This week we have another retelling of a Mexica (or Aztec) legend: the founding of Tenochtitlán. And it’s cute!My Spanish is terrible, but the vocabulary they use in the series is basic enough that even I was able to understand most of it. If you speak no Spanish at all you’ll still be able to get the gist of what’s going on from the context.
El ombligo de la luna from Mostro Xolotl on Vimeo.
This is the first installment of la Casa del Mostro, a series in which the gods of the Mexica are alive and well and living together in harmony just outside of our time and space. In what may be one of the most ambitious re-imaginings of cultural traditions yet, the legends are all kid-friendly – adorable, even. There’s even a darling theme song.
I mean, I’ve been cracking up all night. These guys are freaking geniuses.
Don’t think they’re Bowdlerizing the Mexica; a quick turn around their website makes it clear they don’t intend to censor any aspects of Mexica culture. Instead, the cartoons are meant as an introduction for children who may have very little knowledge of their own history. People who want to learn more can certainly find additional information and resources at la Casa del Mostro.
The series follows a number of characters from Mexica religion, legend, and myth as they learn about different aspects of Mexica culture. In this episode, we’re introduced to The House and to most of the central characters, including Mic, Xolotl, Huitzil, and of course Quetz – the wise old storyteller of the group.
The team over at Mostro Xolotl have put together a campy, kid-friendly (not easy to do!) set of characters, and their fun point of view carries over into the way they choose to retell the different legends and myths. Their site has comics, printable models of the characters, information about Mexica culture and even tips on conservation. There’s even a Moon Rabbit episode (which I mention because I have a rabbit-in-the-moon story in my WIP Uncurled).
The site is a blast, is what I’m trying to say here. If you speak no Spanish at all, you can get a reasonable translation if you view the site using Chrome. The translation breaks down in places, but you’ll be able to follow along for the most part.
*Mostrar is often translated as to show but in this case I think the intended meaning is more, to demonstrate. So: Demonstration House or even Learning House may be better translations than Showing House (which is what Google Translate insists on kicking out, no matter what I do) – but you get the idea. Anyone who actually speaks Spanish is welcome to offer a better translation; I’ll edit accordingly 🙂