Aggressive Regionalism: Texts

11. Ricardo D. Aguilar, Introduction to Metamórfosis

Ricardo D. Aguilar, “Introduction,” Metamórfosis 1:1 (1977): 2.

a 6 de abril de 1977


Thousands of years ago, our ancestors explored and settled throughout the Northwest. Even then our people were migrating south from Chicomostoc, Aztlán (the place of storks, the city of the navel of the world) of ancient folklore. Much later, our white relatives traveled north from Nueva España by sea. They bestowed Spanish names upon the straits, the points, the places. We still call them by these names. Later on, as mestizos emerged and our great family was formed, our greatgrandparents looked north again. Once more a great migration was undertaken, this time inversely, which was to reach points where once we had stopped to rest.

Throughout this entire time, few dwellers of this region have made an effort to collect our thoughts, our experiences, nor have any let them be known to others except through word of mouth. We live in a special kind of vacuum, one in which there is little written communication among us. We are many here now, around Puget Sound, in the valley across the mountains and in neighboring states. The need for a publication of our poetry, our narrative, is greater than it has ever been before.

We are undergoing a new kind of mestizaje, the kind which can only develop in such a place. We must define it through our writing because, in this respect, we are becoming original and different from our brothers and sisters to the south. We live submerged in a rain bubble full of winter which the sun rarely penetrates. This creates a totally new cosmic environment, strangely different from what we have known before.

The other dwellers here look upon us as a strange breed of foreigners, invaders of their mechanistic, every-thing-was-working-out-fine-till-they-came-world. There is a tremendous ignorance about us here and it prevails throughout. It is different from our experience in the southwest, for when we lived there, one knew very well when and why one was not wanted. It was made extremely clear to us. Here, people do not let-on that they don’t want to see us around. They pretend that we aren’t really here; they smile awkwardly and pat one on the back, yet there is always the fear that a pat may turn into a stab at any time as it frequently happens.

We are undergoing METAMÓRFOSIS, inadvertently changing, growing into different beings. We will not let this transformation continue unnoticed by ourselves or by others, for even though we may be forced to adapt to this climate in order to survive, we will not forget who we are and where we came from, Our identity is the only true means by which we can continue to cling to reality, our own reality, that which will ultimately define our future transformations.

For these reasons we now publish this tomito: METAMÓRFOSIS. We hope that through publication, our creative writing, our literary criticism, our historiography, our artwork we may reach all other Chicanos. We wish to promote our literature, to define its perimeters by making our contribution and in so doing effect its change. We seek to let ourselves be known for we are also the makers of that body.

Ricardo D. Aguilar Ph.D. Editor

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