TEXT: “El pueblo Azteca recibió un mensaje de uno de sus dioses, Huitzilopochtli, que les dijo que se asentaran en las tierras donde encontraran una águila en un islote, sobre un nopal comiéndose una víbora.”
INFORMANT DESCRIPTION: Male, 58, Mexican
CONTEXT: This Aztec legend is incredibly integral to Mexican culture. The man told me this is something everyone knows. It is so important to the foundation of the Mexican people and state. He says it is the essence of what is Mexican even without the Aztec roots. He knew about this legend his whole life, but believes he learned it from his parents and then again in school growing up as a young boy. It is symbolic of Mexican heritage and it is what was incorporated into the creation of the Mexican flag. The flag depicts the exact setting. He says everything is symbolic, the cactus that everyone eats in Mexico, the eagle as a powerful bird and a symbol of strength, He says it is a very nationalistic emblem and it is as symbolic and important as the Queen of England he says. It is even on the coin.
TRANSLATION: The Aztec people received a message from one of their gods, Huitzilopochtli, telling them that they need to settle in the lands where they come across or find an eagle atop a small island, sitting on top of a cactus eating a snake.
THOUGHTS: I also grew up and learned this legend as a child. I always recognized it on the flag and the story was ingrained in my mind. It is such a symbol of nationalism and is rooted in culture.