I'm fascinated by the interesting feelings I have watching this video of Aztec dancers on Facebook. Naturally part of me wants to love this and "feel" it as much as I do my Cherokee heritage, but honestly all things "Aztec" are just much more "foreign" or unusual to me. (Love the beat, though.)
As I watched this, I felt like I was watching my ancestors. It's strange but when I've watched Cherokees & other Natives north of the border dancing, I haven't felt like I was watching my ancestors dancing. Instead I felt like they were my people. But watching this, I feel like I'm watching my ancestors. That makes little cognizant sense, but it's how it feels to me.
Would love to get to know an Aztec community, shoot, even just Mexican community. But while I know there's a lot of heritage restoration going on among Native descendants in America (*cough, cough*), I don't know how that is in the Aztec community or among Mexicans who want to get to know their Aztec roots.
I have observed some Mexicans online who are kind of into a militant-like pride about being Aztec or Mexica, being the original people of the Americas, etc. Sometimes there will be a myth/legend posted, or a hostile reaction to the mention of Aztec human sacrifices (etc.). But when I've seen these things, I don't know, it's felt like the pride is just in being "the original people" and most of the time is spent being militant about (quote) being indigenous (unquote)... posting memes, shouting out that we're the original people of the Americas, etc... instead of getting to know the Aztec people and culture.
The latter is what I would rather do. I don't care so much to boast loudly about my claim to the continent(s). I recognize that I'm disconnected from the culture of my ancestors, and I don't know them. I do spend some time writing & making memes about Native things (mostly in the US), but it's taken me some time to do that, and I still tread carefully, and also don't forget my European-American ancestry and how I was raised in it.
I can't suddenly "switch over"... it doesn't seem right to forget any part of me, my upbringing or my heritage, and moreover, I don't like to jump in with boasting or "speaking as one of them" when I haven't been raised among them or spent a significant amount of time being with, listening to, and learning from them.
So I'd rather get to know them than boast about being the original inhabitants of Mexico, the US, the Americas, etc. Really, I'd love relationship and community. Reunion after generations and generations. Not any boast. Screw the boasts.
Being the original inhabitants of the land... that does make me think or wonder if I haven't spent much time with the land since awakening to my heritage (which is just over half more from North America than from Europe). When I visited Maryland & DC last year, I felt the Spirit say that the land was glad I was there, just as it was glad when the Natives of the Cowboy-Indian Alliance were protesting on the National Mall against the KXL pipeline. I felt welcomed by the land in Maryland ...and now I realize I felt that *after* I had gone and visited the Piscataway (for the first time!), the people of the land I grew up on, and gifted them with tobacco and a book ("Birth of the Chosen One"). I can't help but wonder if doing that helped open up something spiritual between me and the land. Maybe. But I won't dwell on it. It was just the right thing to do.
So I wonder... how will I feel when I am in North Carolina at the end of this month, close to the Tsakonage, the Great Smoky Mountains, the home of my Cherokee ancestors? Will I feel the land's welcome? Will I feel like I'm home? Will I feel like I belong to the land?
I'm not worried, because I've put it in Jesus' hands and am resting in Him. Whether I feel "at home" anywhere on earth is just pure excess gift to me, because I found my home in Him first. I think that at least for me, if I hadn't found my home and rest in Him first, maybe I wouldn't have been able to feel and receive it when He restored my heritage to me (or brought it out in me) so many years later. It's been awesome... it's just grace upon grace receiving these things. I muse that I could have lived without them, but He has seen fit to bless me with them, blessing after blessing. I was full in Him before, and am full receiving more and more, but also know that if I have nothing else but Him, He will make me full and will restore all that has been lost in the end.
Now, that makes me think of that passage from the synoptic gospels:
"Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life."
Wild. I left home, my brother, my father and mother, and came here to Japan because He called me. I received a family here — my wife and two children — and then suddenly two years ago a whole extended family of relations, a tribe and brothers & sisters from Native nations across Turtle Island. I left all and found my rest and my home in Him, and after time, but still "in this present age" He gave me "a hundred times as much."
Tlazocamati, Señor. Wado, Tsisa.
(P.S. I think I want —yes!— I want to make something with an Aztec design for my regalia...!)