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OUR PEOPLE - PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE


 


Tlaxcalteca Nation and Affiliated Tribes of Texas

Xicotencatl of Tizatla, Tlehuexolotzin of Tepeticpac, Citalpopocatzin of Quiahuiztlan and Maxixcatzin of Ocotelolco meet Cortez.  Legands say that Cortez convinced the 4 leaders to be Baptized and that Maxixcatzin became Don Lorenzo, Xicotencatl became Don Vicente, Citalpopocatzin became Don Bartolome And Tlehuexolotzin became Don Gonzalo.

Tlaxcalteca Nation and Affiliated Tribes of Texas 

Tribal History 

The Tlaxcaltecans, who spoke Nahuatl an Uto-Azteca language, migrated south from Chicomostoc, the place of the seven caves, location not yet determined in Texcalac, in the present Puebla-Tlaxcala valley. The 4 Tlatoani (Rulers) governed the Atlipetl a Tlaxcalteca Confederation consisting of four regions before the arrival of the Spaniards on April 22, 1519:  The 4 rulers were Xicotencatl of Tizatlan, Maxixcatzin of Ocotelulco, Tlehuexolotzin of Tepeticpac, and Citalpopocatzin of Quiahuiztlan.  Each of the 4 regions contributed equally to the obligations of governing the Tlaxcalteca Nation and each of the 4 Rulers took turns as Governor of the Tlaxcalteca Confederation in a fixed order of rotation beginning with the oldest in descending order. 

The first encounter with the Spanish (31 August, 1519) was hostile; led by a warrior named Xicotencatl, son of Xicotencatl the ruler of Tizatlan; three battles were fought against the Spaniards and lost. The 4 rulers, after considering the loss, the Spaniards armor, weapons, horses and fighting ability, decided to form an alliance with the Spaniards. Later they would help the Spaniards defeat the Aztecs

 Xicotencatl, the son, was never in agreement with the alliance; and Cortez, at the earliest opportunity, put him to death and thereby challenged the Tlaxcaltecas fidelity to the alliance.      

After the fall of the Aztecs and the great Mexican-Tenochtitlan in 1521, the Spanish armies and Tlaxcalteca allies marched to exploration and conquest of the West (Michoacán, Colima, Jalisco, etc.) in 1521, and remained there until 1540. They did not go north for another 50 years because it was controlled by what was then known as the Great Chichimeca, a very large population of hostile groups of Hunter Gatherer warring tribes. In 1560 Viceroy Don Juan de Velasco requested that a 1000 Tlaxcalteca Indians relocate to the Great Chichimeca region but his plan failed because he could not get enough volunteers. 

The level of interest to pacify the Great Chichimeca region was heightened due to the recent discovery of rich mines of silver to the north and so access to the region became imperative to the Spanish. Since the first colonies established in 1540, had not progressed due to the constant attack of the Chichimecas a mestizo (descendent of Tlaxcalteca and Spanish ancestry) named Miguel Caldera, who had been appointed mayor justice in the region, came up with the idea of sending forth Tlaxcaltecans who had acculturated decades ago when the conquistadors allied with the Indians. 

So in 1591 Viceroy Luis de Velasco II (son of Don Juan de Velasco) pressed the request again, this time due to the Tlaxcalteca religious and indigenous authorities negotiating a series of privileges and due to the advantages offered them, finally convinced his allies to a trip without return. 

 On March 14th 1591, Viceroy Luis de Velasco II , signed a Decree ordering, that 400 (100 from each region) Tlaxcalteca families would relocate to the great Chichimeca and colonize the region and also teach the local indigenous to  build structures, cultivate the land, raise livestock, weave, develop ceramics, teach textile techniques, make flour and spread Christianity. 

The rights and Privileges that were negotiated as compensation included the following:
1. The Tlaxcalan settlers in the Chichimeca country and their descendants shall be Hidalgos [noblemen] in perpetuity, free from tributes, taxes and personal service for all time.
2. They are not to be compelled to settle with Spaniards, but will be allowed to settle apart from them and have their own distinct districts [barrios]. No Spaniard can take or buy any building or house lot within the Tlaxcalan districts.
3. The Tlaxcalans are to be at all times settled apart from the Chichimecas and this distinction is to apply to all of their lots, pastures, wooded lands, rivers, salt beds, mills, and fishing rights.
4. The lands granted to the individual Tlaxcalans and the community as a whole is never to be alienated because of no occupation.
5. The markets in the new settlements shall be free, exempt from sales tax, from excise taxes, and from any other form of taxation.
6. The Tlaxcalan colonists and their descendants, besides being Hidalgos and free from all tribute, shall henceforth enjoy all exemptions and privileges already granted, or to be granted in the future, to the province and city of Tlaxcala.
7. The principals of Tlaxcala, who go to the new settlements, and their descendants, shall be permitted to carry arms and ride saddled horses without penalty.

Eventually, the 4 Tlaxcalan region settlements volunteered the requested families and they headed north as follows: 

June 6th 1591, 228 Tlaxcaltecans left from Ocotelulco led by Captains Lucas de Monte Alegre and Miguel de las Casas. This group was sent from San Juan del Rio to the mines of el Reino de Nueva Galicia [Zacatecas] 

June 7th 1591, 245 Tlaxcaltecans left from Tizaltlan led by Capitan Buenaventura Paz. This group was sent from San Juan del Rio to el Reino de León and el Reino de Nueva Vizcaya [Nuevo León, Durango and Coahuila] 

June 9th 1591, 207 Tlaxcaltecans left from Quiahuiztlan: led by Capitan Lucas Téllez. This group was sent from San Juan del Rio to el Reino de Nueva Galicia [Jalisco] 

June 9th 1591, 228 Tlaxcaltecans left from Tepeticpac led by Captains Francisco Vazquez and Juaquin Paredes. This group was sent from San Juan del Rio to the mines of San Miguel Mexquitic en el Reino de Nueva Galicia [San Luis Potosí]. 

