viernes, enero 19, 2007

The Teotlalpan

The region of the Teotlalpan is rich in history. Their people are so united socially and geographically, that some even argue Teotlalpan should become a state in Mexico, just as Tierra Caliente in Michoacan.

Teotlalpan is Tolteca territory. The region that encompassed the nuclear Tolteca country is still today the Teotlalpan, in today's modern Hidalgo state. The Teotlalpan has many important cities and towns like Tula (Tollan Xicucotitlan), Tulancingo (Tollantzinco), Coatepec, Mixquiahuala (Mizquiyahualla), Tezontepec, Ixmiquilpan (Itzmiquilpan), Actopan, Atotonilco, Tephe, Chiconquac, and we could include, Huichapan and Jilotepec.

In the VERY center is the enigmatic Xicuco. A mountain with the form of an upside cone. The whole city of Tula was built to glorify or beautify the Xicuco. It is said to have mysterious tunnels that criss cross the Xicuco as a Gruyere cheese. Once used by Quetzalcoatl's followers, then used to hide bandits, and now it serves not only as symbol but point of reference of the Teotlalpan. In the past, the Teotlalpan was inhabitated by Teotihuacans. For instance, Chingu, an important city just below the Xicuco.

Then they were called Tolteca. Many Northerners that arrived such as Xolotl's Chichimecas, Mixcoatl's Teochichimecas, and Mexi's Mexica all passed through the Teotlalpan. The Mexica lived in Coatepec, for instance. They were the ones that gave the name "Teotlalpan" to the region. The great Xolotl, from which all noble lineages begin, and their people entered through Mizquiahuala and Actopan. Xolotl settled some of his people as he passed Teotlalpan's towns.

Even 40 years ago, many of our parents still remember how the society in the Teotlalpan was divided into two: "Los Chichimecas" and "Los Otomies". Today the Teotlalpan is famous and proud to be Otomi country.

The Hñahñu, the correct term for Otomi, still speak Hñahñu and have many small towns named in Hñahñu and not in imposed Nahuatl. They were bitter enemies with almost anyone that could bring danger to their independence, cultural and political. The Mexica wasted a lot of resources in conquering the Teotlalpan. It is even said that Tezontepec served as the tlahtoani's headquarters when fighting the Hñahñu.

The Teotlalpan is proud to say four things that may never be scientifically corroborated, but their claim is noble and quite interesting:

1. That worship to Tonantzin, later called Virgin of Guadalupe, survived thanks to them and not to the Mexica (chilangos).

2. That the eagle that posed in Mexico Tenochtitlan's famous cactus first posed in the Teotlalpan. Or as they say, "Mexico was supposed to be here".

3. That Quetzalcoatl was from the Teotlalpan.

4. That the Xicuco is the center of the world. Or as they say, "It is the belly-button of the world".

The Teotlalpan was named by the Mexica because they believed Coatlicue, Quetzalcoatl, among others, dwell in their mountains and rivers. It is a region with high paranormal phenomena. In small towns one can see balls of fire hovering over the mountains, especially the ones with most ancient temples. The "Cerro del Elefante" or Elephant's mountain is famous for their balls of fire and other creatures. At the top there are temples dedicated to Muye (Tlaloc).

The Teotlalpan also saw the worst cases of torture from powerful Spaniards that had their Haciendas in different parts of the Teotlalpan. It also has the oldest churches and buildings made by the White Man in all the Americas.

Today is famous for tourism and food. The Teotlalpan is the birthplace of Mexican "Barbacoa". It has "balnearios" runned by Hñahñus. Groups of Hñahñus join together as an organization to do business in tourism and create big water parks. Some famous ones is the Tephe and Sindehe. They refuse to use Nahuatl language.

The Dänguu and capital of the Hñahñu worldwide is in Temoaya, Estado de Mexico. Ironically not in Teotlalpan.