Ray Berdugo Jr.

Capitana de Sahaumador
Veronica Enrique

Capitana de Sahaumador
Gisela Moreno

 

Capitana de Campana
Angie Rodriguez

Capitana de Campana
Leo Chairez

 

 

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