The California Department of Education has proposed an ethnic studies "model curriculum" that includes, among other things, chanting the names of Aztec gods in an attempt to build unity among schoolchildren.
Included in the draft curriculum is a list of "lesson resources" with a chant based on "In Lak Ech," which it describes as "love, unity, mutual respect," and "Panche Be," which it describes as "seeking the roots of truth."
The chant starts with a declaration that "you are my other me" and "if I do harm to you, I do harm to myself." Before chanting the name of the Aztec god Tezkatlipoka, the text reads: "Seeking the roots of the truth, seeking the truth of the roots, elders and us youth, (youth), critical thinking through."
It adds: "Tezkatlipoka, Tezkatlipoka, x2 smoking mirror, self-reflection Tezkatlipoka."
Tezkatlipoka is the name of an Aztec god that was honored with human sacrifice. According to the World History Encyclopedia, an impersonator of Tezkatlipoka would be sacrificed with his heart removed to honor the deity.
In Aztec mythology, Tezkatlipoka is the brother of Quetzalcoatl, Huizilopochtli and Xipe Totec -- all of whom appear to be invoked in the proposed chant.
A portion read, "pulsating creation huitzilopochtli cause like sunlight, the light inside of us, in will to action’s what brings... Xipe Totek, Xipe Totek, x2 transformation, liberation, education, emancipation. imagination revitalization, liberation, transformation, decolonization, liberation, education, emancipation, changin’ our situation in this human transformation."
A linked video showed what appeared to be students engaging in a unity chant with some of the language described.
Another chant used the term "Hunab Ku," or "One-God," which Encyclopedia Brittanica identified as a Mayan deity.
That portion of the chant read: "we’re here to transform the world we’re spiraling, rotating & revolving in, giving thanks daily, tlazokamati, giving thanks daily, tlazokamati, healing & transforming as we’re evolving in this universe, universe, of Hunab Ku, Hunab Ku, x2 Nahui OlIin Lak Ech - Panche Beh, Ethnic Studies For All, Represent!!"
According to CDE's website, the school board is supposed to review a draft of the curriculum on March 17-18. CDE did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Reported by Discovery Institute researcher Chris Rufo, the curriculum was just one of many diversity programs to gain attention in recent months. Much of its language and content bears resemblance to other programs that have been associated with critical race theory -- a controversial way of analyzing identity that has been the subject of intense debate.
The California curriculum's introduction argued that the program would help marginalized groups.
"By affirming the identities and contributions of marginalized groups in our society, ethnic studies helps students see themselves and each other as part of the narrative of the United States," it read. "Importantly, this helps students see themselves as active agents in the interethnic bridge-building process we call American life."
The guiding principles included goals including, "celebrate and honor Native People/s of the land and communities of Black Indigenous People of Color." Another guiding principle read: "Center and place high value on the pre-colonial, ancestral knowledge, narratives, and communal experiences of Native people/s and people of color and groups that are typically marginalized in society."
The field of ethnic studies, it claimed, "critically grapples with the various power structures and forms of oppression that continue to have social, emotional, cultural, economic, and political impacts."
The above chants were part of a list of instructional resources for educators to use in order to facilitate discussions about "race, racism, bigotry, and the experiences of diverse Americans."
The "chants, affirmations, and energizers," the curriculum read, "can be used as energizers to bring the class together, build unity around ethnic studies principles and values, and to reinvigorate the class following a lesson that may be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement may appear to be low."
While some have praised these types of programs as a way to enhance racial understanding, others have been more critical.
Williamson Evers, an Independent Institute senior fellow and former assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, told Fox News that California's curriculum furthered a "neo-racist ideology."
"They're denying that the principles of America's founding -- all men are created equal, they're endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and so forth -- that these principles can, through time, bring about human rights for all," he said Wednesday.