The Mexica: The sun who chased the moon and stars

Mexico’s soul is an enthralling chaos of colours and patterns that comes alive through styles that work solely on the canvas on which they are engraved. The vibrant, enthusiastic strokes are an ode to life and death alike, and are the unique and musical banner of a land that is dipped in paint.

Mexico’s culture and architecture have never been one lost amongst many; they are truly a spectacle of identity that builds upon its roots, and stands proudly in its own light.

The most famously mesmerising people date as far back as the 12th century AD, when a tribe from Azlan, north of modern Mexico, moved south to create the city state of Tenochtitlan. Worldwide, this tribe is known as the Aztecs, a name derived from their original location of Azlan. To them, however, their own chosen name is the “Mexica”, the name from which “Mexico” actually derives from. The Mexica therefore weren’t the product of their lands, but rather a driving force that shaped, literally, the Mexico that we know today.

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The Mexica weren’t a tribe of peace and beauty, but rather power and strength, war and survival; a fearless tribe that worshipped many powerful deities, amongst whom their patron Huitzilopochtli. To them, Huitzilopochtli wasn’t only a God, but rather an entity so entwined within their society that his “happiness” was linked to their own. He was the emblem of the Sun and the God of War.

Huitzilopochtli-from-the-Codex-Telleriano-Remensis-16th-century
Legend goes that he was born a fully grown warrior, who raged out of his mother’s womb when his sister, Coyolxauhqui, and his four hundred brothers, the Centzonuitznaua, attempted her murder. He beheaded his sister, and chased away his brothers.

In the Mexica’s mythology, Huitzilopochtli was the Sun, his brothers the stars, and his sister the moon. Because of that, he was said to be the reason why the Sun constantly chased after the moon and stars, and reigned above all else over the celestial lands. Huitzilopochtli’s strength was the strength of Tenochtitlan, and Tenochtitlan was the strength of the Mexica.

Because of their convictions and resolve, the Mexica went on to become one of the most studied tribes in history, and the incredible architecture they created to worship their gods is a destination no one would dare ignore.

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