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(mĭs`tĕk), Native American people of Oaxaca, Puebla, and part of Guerrero, SW Mexico, one of the most important groups in Mexico. Although the Mixtec codices constitute the largest collection of pre-Columbian manuscripts in existence, their origin is obscure. Before the arrival (700?) of the ToltecToltec
, ancient civilization of Mexico. The name in Nahuatl means "master builders." The Toltec formed a warrior aristocracy that gained ascendancy in the Valley of Mexico c.A.D. 900 after the fall of Teotihuacán.
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 on the central plateau, the Mixtec, possibly influenced by the OlmecOlmec
, term denoting the culture of ancient Mexican natives inhabiting the tropical coastal plain of the contemporary states of Veracruz and Tabasco, between 1300 and 400 B.C.
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, seem to have been the carriers of the advanced highland culture. Probably c.900 they began spreading southward, overrunning the valley of Oaxaca. By the 14th cent. they had overshadowed their rivals, the ZapotecZapotec
, indigenous people of Mexico, primarily in S Oaxaca and on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Little is known of the origin of the Zapotec. Unlike most native peoples of Middle America, they had no traditions or legends of migration, but believed themselves to have been born
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. The Mixtec produced some of the finest stone and metal work of ancient Mexico and also left elaborately carved wood and bone objects and painted polychrome pottery. Their influence on other cultures was strong and is especially noticeable in MitlaMitla
[Nahuatl,=abode of the dead], religious center of the Zapotec, near Oaxaca, SW Mexico. Probably built in the 13th cent., the buildings, unlike the pyramidal structures of most Middle American architecture, are low, horizontal masses enclosing the plazas.
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 and Monte AlbánMonte Albán
, ancient city, c.7 mi (11.3 km) from Oaxaca, SW Mexico, capital of the Zapotec. Monte Albán was built on an artificially leveled, rocky promontory above the Valley of Oaxaca.
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, Zapotec cities taken by the Mixtec during the long and bitter warfare among the tribes of the area. This struggle halted momentarily at the end of the 15th cent. in an alliance to defeat the AztecAztec
, Indian people dominating central Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest. Their language belonged to the Nahuatlan subfamily of Uto-Aztecan languages. They arrived in the Valley of Mexico from the north toward the end of the 12th cent.
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, but the Zapotec soon teamed up with the Aztec and eventually made an alliance with the Spanish conquerors. The Mixtec carried on a bloody resistance until they were subjugated by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de AlvaradoAlvarado, Pedro de
, 1486–1541, Spanish conquistador. He went to Hispaniola (1510), sailed in the expedition (1518) of Juan de Grijalva, and was the chief lieutenant of Hernán Cortés in the conquest of Mexico.
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. There are perhaps 500,000 Mixtec-speaking people in Mexico today.


See A. K. Romney, The Mixtecans of Juxtlahuaca, Mexico (1966); R. Wauchope, ed., Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. VII: Ethnology (ed. by E. Z. Vogt, 1969).



an Indian people in Mexico, living predominantly in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla and numbering approximately 200,000 (1970, estimate). The Mixtec language belongs to the Otomanguean language group. Catholicism is the official religion, but traditional beliefs have also been preserved. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the early 16th century, the Mixtec had attained a high level of culture. They were famous for working precious metals. Today their chief occupation is farming, and crafts, notably pottery and weaving, are also well developed.


Khoroshaeva, I. F. “Sovremennoe indeiskoe naselenie Meksiki.” In Amerikanskii etnograficheskii sbornik, issue 1. Moscow, 1960. (Tr. In-ta etnografii AN SSSR, vol. 58.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Some of the growers didn't like it because sometimes the announcer would read the Federal Labor Laws in their languages, Mixtec and Triqui.
The heavy lines filled in with color resemble decorations on Mixtec pottery.
In addition, fresh-cut producers can look to specialize in a single commodity or distribution segment, private label, co-branding and in what others don't do or don't do well, noted Chris Nelson, president, MIXTEC Group, at the International Fresh-cut Produce Association's (IFPA) spring convention.
Hernandez Giron, "Structuring Favorable Market Opportunities for the Mixtec Region of Oaxaca, Mexico," Journal of Macromarketing, 13, 2 (1993): 22-31.
The Effects of Transnational Culture, Economy, and Migration on Mixtec Identity in Oaxacalifornia.
The backbone of the cooking comes from the Zapotec and Mixtec cultures, which weave together corn, squash, and beans - the revered trinity for ancient peoples of the Americas - with seemingly infinite variety, particularly in soups.
At the Calgary International airport to bid the happy but exhausted Mexican workers bon voyage in late October, we witnessed a myriad of "material and technology transfers" from Canada to Mexico in the form of gifts that the workers had prepared: * earrings and watches for wife and daughter * a brand new AM/FM/cassette/CD player * a portable manual typewriter bought at a garage sale for $5 for a daughter, * an old electric portable sewing machine in its original case for a wife, cost $70 * a bicycle for a relative In Colby's study of Mixtec households near Oaxaca, she finds that 90 percent of the women prefer that their men go to Canada for seasonal work instead of the more common destination of USA (1997).
15 John Monaghan, The Covenants with Earth and Rain: Exchange, Sacrifice and Revelation in Mixtec Sociality (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).
The employers had withheld pay from these Mixtec and Triqui farm workers from Guerrero and Oaxaca, living in company barracks with their entire families who shared in the field work.
Originally, the Zapotec, Mixtec and Aztec Indians of Oaxaca held the Guelaguetza as a ceremony to honour their gods, especially the corn goddess, Centeotl.
Chapter 3, "The Status of Farm Labor Organizing," provides some new material but, considering the breadth of interviews the author conducted, is disappointing in its failure to capture the nature of the quiet organizing taking place among Mixtec Indian farmworkers in California.