POSTOPOLIS! DF Glossary

When you really want to know a city, to draw your own psychogeographic map and to understand its culture, there are some factors that should be considered like trying local food or understanding the local language. When we talk about language, we don’t mean just a proper translation to our own language but to enjoy its sound and rhythm, get involved into its origins and simply get lost in to different ways of communication.

One of the most striking experience of being part of Postópolis! DF was to have the opportunity to get inmersed in this musical sound of Mexican-Spanish language. We really love the sound of many words combining “tl” as Tláloc, tezontle or even the original name of the city, Tenochtitlán. Most of them come from the náhuatl and its phonology it’s really musical.

This was the first time that Postópolis! took place outside the US, and we think that the fact that it was the first bilingual edition, just helped to enrich the experience. We also want to highlight the work done by the translators… because, how you translate “pepenar” “tianguis” or “choposaurio”?

So, here is our brief, non exhaustive, and still completing POSTOPOLIS! DF Glossary:

TENOCHTITLAN
Tenochtitlan was a Nahua altepetl [city-state] located on an island in Lake Texcoco, in the Valley of Mexico. Founded in 1325, it became the seat of the growing Aztec empire in the 15th century, until captured by the Spanish in 1521. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and today the ruins of Tenochtitlan are located in the central part of Mexico City.


Tenochtitlan [1524] | path to Postopolis! DF

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TEOSINTE
Teosinte is a Mesoamerican grass ancestry of corn Back 9,000 Years. We discovered teosinte’s existence via @nicolatwilley


Scanning electron micrographs of single fruitcases of teosinte [Jane Dorweiler + John Doebley-Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter]

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CHILANGO
Chilango comes from Mexican slang. Demonym for a person living in Mexico City that either was born in Mexico City or its surrounding areas or moved to that human agglomeration.


Ramon Valdes aka don Ramon

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PULQUE
Also known as octli, is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. The drink’s history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, and its use was limited to certain classes of people.


Pulqueria in Tacubaya

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CENOTE
A cenote [English pronunciation: /sɨˈnoʊtiː/ or /sɛˈnoʊteɪ/] is a sinkhole with exposed rocky edges containing groundwater. It is typically found in the Yucatán Peninsula and some nearby Caribbean islands. Cenotes are surface connections to subterranean water bodies. While the best-known cenotes are large open water pools measuring tens of meters in diameter, such as those at Chichén Itzá, the greatest number of cenotes are smaller sheltered sites and do not necessarily have any surface exposed water. The term cenote has also been used to describe similar karst features in other countries such as Cuba and Australia, in addition to the more generic term of sinkholes.

This phenomenon has been seen recently in Guatemala, due to Agatha storm.


Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá

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TEPITO
For most people it is the first door to know Mexico DF and it’s inhabitants. Is it said that “Mexico is like the world’s Tepito, and Tepito synthesizes being mexican” Crime and punishment can be found here!

There is a saying here “en Tepito todo se vende menos la dignidad” [in Tepito everything but dignity is for sale]. It has the largest street market or tianguis in the city, occupying 25 streets as well as three other markets, one for foodstuffs, one for shoes and one for secondhand items, with most residents here making a living as merchants with about 12,000 doing business here.


La Santa Muerte, seen in a tianguis at Tepito

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TLALOC
An important deity in Aztec religion, a god of rain, fertility, and water. He was a beneficent god who gave life and sustenance, but he was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightning, and for being the lord of the powerful element of water.

He appeared furiously during @_materia presentation at Postopolis! DF


Tlaloc prehispanic sculpture at Museo Nacional de Antropologia


Tlaloc transportation to the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in 1964

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TEZONTLE
A porous, extrusive, igneous, volcanic rock used extensively in construction in Mexico. It is usually reddish in color. Chemically, tezontle is an iron oxide. Tezontle can be mixed with concrete to form lightweight concrete blocks, or mixed with cement to create stucco finishes. Tezontle is often used as the top layer of gravel on unpaved roads in Mexico. Many colonial buildings in Mexico use the reddish cut tezontle on their facades.


Typical Mexican building with tezontle
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The best thing about Postópolis! DF is that it gave us the opportunity to learn so many things that we are convinced that it hasn’t ended with the last presentation at Museo Experimental El Eco. We will need time to process all the info that was presented there, not only with the guest’s presentations, but with living the city with its food, its sound, the markets and bookshops called librerías de viejo, among many other experiences. We will be posting more on all of this, you can follow the conversation at #Postopolis

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