Becoming Her

“I am visible-see this Indian face-yet I am invisible. I both blind them with my beak nose and am their blind spot. But I exist, we exist. They’d like to think I have melted in the pot but I haven’t, we haven’t.”(1)

The portraits are of a female with the Mexica(2) moon goddess glyph superimposed upon her face. The images are in order beginning with the first portrait of the female without any Mexica iconography, that is meant to symbolize a “blank” identity that then slowly progresses into the goddess appearing on her face.

The image of the goddess serves as a mask of the female’s identity as the final image takes on the form of an embedded identity deeply rooted into her being/skin; even if she is not aware of, still exists. The text: “I am the Woman,” serves as an empowering agent to the female’s Mexica identity she is embracing within contemporary times, an identity which may have evolved from the time of her ancestors but which is very much in existence. Although there are many interpretations to the legend of Coyolxauhqui-the Mexica moon goddess-it explains the separation of Women amongst themselves, men, society and also the separation of identity. Here we reclaim what we are: Powerful Mexica Women. Here we embrace our identities.



Analú Maria López

Becoming Her series, #1 – #5, 2003
Archival pigment print
Dimensions variable

The Legend:

Coatlique, madre de los dioses, was sweeping on top of the mountain, Coatepec, when she discovers two beautiful feathers of which she places into her apron and continues to sweep. But without her noticing, the feathers began to gestate there next to her womb and an already aged Coatlique soon discovers she is pregnant and will give birth to Huitzilopochtli, god of war-the sun god. Her daughter, Coyolxauhqui-the moon goddess-finds out her mother is to give birth to him and became upset and along with her four hundred siblings conspires to kill Coatlique rather than submit to a world where war would become god. Huitzilopochtli, her brother, finds out they are conspiring to kill their mother and vows to defend her. When he is about to be born he comes out fully armed and murders Coyolxauhqui, cutting off her head and completely dismembering her body. Coyolxauhqui, along with her siblings are banished to the darkness to become the moon and stars.

[1] Gloria Anzaldua was an internationally recognized cultural theorist and Creative writer from South Texas which sadly passed on into Mictlan May 15, 2004. I am quoting from her 1987 book entitled, “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.”
[2] Mexica relates to the people who founded a civilization in the middle of a lake during the 14th century in the basin of Mexico. The Mexica are commonly referred to as the “Aztecs”, but that is a generic term and now most commonly known as the “Mexica” (“x” pronounced as “sh”, as in “should”). In time, they became the new Rulers in the Earth in Mexico. They conquered the Toltecs, and after they in turn were conquered a hundred and fifty years later, some seven generations into their rule, by bearded white men from the East. Their medicine men called the foreigners “Children of Quetzalcoatl.” Today they are a part of the collective tribes we know as Mexicans and Chicanos.