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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 ?
Lara Rosano, "Assessing the Potential of Colaborative Video Games to Improve Education in La Mixteca Region of Mexico," in Gams, M.
With selections of 126 tequilas for Zapoteca and 65 bottles for Mixteca, Ramos has developed the two restaurants as destinations for aficionados.
In the 1540s and -50s, very few Spaniards, other than clergy, would have lived near the estancias in between the Mixteca and Tehuantepec.
With contributors primarily from North America, the book is sectioned into three parts: the Middle American Terranes, including Oaxaquia, Mixteca, Sierra Madre, Chuacus, and Chortis Terrane and the North American Craton; followed by potential correlatives, and orogenic processes.
Protection of the colorful Mixteca and Nahoa indigenous dye traditions in Mexico: the saga of the Plicopurpura pansa snail.
Based on a longitudinal study of a place Smith calls "Ticuani," a poor, migrant-sending Mexican town in the arid, impoverished Mixteca region of southern Puebla, the volume follows a community of migrants as they set out for the United States, are received there by the "pioneer migrants" from their town, and struggle to find not only jobs, housing, and schooling, but also a moral and psychological space in which to live their lives.
Downs was raised in the Oaxacan section of the Sierra Madre Mountains known as La Mixteca.
Guadalupe and I met while I was teaching at the Universidad Tecnologica de la Mixteca in the northwest corner of Oaxaca state.
Yaa ja kajita Sa' Sau Nuu Ntijinu = Canciones que se cantan, en la Mixteca de Tlaxiaco.
4) Health Care for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age Who Work as Migrant Farm Laborers aimed to develop a realistic model of care to protect the health of women from Oaxaca, primarily of Mixteca origin, who travel every year to the fields of Sinaloa, either accompanying their husbands or as laborers themselves.
Elvia's mother, Serafina Estrella Soloria-Mendez, is a Mixteca Indian.