Anales de Tepoztlán


La Portada de Semillas in Tepoztlán in 1998

Note: We haven't been able to obtain a full-front photograph of the 1998 portada.
If you can help us obtain one, please let us know. Mail to the webmaster


Large image @150dpi for printing

Traveler, slow your steps for a moment
This land is my treasure. You stand on the land
Where I took my first steps, shining m
Golden sandals,.

To our readers

Having this intimate contact of being the author
of the visual script awakened in me a light in the
very center of my being.
I think this can happen equally to future generations
and create more space in its candor and creativity to
rescue our past and be the owner of new feelings
of our own light, of, I would say, our own life.
I am leaving, but I shall not evade my responsibility. In four
of the past eight years it has filled me with joy to participate
in special ways, but I do not think of myself as a leader
because I think that all things turn out well when everyone
participates and if an individual creates a school, this
in turn will create a people.

Many thanks,
Arturo Demesa Ortíz


The Meaning of the Seeds in Tepoztlan's Fiesta

Tepoztlán is in fiesta, celebrating once again on the 8th of September the Virgin of the Nativity, patron and benefactor of the pueblo in the church which bears her name, better know as "the big church".

At the same time, they recall the baptism of el Tepoztecatl (son of Ehecatl, god of the wind) which represents the Tepoztecan's Christian faith, an event that took place at Axhitla (water-navel place), located at the foot of the hill which is the foundation for El Tepoztecatl's pyramid. The event is attributed to Fr. Domingo de la Anunciación of the Dominican order, the first missionaries to reach this pueblo. It is said to have occurred on the 8th of September, 1538 and a monument called "the baptistery cross" remains in that place.. All of this is dramatized by people of our pueblo on this very day.

Once again, Tepoztecan artisans,merchants, and volunteers express by means of this mural "the meaning of the seeds". On this occasion we refer to deeds which took place during more than two years of struggle by the Tepoztecan people to defeat the now well known "El Tepozteco" Golf Club Project which was to be imposed here, by the existing municipal government as well, which resulted in this struggle.

It is necessary to mention that persons from children seven years old to young people to elders over sixty participate in this work, all of them showing their best abilities as artisans,.

This work demands a high level of concentration, and at the same time it is relaxing because of the different patterns to be glued and the variety of the seeds.


The portada can be interpreted from right to left and upwards to the top. At the lower right, we have the tree which represents the city of Cuernavaca (its symbol), where those who hoped to carry out their plans for the Tepoztlan Golf Club were left crying, just as the Spaniards mourned their defeat at a tree after the noche triste. At the same time, we can observe the governor's palace beginning to be devoured by the sacred fires of justice, the crackling of those who must be burnt being heard by the four winds. At the base of the building, those projects which are harmful for the people are being consumed by the flames, because those who attempted to change our customs and traditions and complete their four years in command were condemned and left office two years before finishing their terms, as was El Tlatoani, who couldn't lead the people (the governor) who, on the contrary, wanted to put himself above them, always using his characteristic lies and abusing the power that the people bestowed upon him. He is the captive of two prehispanic guards and waits the political sentence to be delivered by the "chamber of deputies" who are symbolized above by the four persons seated and discussing.

Other representatives of the governor's administration, who had to be sentenced for the abuse of their authority, acting treacherously and taking advantage of the people, are represented by the figure symbolizing those who were condemned, which is to the right of the previous scene. All of this took place in the State of Morelos, which is symbolized by a corn plant.

Wrapped in a black cloud which, in the legend of El Tepoztecatl symbolizes defeat, are guards who want to arrest El Tepozteco for having snatched away, with the help of the wind which he commands, the teponaztle (slit drum), which now is part of "customs and traditions" of the people of Tepoztlan.


On the upper left, El Tepozteco brings the teponaztle to aid the four country folk, who symbolize the pueblo wrapped in a white cloud symbolizing El Tepozteco's legendary victory. This allows us to describe the left side of the mural.

On the bottom we have our tlatoani with his council, symbolizing our municipal president and his staff.

They must discuss with the people in order not to make mistakes and enclose themselves in a little world of their own, they must know how to listen in order to be listened to, must be reasonable and active and not allow themselves to be influenced by people who only seek their own benefit or ideological people who propose things that have no depth. To move Tepoztlan ahead we must act as though we were one single person to resolve the gravest problems which beset us. That is what the three country people who are toward the right of the scene, symbolizing the people, want. They are somewhat worried because the authorities have left the staff of office which the people bestowed on them forgotten below, leaving to one side the victory obtained by preserving nature, its ecology, and rejecting the harmful golf club project and demonstrating that the autonomy of the people and their "customs and usages" must be respected. We are not against sport, but what is important is that Tepoztlan does not need these kinds of projects of the few. Tepoztlan is a sacred valley for meditation and rest, so that all its visitors can enjoy it.

