Cultural Significance of an Aztec Dance Costume

The Aztec dance costume style is culturally significant because it is used as a dance costume for the Concheros dance, which is also known as the Mexicas, Chichimecas, and the Aztecas.

The Origin of Aztec Dancing

This is one of the very important traditional dances, which is typically performed in Mexico since the period of the colonies. It has syncretic characteristics of both Christian and pre-Hispanic origins. It has very strong visual markers of the Pre Hispanic roots and they include special dance steps, visual markers, and other instruments like drums. But the name came from a special type of flute that is made using an armadillo shell, which shows influence from Spanish. The dance particularly shows very serious influence from Mexico. Presently it is an adaptation of the old mitote dance towards Catholicism known to serve as a means of keeping the indigenous rites.

The ceremony continued to remain a purely religious one till the mid-20th century – where social and political changes that took place in Mexico made it into a folk dance to serve as a culturally significant dance, hence the native costumes.

Since the later 20th century, a smaller group of dancers known as the Mexicas or the Aztecas came up intending to get rid of the influence from Europe for aims politically. This type of dance went to the United States in the middle of the 1970s, and it can be seen in different states like those in Mexican American communities and California.

The Tradition

Normally the tradition of the dance has been known to be done in the U.S. as Mexica or Aztec, but it is not either one of them. It has roots in the concert dances and it makes the modern Mexica dances to be deeply rooted in the Chichimeca cultures of the North.

Tribes like the Jonaz, Caxcan, Otomi, and some others which Mexica wasn’t able to conquer were the true roots of the dance for the Aztec dance costume. The Mexica rituals were based on values and concepts, the Chichimeca was rooted in stellar and selenic cosmology. Worshipping and bringing honor to the family and the ancestors was a very big part of the Chichimeca tradition. This is why the dance routine normally starts in the middle of the night. There are rituals that are present to bring down the spirit of the ancestors and to bring purity to the battle of the next day.

The people who wear the traditional Aztec dance costumes do not dance alone; they usually organize themselves in groups according to their hierarchies. The normal group is called a mess. The traditional group with the greatest number of Conchero in Mexico is registered with the Association of Concheros and is a part of the complex associative network that is based on interpersonal relationships.

With the Aztec dance costume, honor and respect is brought to the ancestors and families of the dancers.