These brave young families eventually founded the Mexican states of Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Durango, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas. They also founded over a 100 cities and towns including: Albuquerque, Barrio de Analco, Santa Fe and Las Cruces in present day New Mexico. And in 1718 they built Mission de San Antonio and Villa de San Andres de Nava both in present day Texas. 

When José de Escandón established his new colony of Nueva Santander straddling the Rio Grande in the region of present-day Tamaulipas and South Texas in 1750, he invited Tlaxcalans from Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi to accompany him. As a result, descendants of those Tlaxcalan settlers still live along the Rio Grande and throughout south Texas.

In 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed our ancestors were given a year to decide whether to move to Mexico or stay on their homelands and become American citizens many of the families who had settled on the Texas side of the Rio Grande stayed in place and were designated “White” many of the families who lived on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande remained Mexican citizens.

Our Tlaxcalteca Nation and Affiliated Tribes of Texas are composed of the descendants of those Tlaxcalteca, Coahuilteco, Chichimeca, Guachichile and Huichol Indians who settled in present day South Texas almost a 100 years before Texas statehood.

Xicotencatl
 Xicotencatl the Younger (died 1521), was a prince and war leader,  he was the son of  Xicotencatl the Elder, the ruler of Tizatlan one of the four confederate rulers of the Tlaxcallan state. Xicotencatl the Younger is known primarily as the leader of the force that was dispatched from Tlaxcala to intercept the forces of Hernan Cortez and his allies as they entered Tlaxcallan territory.

TLAHUICOLE
There is a legend of a powerful Tlaxcalteca warrior called Tlahuicole: he was captured, but because of his fame as warrior, he was freed and then he fought with the Aztec in Michoacan. He received honors, but instead of returning to Tlaxcala he chose to die in sacrifice. There were eight days of celebrations in his honor, and then he killed the first eight warriors. Still insisting on being sacrificed, he fought and wounded 20 more warriors before being defeated and sacrificed (taken from History of Tlaxcala, by Muños Camargo, 16th century).

PATECATL
Is the God of healing and fertility, and the discoverer of peyote. With Mayahuel, he was the father of the Centzon Totochtin.

MAYAHUEL
Is the goddess of the maguey plant and of fertility. Protector of mature wombs that turn into life. Mayahuel has many breasts to feed her many children, the Centzon Totochin (the 400 Rabbits).


Quotes

Conserving our Natural Resources
Before our ways of life came to an end, our natural resources were sacred.Our ancestors prayed for the survival of their descendants, that they would keep their ways and protect their natural resources. We are those descendants.

Ted Herrera Tlaxcalteca, Chichimeca, Coahuilteco, Huichol


Walking with our Elders
There are people among us who have long memories. They can help us walk with Respect, in Harmony and in Beauty. Let us keep a place for them in our circle of life. Ted Herrera Tlaxcalteca, Chichimeca, Coahuilteco, Huichol

"If we don't do something to ensure survivability of our sacred Medicine,
it may not be around for our Great Grandchildern."
Ted Herrera


Walking in our Sacred Land.

The morning is cool from last night’s rain. 
Everything is lush green and smells clean.
I start walking and praying. 
There are Cinco Venados standing in a nearby clearing, 
they stay in place and watch me as I walk past them.
I thank them for sharing their grace with me. 
The pain from my broken knees starts to ease up as I walk further 
along the path that my ancestors walked, I am now surrounded by our sacred medicine. 
I take a turn on the path and now I am facing east, I look up thru
the Mesquite trees and I see a beautiful Cielo Azul as a Red Tail Hawk 
flies across it, and now I hear our Ancestors singing Palabras de Dios 
into my ears straight into my heart. 

My senses are overloaded by so much beauty; all I can do is CRY. 

This is why I believe Creator did not give our people the “Word” so that 
we can learn how to love; Creator gave our people"Heart" so that we could feel love.

Ted Herrera
Tlaxcalteca, Chichimeca, Coahuilteco, Huichol


Many Grow Old, Some Grow Up.
Ted Herrera


Cuauhtémoc was the last emperor of the Aztec Empire

Our Sun has gone down
Our Sun has been lost from view
and has left us
in complete darkness
But we know it will return again
that it will rise again
to light us anew
But while it is there in
the Mansion of Silence
Let’s join together, let’s embrace each other
and in the very center of our being hide
all that our hearts love
and we know is the Great Treasure.
Let us hide our Temples
our schools, our sacred soccer game
our youth centers
our houses of flowery song
so that only our streets remain.
Our homes will enclose us
until our New Sun rises.
Most honorable fathers
and most honorable mothers,
may you never forget to guide your young ones
teach your children, while you live
how good it has been and will be.
Until now our beloved Anahuac
sheltered and protected our destinies
that our ancestors
and our parents enthusiastically received
and seeded in our being.
Now we will instruct our children
how to be good
They will raise themselves up and gain strength
and as goodness make real their great destiny
in this, our beloved mother Anahuac.


"We may not live in our ancestral homelands but we carry the blood of our ancestors.”
Elder Ted Herrera