In lowriding culture, the ride is many things—both physical and intellectual. Embraced by both Xicano and other Indigenous youth, lowriding takes something very ordinary—a car or bike—and transforms it and claims it.
Using the idea that lowriding is an Indigenous way of being in the world, artist and historian Dylan A. T. Miner discusses the multiple roles that Aztlán has played at various moments in time, from the pre-Cuauhtemoc codices through both Spanish and American colonial regimes, past the Chicano Movement and into the present day. Across this “migration story,” Miner challenges notions of mestizaje and asserts Aztlán, as visualized by Xicano artists, as a form of Indigenous sovereignty.
Throughout this book, Miner employs Indigenous and Native American methodologies to show that Chicano art needs to be understood in the context of Indigenous history, anticolonial struggle, and Native American studies. Miner pays particular attention to art outside the U.S. Southwest and includes discussions of work by Nora Chapa Mendoza, Gilbert "Magú" Luján, Santa Barraza, Malaquías Montoya, Carlos Cortéz Koyokuikatl, Favianna Rodríguez, and Dignidad Rebelde, which includes Melanie Cervantes and Jesús Barraza.
With sixteen pages of color images, this book will be crucial to those interested in art history, anthropology, philosophy, and Chicano and Native American studies. Creating Aztlán interrogates the historic and important role that Aztlán plays in Chicano and Indigenous art and culture.