Colhuacan (altepetl)

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Not to be confused with Acolhuacan.

Culhuacan or Colhuacan (Classical Nahuatl: Cōlhuàcān /koːlˈwaʔkaːn/) was one of the Nahuatl-speaking pre-Columbian city-states of the Valley of Mexico. According to tradition, Culhuacan was founded by the Toltecs under Mixcoatl and was the first Toltec city.[1] The Nahuatl speakers agreed that Culhuacan was the first city to give its rulers the title of "speaker" (tlatoani).


Culhuacan survived the fall of Tollan and maintained its prestige until the mid-14th century. According to the Cronica Mexicayotl, transcribed in 1609, in 1299, Culhuacan's tlatoani, Coxcoxtli, helped the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco, the Xochimilca and other cities expel the Mexica from Chapultepec. Coxcoxtli then gave the Mexica permission to settle in the barren land of Tizapan, southwest of Chapultepec, and they became vassals of Culhuacan. The Mexica subsequently assimilated into Culhuacan's culture and their soldiers provided mercenaries for its wars.

The Tenochtitlan tlatoani Acamapichtli was a grandson of Coxcoxtli. Nevertheless, in 1377 Azcapotzalco subdued Culhuacan in large part with Mexica troops. In 1428, the Mexican Speaker Itzcóatl helped to overthrow Azcapotzalco's hegemony, and accepted the title "Ruler of the Culhua".

See also[edit]

Pueblo Culhuacán


  1. ^ Pohl 1991


Cronica Mexicayotl (1609).
Pohl, John M. D. 1991. Aztec, Mixtec and Zapotec Armies. Osprey.
Prem, Hanns J. (1999). "Los reyes de Tollan y Colhuacan" (PDF online reproduction). Estudios de cultura náhuatl (in Spanish) (México, D.F.: Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, UNAM) 30: pp.23–70. ISSN 0071-1675. OCLC 1568281. 
Smith, Michael E. (1984). "The Aztlan Migrations of Nahuatl Chronicles: Myth or History?" (PDF online facsimile). Ethnohistory (Columbus, OH: American Society for Ethnohistory) 31 (3): pp.153–186. doi:10.2307/482619. JSTOR 482619. OCLC 145142543. 
Wimmer, Alexis (2006). "Dictionnaire de la langue nahuatl classique" (online version, incorporating reproductions from Dictionnaire de la langue nahuatl ou mexicaine [1885], by Rémi Siméon) (in French).  (Nahuatl)

External links[edit]