The word “Azteca” was NOT created by Von Humboldt!

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By Ruben Ochoa

“We didn’t call ourselves Aztecs.  We called ourselves Mexica.”  That refrain, or something very similar to it, has been repeated time and time again by countless Chicanos, Mexicanos, indigenistas, cultural practitioners, etc., for who knows how long.  Hell, even I used to say it about fifteen to twenty years ago, when I was still relatively nascent in my studies of our indigenous history.  But is there really truth to this statement?

I first started reading about the indigenous history of Mexico when I was between ten to twelve years old.  I knew I was Mexican, and the encyclopedia said that the Aztecs were from Mexico, so BAM!, there you have it.  I’m Aztec.  Then of course I kept…

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