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The Aztlan Migrations of the Nahuatl Chronicles: Myth or History?

Michael E. Smith
Ethnohistory
Vol. 31, No. 3 (Summer, 1984), pp. 153-186
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2307/482619
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/482619
Page Count: 34
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The Aztlan Migrations of the Nahuatl Chronicles: Myth or History?
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Abstract

This article examines one of the major themes of central Mexican native history-the Aztlan migrations-and attempts to establish its historical validity. Two independent sets of historical accounts are analyzed, revealing considerable consistency and agreement. First, narrative accounts of Prehispanic history concur in the relative arrival order of three major contingents of Nahuatl speaking immigrants: an early Basin or Mexico contingent, followed by one settling the surrounding valleys, and finally the Mexica. Second, arrival dates from diverse local histories throughout the highlands corroborate this tripartite ordering and provide calendar dates for the arrival of the Aztlan migrants. The resulting historical reconstruction is supported by current work in Mesoamerican historical linguistics and by available archaeological data.

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