adelantecorazon asked: I read on one of the asks about language resources. I was wondering about websites or resources where to learn the Nahualt language since I found out my Great-Grandmother spoke nothing but that language. Any ideas?


But I mostly just look through the ‘Nahuatl’ tag, it has a lot of useful tips on pronunciation and such. My father knows the language better than me though so I usually get some help from him, mostly because sometimes the words are not spelled correctly and that can make all the difference. - mod M

*If you go in the Nahuatl tag, you have to know a decent amount of Spanish because it’s mainly Spanish to Nahuatl.

badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista said: there is also the English-Nahuatl dictionary online run by AULEX org but its in Spanish. also try this

I know a university course like this is very expensive but maybe someone out there is interested.  Financial aid is available according to the website. The professor John Sullivan has previously taught an online course through the University of New Mexico Chicana & Chicano Studies Program as recently as Spring 2013. There may be other opportunities out there in the future so keep an eye out.  If nothing else, there is a short list of course materials after the jump.  IDIEZ seems like a very cool organization as well. Here’s the info for the class:

Intensive Nahuatl Language Summer 2014 at Yale University

The Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS) at Yale University, in partnership with IDIEZ (the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas, Mexico) offer the opportunity to study Classical and Modern Nahuatl at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels in a summer intensive course that will be held at Yale in Summer 2014. 

Dates of Course:  June 23 – August 1, 2014.

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What is interesting, is that the Frida Kahlo venerated by American feminists is a very different Frida Kahlo to the one people learn about in Mexico, in the Chicano community. In her country, she is recognized as an important artist and a key figure in revolutionary politics of early 20th century Mexico. Her communist affiliations are made very clear. Her relationship with Trotsky is underscored. All her political activities with Diego Rivera are constantly emphasized. The connection between her art and her politics is always made. When Chicana artists became interested in Frida Kahlo in the ‘70s and started organizing homages, they made the connection between her artistic project and theirs because they too were searching for an aesthetic compliment to a political view that was radical and emancipatory. But when the Euro-American feminists latch onto Frida Kahlo in the early ‘80s and when the American mainstream caught on to her, she was transformed into a figure of suffering. I am very critical of that form of appropriation.

Coco Fusco on her Amerindians piece from 1992 with Guillermo Gómez-Peña (via tofunkey)


(via buriedthings)


Lending Circles Help Latinas Pay Bills And Invest

Cuban-American Barb Mayo describes a tanda like this: “It’s like a no-interest loan with your friends.” Mayo had never heard of tandas growing up, and it wasn’t until she started working in sales for a cable company in Southern California that she was introduced to the concept.

Here’s an example of how a tanda works: Ten friends, family or co-workers get together, and each agrees to give $100 every two weeks to the group’s organizer. One person ends up with the whole pot at the end of the month: $2,000. This goes on for 10 months until everyone gets the pot.

Read more on NPR’s Code Switch

Oh no, the gringos know about the tandas.



in the span of 10 minutes two mexicans just won an oscar, you have no idea how great that is. 

Lupita counts so three!


¡Viva la mujer Chicana!

(via raiderxvida)

#chicano  #xicana  #mujer  


Cesar Chavez, Salinas Valley, 1970

(via elcoyoteonline)


What Star Wars' Casting of Adam Driver Says About Hollywood

For once, a casting announcement for an iconic film has been met with little objection. Late Wednesday afternoon, Hollywood trade publications reported that Adam Driver would likely play a key role as the villain in the new Star Wars trilogy. If Driver ends up with the part, this is good news for all. Driver is a terrific actor, and it bodes well for the upcoming trilogy that the producers have chosen someone whose strength lies in his abilities, not in conventional good looks.

Obviously, it is also a big deal for Driver himself, as it marks a huge leap forward in his career. Two years ago, nobody knew his name, but after breaking out in Girls and securing small but memorable roles in prestigious fare like Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis, he is now on a more secure path to movie stardom.

But one question remains: Why is it that the first actor from Girls to break through to success in the movies is a man?

Read more. [Image: Evan Agostini/AP]

It’s a trap!  First this article pretends to be about Star Wars to get us to read about the television show Girls; then it carelessly spews a bunch of thermal exhaust about Latinos in the entertainment industry while trying to say something, anything, about gender.  Let’s take it apart.

Another place where television trumps film in reflecting modern America is its use of Latino characters.

So true. Latinos characters are extremely useful once you get the hang of them.  White actors are quite adept at playing them nowadays.  You know, because practice makes perfect.  It would be a shame if someone diluted that perfection.

A portion of anti-immigration advocates fear the dilution of American culture due to the influence of Mexican immigrants, but on television, no one seems to mind.

In real life racists have a deep seated fear of brown people and miss the old-timey white America they made up in their heads.  On TV they get to see that fantasy.  Magical!  If you feel a little awkward about that, just remember it’s all the fault of of Mexican immigrants acting all suave and influential.  Never mind about those blatant bland racists anti-immigration advocates.  Hey look, boobs!

