Tamoanchan, Tlalocan: places of mist

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University Press of Colorado, Sep 15, 1997 - History - 322 pages
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Two mysterious misty places existed in the world vision of the Aztecs - Tamoanchan and Tlalocan. Though they are considered important cosmological places, references to them in Aztec mythology are obscure. Myths about Tamoanchan describe it as the place where all beings in the world originated. Tlalocan, it was said, was a terrestrial paradise located inside a perpetually green and beautiful mountain that was the destination of humans who died by drowning, lightning, or disease. Historians have attempted to understand and clarify the significance of these two places since the sixteenth century. Today, most students of Aztec religion try to locate them in the cosmic scheme in order to better understand Mesoamerican religious thought, but the written sources on these two places are difficult to understand. In Tamoanchan, Tlalocan, Alfredo Lopez Austin presents new interpretations of Aztec mythology based on written historical sources, iconographic sources, and the beliefs of modern Indians.

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About the author (1997)

Graciela Iturbide was born in Mexico City in 1942. In the late 1960's she began studying filmmaking at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematograficos. While assisting Manuel Alvarez Bravo in the early 1970's, she studied photography, and soon after devoted herself to the art. During this time she traveled to Europe where she met Henri Cartier-Bresson, who became a significant influence on her work. In 1978 she became a founding member of the Mexican Council of Photography. Assisted by Francisco Toledo, she has been working for several years on her "Juchitan" project, for which she was awarded the W. Eugene Smith award in 1987. In 1988 she was given a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation and her exhibition "Juchitan" recived first prize at France's Mois de la Photo. Iturbide lives in Coyoacan, Mexico.
Alfredo Lopez Austin is one of Mexico's most eminent anthropologists. He is currently a research associate at the Instituto de Investigaciones Antroplogicas and a humanities professor of Mesoamerican studies at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. He is the author of several works, many of which have been translated into English, including "The Human Body and Ideology" (University of Utah Press, 1988). He is a visiting professor at various European universities and is the recipient of various awards, including a 1976 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Roberto Tejada is a poet, translator, and art critic. He edits the English-Spanish bilingual journal "Mandorla"--an annual of advanced poetry and poetics from the Americas. Tejada was the executive editor of "Artes de Mexico," and is presently on the editorial board of "Luna cornea," aquarterly journal on photography. His poems and critical writings have appeared in numerous international publications. He has edited "En algun ostro lado" (Editorial Vuelta, 1992), an anthology of twentieth-century poems on Mexico written by North American and British poets. Tejada has lived and worked in Mexico City since 1987.