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Líik’ik Talokan: Namor’s ‘Wakanda Forever’ gesture inspired by pre-Hispanic codices

Por: Gabriela Castillo17 de noviembre de 2022

And no, it’s nothing like Goku’s Kame Hame Ha.

If you haven’t seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever there is very little I can say without it counting as a spoiler. If you’ve already seen it, then you likely remember Tenoch Huerta’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Namor the Sub-Mariner, who on the big screen originates from the Yucatan Peninsula and is a god to his people, Talokan, whose culture is a combination of Mexica and Mayan. You might also remember that, like the Wakandans, the Talokanis also have an iconic greeting. The producers took so much care of every cultural detail that this gesture is actually a reference to the pre-Hispanic codices.

It is the “Líik’ik Talokan” (“Rise Talokan” in English), a greeting that is also the battle cry of the Talokanis. It is not exclusive to this fiction, as Tenoch Huerta said in an interview with Despierta América. Actually, the greeting comes from a Mesoamerican tradition: “It can be colloquially translated as ‘what’s up, how are you,” explains the actor. “It also has to do with the sun, with opening things. It goes that way.”

Tenoch, Mabel, and Alex confirm that the Talokanil salute was created because Talokan needed their own version of “Wakanda Forever”.

The chosen hand sign in question: 👋🏽🫱🏽, is connected to the sun.

— Hernandy - El Niño Sin Amor (@Pollos_Hernandy) November 2, 2022

The greeting is an equivalent of the Wakandans’ “Wakanda Forever,” which also has its own gesture and functions equally as a battle cry. “If you guys just use it as a ‘what’s up, dude,’ pull,” says Tenoch.

The Líik’ik Talokan came from the Nutall codices and was not originally in the film’s script. The idea to include it as a battle cry came from Tenoch Huerta, Mabel Cadena, and Alex Livinalli. Director Ryan Coogler took the greeting into account to make it a distinctive Talokanil greeting.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opened in theaters on November 11 and, less than a week later, it is already a box office success that surpassed other superhero movies like Black Adam. Tenoch Huerta became very popular as Namor in his MCU debut (his daughter, in fact, believed him to be an actor of international stature until she saw the Funko figure of his character), and the film grossed $150 million in its first weekend.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

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