On the networks, Modern Family features a prominent Latina (Sofia Vergara), while Eva Longoria, of Mexican descent, anchored Desperate Housewives for years.

T and A.  Diversity.

Flip on over to cable and check out The Bridge for a more serious, nuanced Latino character.

2012 Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir?  Forget that guy, what about George Lopez?

George Lopez has been around seemingly forever and has a new show on FX premiering next month.

Forever has never felt so long.  What were we talking about?

But where are the Latino movie stars? Sure, we’ve got Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Antonio Banderas, but they are all of Spanish descent, not Mexican, which makes a difference when we’re discussing immigration issues.

And when are we not discussing immigration?  We can’t stop talking about it.  Just look what happened to Spain.  It used to be European, now everyone there is of Spanish descent.  If only Spain had gone Mexican, that would have solved this problem.  Maybe we can get one of those Puerto Rican or Colombian Mexicans to star in a film someday.

If you are looking for a Mexican-American movie star, the best you can do are Salma Hayek, Diego Luna, or Danny Trejo, none of who have the star power to helm a big-budget studio movie.

Do you work here?  It just seems like someone writing about the entertainment industry should know their way around Variety slanguage. Ehem. Salma Hayek was the top liner (star) of Frida.  Danny Trejo was the top liner (star) of both Machete, and Machete Kills. Diego Luna helmed (directed) the upcoming Cesar Chavez.  But never mind that, you were looking for Mexican-Americans and you found one naturalized American citizen, one Mexican citizen, and a bonus bad-ass Chicano.  You could work for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.

Many talented Latino film actors out there, like the versatile and charismatic Michael Pena, have inexplicably never broken through to the mainstream (although next month’s Cesar Chavez will hopefully change that in Pena’s case).

Inexplicable—the first word that come to mind when I think of Michael Pena’s career—when it comes to mind.  Wait, isn’t Rosario Dawson playing Dolores Huerta in that movie?

On issues of gender equality, both film and television are making progress.

  Who cares (apparently). Let’s just watch this trailer for Cesar Chavez!


Dimmet, Texas, 1949.

White’s only what?


Phrases in 8 of Mexico’s Mother Languages in Honor of International Mother Language Day

In 1999, UNECO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) proclaimed February 21 International Mother Language Day as a means to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages ​​used by peoples of the world.”

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was established by UNESCO in commemoration of students who were killed in Dhaka (current day Bangladesh) in 1952 protesting for recognition of Bengali as one of two official languages of then Pakistan. 2014 marks 15 years that IMLD has promoted the richness and diversity of mother languages.

According to a study done by INALI ​​(National Institute of Indigenous Languages), in Mexico there are:

• 11 language families

• 68 languages

• and 364 dialects

In celebration of IMLD, here are phrases in Nahuatl, Zapotec, Maya, Totonac, Tarahumara, Otomi, Mazahua and Mixtec, 8 of Mexico’s mother languages, via our friends at Animal Político.

1. Nahuatl: It comes from the Uto-Aztecan family and is the most widely spoken of all Indian languages. Spoken in Mexico City, Durango, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala and Veracruz, among others.

Good morning: Cualli tonaltin, or when you meet someone, you can say panoli.
Thanks: Tlasojkamati
Farewell Anej

2. Zapoteco: Oto-mangue language family. It’s spoken in Oaxaca and Veracruz.

Hi: Shitaxha
Thanks: Xquixhepelli
Goodbye: Padiuxhi

3. Maya: Maya language family. It is the second most spoken language in Mexico. It is spoken in the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and Guatemala.

Good morning: ma’alo’ob k’iin
Thanks: Niib óolal, Yuum bo’otik
Goodbye: ka’a xi’itech

4. Totonaco: Totonaco-tepehua language family. It’s spoken in the Papantla region of Veracruz.

Good morning, afternoon, evening: Kgalhén
Thanks: Paxkatkatsini
Goodbye: Skgalhén

5. Mixteco: In 2000, Mixteco language speakers ​​were the fourth largest community of Indigenous language speakers in Mexico with a total of 446,236 speakers over the age of 5.

Good morning: ku va’a
Thanks: tixa’vi, taxa’vixiñ
Goodbye: ndene’e, nandi

6. Tarahumara: Rarámuri, as it’s known by many, is especially complex. It has five vowel tones and distinctive vowel lengths: / i, e, a, o, u /, which also distinguishes between long and short vowels. Its accent is also phonemic.

Good morning: kuira ba
Thanks: matétera ba
Goodbye: ariosibá

7. Mazahua: Its speakers refer to their language as “Jñatio,” which is also their name for themselves.

Good morning: jiasmaji
Thanks: pokjú
Goodbye: maxa (the person replying); maxko (the person bidding farewell)

8. Otomi: As a group, the Otomi is the fifth largest Indigenous nation of Mexico. Of these, only a little more than half speak their mother language.

