"La Tierra Nueva en Aztlán"

The evolving civil rights movement of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s revolutionized the consciousness of young people across the United States. As in African American communities, a new sense of mobilization spread among Mexican Americans. Many adopted a more political identity—chicano and chicana—and explored their history, which was omitted from school textbooks. The Chicano movement sought to remedy the injustices experienced by many Mexican Americans, from substandard education and housing to working conditions. Many symbols and ideas of the Chicano movement were taken from the pre-Hispanic past, especially Aztec history. Aztlán, the original homeland in the Aztec migration stories, has an important place in Chicano mythology. As a symbolic reclamation of their place in American history, Chicanos locate Aztlán in the Southwest United States, in the area conquered during the Mexican-American War. The image shown here, by Manuel Moya, is an ink drawing done on a handkerchief known as a paño. Paños are graphic art works drawn on handkerchiefs by Chicano prisoners in California, Texas, and the Southwest. Titled, La Tierra Nueva en Aztlán, or The New Land in Aztlán, combines the images of the Aztec past with a Pancho Villa-like figure from the Mexican Revolution.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Moya, Manuel
Physical Description
cotton (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 40.5 cm x 40 cm; 15 15/16 in x 15 3/4 in
average spatial: 18 in x 15 in; 45.72 cm x 38.1 cm
Place Made
United States: New Mexico, Albuquerque
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil Rights Movement
Native Americans
Cultures & Communities
La Tierra Nueva en Aztlan
Mexican America
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Mexican America
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
"La Tierra Nueva en Aztlán"

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