“Rather than rely on others to create my identity, ¬I needed to identify myself,” explained musician and storyteller Michael Heralda, in search of his Indigenous ties that are relayed through his award winning Aztec Stories presentation.
Photo: Courtesy Colorado Folk Arts Council
account of the Aztecs. But, it peaked my interest enough to start reading books I thought were more authentic with regards to an accurate account of the Mexica/Aztec people and their culture. Reading every book I could get my hands on revealed some very important realities,” added Heralda.
He realized that there were many misconceptions about the Indigenous people who populated this continent. He also realized that that the Indigenous perspective of Mexica people were rarely presented in the United States.
“I belonged to this Indigenous group. Being Mexican American, I was connected to them [Aztecs] in a very real way and I was never aware of my true identity,” he said.
“Identity became an important element that I needed to understand. Rather than rely on others to create my identity, ¬I needed to identify myself. Knowing who you are and where you come from, forms the foundation of self-esteem, self-awareness and inner strength. It is because of this understanding that I created the Aztec Stories program. I wanted to share the valuable information I discovered and share it from an indigenous perspective.”
For over a decade after meticulous research and painstaking attention to detail, Heralda is considered one of the nation’s foremost artistic performers with regards to ancient Mexica instruments and music. He blends traditional and contemporary elements into his vibrantly colorful one man show.
“We felt that Michael’s presence here was a great opportunity to engage the whole community in a deeper understanding of Mexican/American culture,” said CFAC president Ron Gehauf. “We saw a need to join other major art cities in hosting an artist of his caliber. For years we wanted to fulfill our obligation to offer a program that would enlighten and increase the understanding about the history and culture of
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