Representing this is the chest which was opened and allowed the escape of five doves who flew in different directions. They represented the wisdom and all the good things of Tepoztlan (all of which is described in the legend of El Tepozteco) leaving behind just one dove.

These two scenes are surrounded by their sacred mountains, beginning at the left with Ocelotepetl (Mountain of the Tiger) to join with Tlacaltepetl (Mountain of the People), entering into the reality of El Tepozteco who guards it jealously, his pyramid, and at the same time illuminated by Tlahiltepetl (Mountain of Light). Malinaltepetl (Mountain of Rain Drops) where Gerardo Vega Moctezu and Felipe Conde lost their lives in a desperate struggle to defend it from the devastating fire of March 16, 1997, is covered by flames in a tragic expression in memory of them. At the same time municipal authorities were elected in Tepoztlan. The person elected, C. Fermín Bello Villamil of barrio Santa Cruz is represented in this scene by his hill and a tlacomixtle (the symbol of his barrio). Completing this part we have Ehecatepetl (Mountain of the Wind) with its caves (los corredores), in a joyful song to the other hills.

Continuing on the right are three more hills, Yohualtecatl (Guardian of the Night), Cematzín (The Hand) and Chalchitepetl (Mountain of Precious Stones) which together with the foregoing are the jewels of the sacred valley of Tepoztlan, as it has been called by some authors, and which at the same time protect it.



In the upper part we have a nymph (who symbolizes victory) refreshing herself with a fan and flying over all these events.

Above are symbolized the aquiferous sources which provide life for Tepoztlan, and which if they are not cared for and dry up will be the death of our environment.

To finish up, at the ends of the arch we have Ometochtli (two rabbits) celebrating the Fiesta of the Nativity.

United by a ribbon of festive colors joining them are the eight barrios of the town of Tepoztlan, each of them represented by its symbol (four on each side of the portada). The distribution of these animal symbols of the barrios conforms to their astronomical orientation and were designated by our ancestors according to the location of each barrio's lands. These designations were made in prehispanic times on the basis of observations of the behavior of the animals as the seasons of the year changed.

These symbols are:

On the left  
Frog Barrio de Santo Domingo
Ant Barrio de la Santisima Trinidad
El Tlacomiztli Barrio de la Santa Cruz
El Tlacuache Barrio de San Pedro
On the right  
Ear of corn Barrio de San Jose
Lizard Barrio de San Sebastián
Scorpion Barrio de San Sebastian
Maguey worm Barrio de Los Reyes


This braided ribbon forming circles around the symbols of the barrios along its length joins at the crest in a joyful expression of joy, serenity, and above all, faith. It reaches the legendary El Tepozteco, seated on the mountain of Tepoztlan, pounding the teponaztle which he has just won in his fight against those invaders who tried to go above the heads of the sovereignty and autonomy of the Tepoztecan people. The symbol "Ollin" which symbolizes "movement" is engraved on the teponaztle, the name which was given to the liberating struggle against the "golf club", because of which this figure is playing the drum in a symbol of mockery against the investors, the bad government, and the traitors who have been defeated. It is also a sound of joy for the people who can feel proud and satisfied in their effort to prevent outsiders from profaning the mountains and sacred mountains of Tepoztlan, because of which we have added a scroll with the words "Nochi Ipampa to tlacatilizcatlal" (All for our homeland).

As faithful guardians witnessing everything we have the eagle of day (on the outer left) and the tiger of the night (on the outer right) symbolizing the struggle of light and darkness, and standing guard are the eagle knight and the tiger knight, so that this ceremony shall not be interrupted,.

Tepoztlán Morelos, September 8, 1998

Arturo Demesa Ortíz
Rafael Carrillo Campos

Arturo Demesa Ortiz

Unión de Comerciantes Independientes en Pequeño
Unión de Comerciantes Tianouixtli
Unión de Artesanos Lado Norte
Unión de Comerciantes de Revolución
Union de Comerciantes Frente Palacio Municipal

Alfredo Martinez Rojas
Amigos de Tepoztlán A.C.
Mónica Lara Labistida
Guadalupe González Alcántara

NOTE: Between 200 and 350 vendors, artisans, and volunteers
participated in gluing the seeds.