Mexica

The Mexica (Nahuatl: Mēxihcah, Nahuatl pronunciation: [meːˈʃiʔkaʔ]; singular Mēxihcatl), or Mexicas, were a Nahuatl-speaking indigenous people of the Valley of Mexico who were the rulers of the Aztec Empire. They were the last Nahua-speaking immigrants to enter the Basin of Mexico after the decline of the Toltecs. The group was also known as the Culhua-Mexica in recognition of its kinship alliance with the neighboring Culhua, descendants of the revered Toltecs, who occupied the Toltec capital of Tula from the 10th to the 12th centuries. The Mexica of Tenochtitlan were additionally referred to as the “Tenochca,” a term associated with the name of their altepetl (city-state), Tenochtitlan, and Tenochtitlan’s founding leader, Tenoch. The Mexica established Mexico Tenochtitlan, a settlement