Calmecac Tonantzin Yolilitzyotl (Houston Aztec Dance & Drum Group) is an open community family-based group dedicated to learning and teaching Mexicayotl dancing, drumming, and culture. This dance circle is dedicated to preserve and share traditional Indigenous Mexica philosophy, history, customs, culture and arts to communities in Houston, Texas.
As a family of 4, Rainflowa and her three children, who began Calmecac Indigenous Organization, have been walking on the red road since 1998 and in la danza aka Esplendor Azteca,” “La Danza Mexica,” or “Mexicayotl since 2002. As a family, they have offered school residencies, public and private presentations, free classes, new moon women's drum/song ceremonies, Native American healing ceremonies traditionally called "Temazcal" aka as "sweat lodge" and other private ceremonies to teach the old ways of our ancestral people of Turtle Island.
"We are setting an example for the younger generations to understand their own individual strengths by understanding the struggle of our ancestors who make us the resilient people we are today."-Abuela M'api Rainflowa
Emphasizing the importance of family, honoring elders and children first, we give students a way to look at history, culture
and identity of their own indigenous roots from around the world. We apply the concepts of self-control, discipline and respect to themselves and in turn, one another. This we present through the "circle concept" that all Native American ceremonies/dances are structured. Specifically, we are maintaining inter-generational traditions, singing Nahuatl songs, and studying Mexica Danza (dance) and pre-Hispanic drumming within ceremony as a path to healing ourselves and integrating it into our ways of life as the teachings apply to us today is our primary focus as a whole.
Cultural Dance and Percussion presentation spaces since 2008 including public presentations in the following venues:
Lowrider Magazine 45th Anniversary Car Show @ Reliant Stadium, include: Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, Houston Botanical Gardens at the ALMAAHH gala, Texas State Capitol, George R. Brown Convention Center (ACPA 2018 Conference), various HPARD public spaces, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Fine Arts Museum Houston, Discovery Green, Museum of Natural Science, Children's Museum, The Brazoria County Historical Museum, Miller Outdoor Theater, Toyota Center (outdoor stage), Rice University, University of Houston Central, UH Downtown, Houston Community College, Brazosport College, Lone Star College Campus, Sam Houston State University, Lee College, many K-12 schools through Houston Independent School District, Spring Branch ISD, Pearland ISD, Aldine ISD, Fort Bend ISD, KIPP Academies, Juvenile Youth Detention Centers and several Houston Parks and Recreation Centers in the city of Houston and surrounding areas.
Festival participation throughout Houston includes: Discovery Green's FUNomenal Spring Break, Rocket's Latin Fest, HUE Mural Fest, Willow Water Hole Music Fest, Creekfest, various annual Day of the Dead events, with Museo Guadalupe Aztlan annually since 2008 and at MECA in 2003, Springworld International Children's Fest & 1st annual East End Fest, plus member's participation in numerous other events & pow-wow's around the state of Texas since 2002.
"February 27, 2021 ROCO will explore the interplay of light and dark in “Shadows”, built around a commission by Alyssa Morris, Tlapalli Tlahuilli—inspired by an Aztec myth detailing how the world received its sound and color—featuring ROCO’s principal winds as soloists, preceded by narration of the book “Musicians of the Sun” by Gerald McDermott, by members of the Calmecac Indigenous Arts Organization."
Abuela Map'i Rainflowa was invited to be featured in Houston Grand Opera's event Religare Music Series One and can be seen in the video at the bottom of this webpage.
Media coverage includes: ABC national coverage Localish, Houston Chronicle, La Vibra Magazine and local KHOU Channel 11 News featured the annual Thanksgiving Outdoor Sunset remembrance of Ancestors ceremony in 2019.
We encourage the public to come and watch any of our events we list online to learn more.
The curriculum developed and content of member’s work have been expressed through outlets including classes, academic/community presentations. The members work, quotes and experiences have been expressed in academic thesis and dissertations in anthropology, native history, political science, cultural diversity, sociology and Chicanos in cultural resistance in the 21st century and in educational/artistic performance in cultural events.
Upcoming Community Classes and Events
Free, All Ages, open to the public
Never ever pay for Indigenous ceremonies or teachings
(That is not the way our elders taught us)
Please consider donating to help us maintain the traditions
and keep them available and open to the community.
Preserving the steps of the Danza Mexica Splendor, we promote and present our culture with integrity, pride and respect through the Mexica (Azteca) dance and drumming. We study the ancient ways of ceremony and science while sharing and exchanging an introduction to our cultural classes and presentations by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of our communities, dancers, artists, administrators, and organizations willing to share learn and support Indigenous teachings of the pre-Columbian Mexican culture.
