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ERIC Number: ED415065
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Revernacularizing Classical Nahuatl through Danza (Dance) Azteca-Chichimeca.
Traditional Danza Azteca-Chichimeca (an indigenous dance society) contains the elements required for the intergenerational revernacularization of an indigenous language, in this case classical Nahuatl. These requirements entail creating an intergenerational environment in which participants can gain prestige, friendship, and affection and can engage in community building and spiritual centering. This paper provides historical background on Danza and describes efforts of several Danza groups in Los Angeles, California, to bring back classical Nahuatl into daily use. The first sections of the paper discuss the linguistic classification and morphology of Nahuatl, the resistance of Mexico's indigenous peoples to Spanish during the postcontact and colonial periods, Mexican federal policies toward indigenous languages and identity since the Mexican Revolution, and the history of Mexican indigenous dance and dance societies. Grupos Unidos--a coalition of "danzantes" (dancers) in Los Angeles--was formed to better disseminate cultural and linguistic knowledge within Danza. Classes were held on Nahua history from an indigenous perspective, Danza steps, creation myths, indigenous musical instruments, and classical Nahuatl. Although most danzantes were native Spanish speakers, Nahuatl was the dominant indigenous language of origin. In ongoing classes, danzantes seek to learn Nahuatl using categorized trilingual word lists, dictionaries, and the total physical response method involving song and dance. The interconnectivity of Danza has served to spread the language reversal project from California to Texas to Mexico City. Contains 20 references and a list of 11 Nahuatl dictionaries and grammars. (SV)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Los Angeles); Mexico