Good morning: hats’i, haxajuä
Thanks: jamädi
Goodbye: magö

Thanks to the folks at INALI, UNESCO, and those at Animal Político for compiling this list.

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Do you speak Mexican???  


Ahuacamolli (Guacamole) Recipe Video in Nahuatl

A young maned Marco who follows us on Instagram told us about his ahuacamolli (guacamole) recipe video in Nahuatl earlier today. Wow! Huel cualli (excellent)!

Marco not only speaks Nahuatl, he also speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese. But this video is especially relevant to us today considering it’s in Nahuatl and today is International Mother Language Day.

This video comes with captions in Spanish and English (in CC), so everyone who follows this blog can enjoy it — and hopefully learn a little Nahuatl, too!. Make sure you show support and subscribe to his channel.



Top left: Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Rachel Rogers, Pocha Nostra Royalty, as part of The Museum of Fetishized Identities, Tate Modern, London, 2003; public performance. Courtesy Live Art Development Agency

Top right: Pocha Nostra Family Reunion, San Francisco, 2003. Photo: Jarda

Bottom: Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saul Garcia Lopez in the moments before the international premiere of the La Pocha Nostra Live Art Laboratory’s Corpo Insurrecto: The Robo-Proletariat at Steirischer Herbst Festival, Austria, 2012. Photo: Wolfgang Silveri

Guillermo Gómez-Peña: Linguistic Resistance | Art21 Magazine


Guillermo Gómez-Peña!!!

(via a-la-maquina)

(via elcoyoteonline)


“Immigration Is Beautiful” Mural Defaced With Racist Graffiti In Kansas

A group of high school students in Kansas came together with artist Armando Minjarez, the founder of an art and education non-profit, to identify issues that are important in their lives for a pilot program to create community-engaged art. Student after student wanted to make a piece on immigration.

“Some of them are immigrants, some are undocumented or have parents that are undocumented,” Minjarez, 27, and the founder of The Seed House La Casa de Semilla said. “One of the students designed the mural. I’m an artist by profession, so I guided them through the process. It was a really high quality mural for a group of 15- to 16-year-olds.”

“Immigration is beautiful,” the mural read.

But on Thursday morning a friend told Minjarez the mural had been defaced with racist graffiti and he quickly went to go see it. Scrawled in red, the word “welfare” was written in capital letters, along with “KKK” and “wetback,” a slur against immigrants (specifically Mexicans). 

Minjarez then began sharing images of the defaced mural with organizations, like Latino Rebels.

The growth of the Latin@ community in Wichita has been recent. Wichita schools have seen the percentage of Latin@ students double over the last decade, from 15% to 31%.

Besides the “immigration is beautiful” tagline, the mural featured a man and a woman with American and Mexican flags wrapped around them looking past a border fence towards the promise of the Statue of Liberty. Along the American flag are what look like DREAMers, undocumented youth brought to the country as children.

Minjarez says he and the students had spoken about how there could be pushback to this public display of their realities and he said the students are not discouraged.

“They’re not discouraged, but they’re certainly pissed off,” he said.

But Student Sarai Melendez, one of the students who painted the mural, said she was hurt, in a statement.

“All we wanted to do is bring a good message to this community; I feel upset and hurt, this was my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “We will make more and continue to express ourselves…this doesn’t stop us!”

Minjarez said the timing of the defacement of the mural coincides with the first meeting of Army of Artists, the complete group of artists who will decide and commit to the next pieces of public artwork. He said his internal goal is at least 8 more projects. “Whatever public art they want to create; a concert, a rap battle, an installation.”

He said this ugly episode will only invigorate the artists.

“We’re bringing to light the reality we live with everyday, we can choose to act like racism isn’t out there but it is.”

(via a-la-maquina)


55 years ago today, February 3, 1959, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in Iowa. Valens was 17 years old.

Valens was born in Pacoima, California, and is considered the forefather of Chicano Rock. His biggest hit: 🎶 “La Bamba,” an ode to his Mexican heritage.

#ritchievalens #pacoima #thedaythemusicdied #chicano #rocknroll #thinkmexican



Montoya Family Memorial for Sacramento Artist and Poet Maestro José Montoya

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 6:00-9:00 PM
Doors open at 6:00PM
Location: Crest Theater, 1013 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the children of José Montoya, Sacramento educator, artist, poet, and activist who died after a courageous battle with cancer, at the age of 81 on September 25, 2013, will host an evening of tribute through dance, song and poetry at Sacramento’s Crest Theater.

This free, public event planned in Sacramento is the only Montoya-family produced tribute event that will honor the memory of Montoya and his contributions in all of the many worlds in which he served including his early years in New Mexico, California’s Central Valley, the US Navy, his college life, teaching, the arts, and his activism. Doors open at 6:00 PM and seats are first-come, first-served.

Read more at Palabra: The National Compadre Network