LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 26: Alex Livinalli attends the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever World Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on October 26, 2022. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
Movies - TV
The Inspiration Behind The Talokan Salute In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" uses Mayan and Aztec history to reinterpret the tired trope of Atlantis with the fresh image of Talokan. Like Wakanda, one of the defining elements of Talokan's depiction is the salute that Namor and his people make to one another — the gesture not only has a strong historical basis but also came from the cast and crew’s creativity.
On multiple occasions, the 500-year-old king Namor makes a distinct salute, taking the form of a sea monster's jaws with his hands open and bent towards each other, as his people respond in kind and shout, "¡Líik'ik Talokan!" The hand gesture is inspired by an Aztec manuscript called the Codex Zouche-Nuttall, which dates back roughly to the 14th century.
The Latino cast completed the vision by creating a chant to go with the gesture. Alex Livinall, who plays Namor’s muscle, Attuma, explained: “The Black Panther, they have 'Wakanda Forever,' and it's so powerful and means so much. … we came up with, 'Talokan rises,' which is 1, 2, 3, '¡Líik'ik Talokan!' which is like 'yeah, we're here. This is our mantra, so to speak.'"