Here is an example, when we see Coatlicue, explanations and questions arise: where was she found, what it
represents, and so forth. But we are deprived of its sacredness; this is because the minority ruling-class have tried to erase
her history and re-create a new one. A new history which justifies the Iberian-Mestizo invasion of Mexico.
When we go to a museum and see a picture of Christ, this is not the same as when we go to a Cathedral and
see this same picture.
In a museum we go there as witness, in a cathedral we go there as witnesses, but also as participants. But
even here there is a difference: when we go to a Roman Catholic Cathedral, for example, meaning will change depending upon
our background: that is, do we go there as Catholics, Muslims, or Jews?
The world exists and we exist in the world. Yet, each of us perceive the world differently. At the same
time we agree on many things that each one of us sees as individuals. And it is this agreement which some
have called Reality.
Hence, in the real world there are stones, and moons and stars, and things that we can touch and feel and
hear. There is point A and there is point Z. There is person A viewing point Y, etc.
Some, however, do not believe this and say: what if we videotaped point Z,X,C,V,B,N,and M and view them all
at the same time (including the videotaping of our own self?) Still, we will say, person A is viewing all of these other
events (including his own video-taping) at the same time. That is to say, the perspective is still of this same person video-taping.
In other words, it is quite impossible for any person to view everything that is out there ... in the world . . . . At the
same time. This is what some have said God is. He or She is every where at the same time. But how to paint God?
Coatlicue is a unique image that meant something different for the people who made her. The image, however,
has acquired a different meaning for us.
For instance, show any picture of her to any Mexican person that you meet in the street and ask what do you
think of her. Take this same person to the museum where she is lodged, and once again, ask him the same question. Now,
do the same with an image of the virgin of Guadalupe ... take this same person to the basilica in Mexico City. Which of these
two is considered art [and we do not mean which REPRODUCTION of these two is considered art]. And if they are both art: what
of their value. How much do you think Coatlicue costs? How much do you think that la Virgen de Guadalupe costs?
Also, ask these questions: are they both religious icons? And if not so, how did they lose their spirituality?
And if so, what of their spiritual values?
All of us who have gone to the Museum of anthropology in Mexico City, and have stood in front of Coatlicue,
have felt something like this: You do not belong here. You belong out there, inside your own temple. We also say: you are
beautiful yet frightening.
However, we also see in the pamphlet: now on display! Display here means the same as Now having a
market value. And everything in the museum has a price tag. However, this wealth does not belong to the true owners ... the
true artists, but to the invaders and foreigners.
"Coatlicue: an Aztec earth goddess found in ...."
Each sentence becomes an argument which has nothing to do with the fact that Coatlicue is a religious, sacred
being .... or represents such. A sacred monument that belongs inside a church or a temple but never in a museum.
Some however will say: but the Aztecs died a long time ago ... and they died along with her. This is not so.
The Aztecs still exists. Thus, there is no justification as to why Coatlicue and all of our religious icons (and the bones
of our ancestors) should forever remain in museums.
You cannot forever deny our existence!
"But you cannot go back in time!"
"But today's Indians are not the same as yesterday's Indians!"
"But all Indians are dead!"
"But there are no True Aztecs left!"
And we exist along with her!
To be ignorant is not the same as wanting to remain ignorant.
The issue is not between us wanting to go back in time: but how you view us and how we view the world.
The issue here is not whether we are dead or not, but whether the Mexican past belongs to us. And we say yes
it does! And today we reclaim such past.
When you decided to put Coatlicue in a museum, you decided to take away her sacredness ... to take away our
past. Today we say this has gone enough. We want her back. We want what belongs to us.
And the fact that we cannot go back in time, does not mean that we cannot change the future. Your form of
government is an illusion: it only works for you. Your education too is useless: it only works for you. You who were once
poor and without a home .... you who were once illiterate and of the lowest caste back in Spain and in Europe... look how
rich you have become. And look at our poverty.
We, therefore, seek to give a new meaning to our past, and write the future. We seek to re-invent ourselves
from a beaten people to victorious leaders of humanity! This is our Time!
This is Our Awakening!!