Whether or not you ever heard of Juan Luna Cardenas before today, his influence on early neo-Aztekah nationalism is undeniable. He was, in essence, the father of the modern Mexikayotl movement, having influenced the likes of Rodolfo Nieva Lopez and his MCRCA, along with countless others through his so-called “teachings.” I say so-called because his alleged ancestral teachings are more a blend of pseudohistory, conspiracy thinking, and unfounded linguistic claims than anything rooted in factual information. These teachings were adopted, repeated without question, and later distributed among participants of the early Chicano movement, especially those who were involved in danza Azteca traditions, but his influence was certainly not limited to danzantes alone. Juan Luna even presented at a 1979 NACCS conference in Colorado.
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Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and filmmaker. His research covers Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the historical connections between the two regions. He is the author of numerous books and has presented lectures at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, San Diego State University, and numerous others. He is currently a professor of Chicano Studies at the Colegio Chicano del Pueblo, a free online educational institution.
Ruben Arellano Tlakatekatl is a scholar, activist, and professor of history. His research explores Chicana/Chicano indigeneity, Mexican indigenist nationalism, and Coahuiltecan identity resurgence. Other areas of research include Aztlan (US Southwest), Anawak (Mesoamerica), and Native North America. He has presented and published widely on these topics and has taught courses at various institutions. He currently teaches history at Dallas College – Mountain View Campus.