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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Interview With Dr. Juan Luna-Cardenas
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Juan Luna-Cardenas
Jul 19, 1980

Interview with Dr. Juan Luna-Cardenas

Juan Luna Cardenas discusses Aztec history and its contributions to North American and European cultures and disputes some of the myths perpetuated by foreign scholars. Dr. Cardenas, an Aztec, has spent fifty years studying Aztec civilization. Most of his research has focused on linguistic analysis of the Aztecs. He has developed a grammar that reveals the structure of the language.

Cardenas disagrees with many of the interpretations and arguments set forth by North American and European scholars. While many have maintained that Aztecs wore no clothes, Cardenas has found that their patterns of dress, which included vests and pants, were mimicked throughout the Americas and, after the conquest, in Europe. Moreover, several Aztec innovations, including the use of cotton and the spindle, contributed to the textile revolution in Britain. Cardenas also discusses the different foods and styles of cooking that Europeans have adopted.

Cardenas then turns to examine the issue of human sacrifice, and he argues that while foreign scholars have been preoccupied with that practice among the Aztecs, they have ignored the human sacrifice and cannibalism practiced by the conquering Spaniards. He offers several examples of the destruction the Spaniards wrought as they conquered the Americas. Cardenas also discusses Aztec conversion to Catholicism and the different ways Aztec culture shaped the religion. Cardenas concludes with a brief discussion of the origins of the Aztecs and their brotherhood with almost all of the indigenous tribes in the Americas.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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