Aztec Dance Group Comes to MA for Latine Heritage Month


Melissa Neal, MA Communications Manager

Calpulli Tonalehqueh performing on the Championship Field

Kate L., Community Writer

On October 3, students, faculty, and staff gathered on the field to watch a San Jose-based Aztec dance group named Calpulli Tonalehqueh perform. The group’s mission is to share indigenous culture on a broader scale through performances. During the performance, the group gave context for their dances, discussing the meaning behind movements and their traditional attire, while also letting the performance speak for itself. 

The dancers moved around the field wearing brightly colored feathered headdresses, their movements followed by the sounds of ankle rattles. A key part of the performance was calling the four elements — wind, water, fire, and earth — and the four cardinal directions — North, East, South, and West — together with the Great Cosmos, Mother Earth, and our hearts.

This event was planned by the Latine Student Union in collaboration with the Women of Color affinity space in order to celebrate and share Latin American culture within the context of the greater MA community during Latine Heritage Month. Reflecting on why LSU chose to invite this group to perform at MA, Karina H. ‘23, one of the co-leaders of LSU, noted, “Having the privilege of growing up in such a diverse and lively culture, it’s become especially important for us as Latine people and LSU leaders to highlight our culture in the predominantly white community that MA is.” Additionally, she said that the leaders of LSU “wanted to organize this event, especially for all the Latine students at MA as a way to acknowledge them.”

This performance also served as a reminder of how much we can learn from the culture of indigenous communities. As a school that is located on the land of the Coast Miwoks, it’s especially important to acknowledge indigenous culture and history. LSU hopes this event sets a tone for diversity and inclusion at MA that extends beyond the performance.