Sur a la Libertad! – When Slaves Headed South to Freedom in Mexico

The flight of runaway slaves to Mexico is a chapter of history that is often overlooked or ignored. Introduction In a forgotten cemetery on the edge of Texas in the Rio Grande delta, Olga Webber-Vasques says she’s proud of her family’s legacy — even if she only just learned the full story. Turns out her[…]

A History of Slavery in Colonial New Spain and Afro-Mexican Identity

There are three main periods that describe the trajectory of African enslavement in New Spain from 1519 to 1827. By Jacqueline Galindo Valadez Overview Exploring the enslavement of Africans and their historical experiences/contributions, as well as Afro-Mexican’s current lived experiences centered on identity. It is critical to explore Afro-Mexicans’ legacies (both in the past and[…]

Map of Cholula, Mexico, from the Relaciones Geográficas in 1581

The map is organized on a grid—as was the actual city it represents. Introduction In 1581, an Indigenous artist from San Gabriel, Cholula (near the city of Puebla in Mexico, then part of the viceroyalty of New Spain) created an extraordinary map that shows the main buildings and spaces of the city—all centered around the[…]

The Virgin of Guadalupe: More Than a Religious Icon to Catholics in Mexico

A scholar explains the history of the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and its connection to Mexican people. Introduction Each year, as many as 10 million people travel to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, in what is believed to be the largest Catholic pilgrimage in the[…]

‘The Three Greats’ of Mexican Modernism Fought Tyranny with Art

Zapata fought with guns. Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros fought with their own talent – art. It’s such a peaceful image. A woman handing out fruit to a group of young people. But the print is the product of conflict and pain. The bloody, brutal Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) is the theme[…]

‘The History of Mexico’: Diego Rivera’s Murals at the National Palace

In an overwhelming and crowded composition, Rivera represents pivotal scenes from the history of the modern nation-state. How Is History Told? Typically, we think of history as a series of events narrated in chronological order. But what does history look like as a series of images? Mexican artist Diego Rivera responded to this question when[…]

Daily Life in Aztec Tenochtitlan

Exploring Aztec class structure, marriage, family life, food, markets, religious practices, and recreation. Introduction The Aztecs built their large empire in central Mexico. Suppose you are an Aztec child living outside Tenochtitlán in the 1400s C.E. One morning your father, a chili pepper farmer, takes you to the Great Market at Tenochtitlán. Your father finds[…]

Moctezuma I: Second Aztec Emperor, Fifth King of Tenochtitlan

Moctezuma I in the Codex Mendoza / Wikimedia Commons Moctezuma brought social, economical, and political reform to strengthen Aztec rule, and Tenochititlan benefited from relations with other tribes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.05.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction and Overview Overview Moctezuma I (c. 1398-1469), also known as Motecuhzomatzin Ilhuicamina ( modern Nahuatl pronunciation, Huehuemotecuhzoma or Montezuma I (Classical Nahuatl: Motēcuzōma Ilhuicamīna [moteːkʷˈsoːma ilwikaˈmiːna], Classical[…]

The Aztecs: Dominion in the Valley of Mexico to 1521

Aztec calendar / Anthropology Museum, Photo by Rengarajang, Wikimedia Commons The Aztecs dominated the Valley of Mexico for 100 years, until their downfall at the hands of Hernan Cortez and his conquistadors in 1521. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.08.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief A Kingdom of Blood The capital city of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlán,[…]

Francisco (Pancho) Villa: Caudillo of Chihuaua

Villa at Battle of Torreón / Wikimedia Commons While his violence and ambition prevented his from being accepted into the “pantheon” of national heroes until some twenty years after his death, today his memory is honored by many Mexicans. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.06.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Doroteo Arango Arámbula (June 5, 1878[…]

Teotihuacan: Golden Age Metropolis of Ancient Mexico

Teotihuacan, 300 BCE Teotihuacan, located in the Basin of Central Mexico, was the largest, most influential, and certainly most revered city in the history of the New World, and it flourished in Mesoamerica’s Golden Age. By Mark Cartwright / 02.17.2015 Historian Teotihuacan, located in the Basin of Central Mexico, was the largest, most influential, and certainly most[…]

The Olmec Engima: An Ancient Mexican Civilization

A mask of jadeite from the Olmec civilization of the Gulf coast, Mesoamerica, 900-500 BCE. Provenance: Rio Pesquero, Mexico. / Photo by Mary Harrsch, Flickr, Dallas Museum of Art The Olmec civilization presents something of a mystery, indeed, we do not even know what they called themselves. By Mark Cartwright / 04.04.2018 Historian The mysterious Olmec civilization, located[…]

The Art of Mexican Independence

Anonymous, Allegory of Independence (detail), 1834 (Museo Histórico Curato de Dolores, Guanajato, INAH) By Dr. Maya Jiménez / 02.17.2017 Lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art and Assistant Professor of Art History Kingsborough Community College, CUNY The first two, and most notable, countries in the Americas to gain independence were the United States (1776), led[…]