The site or place name of Xaltocan comes from Nahuatl, the language spoken by its inhabitants at the time of the Spanish conquest. Originally, it would have been pronounced "shal-TO-kan" but over time the pronunciation changed, and it is now pronounced by its residents as "hal-to-KAN."
The word Xaltocan is derived from xal(li) or sand, toca(tl) or spider, and can or place of, means the "Place of spiders in the sand." The glyph for Xaltocan is composed of a circular area filled with dots, presumably representing sand, and a spider spinning its web in the center.Xaltocamecas (residents of Xaltocan) today have a great amount of pride in their Prehispanic past, and display their place glyph on various buildings and monuments in the town. The most recent addition is a reproduction of the Aztec calendar stone that prominently features Xaltocan's glyph at the center:
And a close-up so that you can see the glyph:
Xaltocan's residents clearly place their home town at the heart of the Aztec Empire. We might interpret this action as an attempt to re-appropriate power and importance that was lost when they were conquered, though I have not spoken with anyone regarding the statement they are making with this statue.
Xaltocan's residents also show pride in other ways, including an annual oratory contest and Prehispanic gastronomic fair that showcases Xaltocan's food specialties, such as fish prepared in various ways (including tamales), maguey worms, and snails. To find out more about this fair, visit the town's website (in Spanish only) at http://www.xaltocan.org.mx.
Subsets and Samples
2 months ago