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Storytellers help Aztecs come alive

Michael Heralda and his wife, Sandy, led a story-telling session Nov. 12. Heralda focused on the Mexican Aztec Culture by introducing the Aztec Nahuatl language and various hand-made musical instruments. Heralda performed for a crowded room, playing a flute called “parkas,” as his wife, Sandy plays the huehuetl drum. Heralda eventually invited his guests to play various instruments to create rhythmic music. The event took place in the President’s Dining Room. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Michael Heralda and his wife, Sandy, led a story-telling session Nov. 12. Heralda focused on the Mexican Aztec Culture by introducing the Aztec Nahuatl language and various hand-made musical instruments. Heralda performed for a crowded room, playing a flute called “parkas,” as his wife, Sandy plays the huehuetl drum. Heralda eventually invited his guests to play various instruments to create rhythmic music. The event took place in the President’s Dining Room. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Julissa Cardenas
Web Editor

The Multicultural Club Council hosted an Aztec storytelling event last week in the President’s Dining Room to celebrate North American History Month.

Michael Heralda and his wife, Sandy Heralda, were the performers of the night.

Both of Mexican and Aztec decent, the couple tours the country telling people of the Aztecs and sharing their family stories and tradition.

“I believe, no, I know that having a psychological experience with knowledge helps people learn more about a culture, and any topic of interest,” Michael Heralda said.

The Heraldas tell these stories through interpretive song and dance.

This year the Multicultural Club wanted speakers who would involve the audience in a more intimate setting, said Daniel Loera, multicultural affairs director.

Along with the songs, the audience got a lesson on the Nahuatl language of the Aztec people.

The Heraldas taught the audience members the names of the many instruments.

Each instrument has its own purpose in a particular song that makes the song original and special, they said.

To start the performance, Michael Heralda blew the conch shell to invite ancestors to the ritual.

The first song of the night, called “Awakening,” was an ode to tortillas.

Each audience member received an instrument to play throughout the event.

Those who did not receive an instrument clapped along to the song, until the entire room was in sync.

As each different song was played, the audience was introduced to new instruments, some of which were made by the Heraldas themselves.

“I love coming to events like these,” said Katrina Hathaway, a sophomore movement and sports science major. “They teach me new things and cultures.

The songs were interesting but the instruments seem to have a mind of their own.”

“This event raised many questions for us,” Loera said.”Many ask ‘who is indigenous?’ and ‘what constitutes a border?’ In reality, aside from where they belong, there are many tribes and many stories to tell.”

“I hope that people walk away from this and remember it for a long time,” he said.

Julissa Cardenas can be reached at julissa.cardenas@laverne.edu.

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