Calmecac Tonantzin Yolilitzyotl (Houston Aztec Dance & Drum), was originally founded in 2014 by Rainflowa and her three children, who are an 8th generation Texan family & 4th generation family born and raised in Houston, Texas.
They created and established a Calmecac (school) Danza Mexica (Azteca) group focused on teaching youth as an open community Indigenous dance circle dedicated to the preservation of the Mexicayotl in Houston, Texas.
They continue to offer free classes in local area parks and recreation centers in partnership with the City of Houston HPARD. Calmecac Indigenous Organization has been on the Young Audience of Houston Roster as teaching artists since 2015. They created a curriculum developed for students implementing Mexican (Mexica) Indigenous dance and drum in school residencies, after-school programs and cultural presentations for grades K-12. Calmecac instructors have taught thousands of youth inside of Harris County and have received recognition on their community outreach work with the youth since 2014.
The Calmecac's head teacher, Abuela M'api Rainflowa, is a multi-disciplinary artist who completed the Arts for Learning Lab pilot program to become a National Teaching Artist through the Young Audiences of Houston and University of Houston Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts in 2021.
Calmecac Indigenous Organization was created in 2017 and is comprised of multi-disciplinary artists, traditional dancers, community members and families representing Houston's diverse Indigenous community.
The group’s founder also has a history of collaborating with other Texas-based Aztec dancers and dance groups whether participating in traditional ceremonies or inviting/connecting other dancers to different ceremonies and performances throughout the greater Houston area and around Texas, California, and Mexico since 2002.
For all booking inquiries, please leave is your request on our contact form below, we can create a unique presentation to fit your budget and needs or email us email@example.com or schedule here for a time to speak directly with Abuela M'api Rainflowa.
Calmecac Indigenous Organization started the Indigenous People's Day Movement in Houston, Texas in 2014 with annual events.
Calmecac Indigenous Organization began in 2017 in Houston, Texas with classes becoming available to the public, building awareness to contemporary ceremonial life ways which are known as living the "path of the red road".
This structure of following the guided paths of traditional lineages with teachers and elders working together to maintain dignity and respect, while working with the youth, fosters awareness and passes oral traditional knowledge.
Calmecac Indigenous Organization is a group of multi-disciplinary artists, traditional dancers, community members and families representing Houston's diverse Indigenous community. The board is also comprised of descendants of local southern plains Native Americans of Texas and various Indigenous peoples of North and South America. Its members collectively embody over 100 years of experience in Native American ceremony and traditions with a long history of collaboration with various Texas-based Indigenous groups.
Since 1994, its elders and members have connected with and educated the community in sharing oral traditional knowledge and customs from the north and the south through workshops, residencies, and performances throughout the greater Houston area and around Texas, California, and Mexico.
The City of Houston presented the proclamation declaring October 12, 2017 as the first Indigenous People's Day in the City of Houston.
The proclamation submitted by Calmecac Indigenous Organization was received by Elder Council Chairman, Daniel Antoon, Jr. on November 14, 2017, at City of Houston council meeting. Indigenous Peoples' Day Proclamation States:
"Hundreds of nomadic tribes have been recorded living, hunting, farming and residing in the Houston, Texas area and along the Gulf of Mexico 's coastal southern plains regions since time immemorial; and we recognize that Indigenous People have lived upon this land prior to European settlement and we value the progress society has accomplished through Indigenous people's knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and deep culture.
The mayor and the City Council of Houston to jointly declare October 12th to be Indigenous People's Day in the City of Houston."
The historical Dimond Knoll site was discovered in 1996 in northwestern Harris County; and archaeologist's claimed it as one of the oldest digs found in North America dating from 10,000 to 14,000 years ago. These stone age human remains found with fragments of bison teeth, ceramics and hunting darts became the largest excavation into an Early Archaic Age acknowledging Paleo-Indian occupation in Southeast Texas.
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Indigenous People's Day Proclamation in Houston, Texas declared October 12, 2017 & 2018, voted on and was placed on the City of Houston Official Calendar on October 12, 2021
Houton Aztec Dancers at the Toyota Center- Houston Rocket's Fest Spring 2019
Indigenous Urban Swamp People
Mexica Aztec Dance Culture and Arts in Houston, Texas
juvenile_detention_cultural_program_elders-youth_in Houston, Texas
Danza Azteca Mexica in the HPARD parks in Houston, Texas
photography by Alexander Guillen, Winter 2016
Day of the Dead, 2012
with elder, Daniel Antoon, Jr.
photography by Alexander Guillen, Winter 2016
photography by Alexander Guillen, Winter 2016
After Danza de la Luna, Mexico, 2012