Chihuahua

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Chihuahua

, state, Mexico

Chihuahua (chēwäˈwä), state, 94,831 sq mi (245,612 sq km), N Mexico, on the border of N.Mex. and Texas. The city of Chihuahua is the capital. Largest of the Mexican states, Chihuahua is divided into two regions—the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental to the west, and the vast, cactus-and-greasewood desert basins, broken by scattered barren ranges, to the north and east. In extreme E Chihuahua and W Coahuila is a desolate basin, the Bolsón de Mapimí. At Nuevo Casas Grandes, in NW Chihuahua, is Paquimé, a vast and important archaeological site.

Chihuahua is a leading national mineral producer; the mines of the Sierra Madre yield silver, gold, zinc, lead, and other minerals and constitute the state's most valuable industry. Cattle raising on the wide plains, which was practiced from the 16th cent. until it was virtually halted by the depredations of Francisco Villa, has been revived. Long considered unsuitable for agriculture, the state has seen reclamation of some river valleys, notably that of the Conchos. The newly irrigated areas and upland mountain valleys produce grains, cotton, and fruit. Chihuahua is one of Mexico's chief agricultural states and has become a center for foreign investment in manufacturing. Foreign (particularly U.S.) corporations have taken advantage of the large and rapidly expanding population and built manufacturing plants (maquiladoras) in N Chihuahua. Among the products are electronics and automobiles.

Chihuahua was first known to the Spanish through Cabeza de Vaca, and after the settlement of Durango in 1562 by Francisco de Ibarra, Chihuahua and Durango were called Nueva Vizcaya. Chihuahua became a state after the Mexican revolution against Spain. During the 19th cent. Chihuahua was a center of Apache and Yaqui activity; today the Tarahumara inhabit some of the remote regions of Chihuahua.

Of considerable importance to Chihuahua's economic and political development was the westward expansion of the United States; during the 19th and early 20th cent. foreign investment was considerable, with the border city of Juárez as the commercial link. Chihuahua was occupied by American forces in the Mexican War and played a prominent part in the turbulent years following the revolution in 1910. In 1961, in an attempt to open some of the most valuable timber and mining lands in the nation, Mexico inaugurated the 560-mi (901-km) Chihuahua-Pacific RR, which borders the gigantic Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon). In recent years there has been significant outmigration from Chihuahua to the United States; the state also has been the scene of significant drug-cartel-related violence.


Chihuahua

, city, Mexico
Chihuahua, city, capital of Chihuahua state, N Mexico. It lies in a valley almost encircled by hills. Chihuahua is the commercial and processing center of a vast central area. Agriculture, livestock, and mining are the economic mainstays of the surrounding region. The revolutionist Hidalgo y Costilla was executed in the city in 1811. Chihuahua was occupied briefly by U.S. forces in 1846 during the Mexican War and served as the headquarters of Benito Juárez until French troops took it in 1865. It has many American residents. There are several prime examples of 18th-century colonial architecture, including the aqueduct.

Chihuahua

, breed of dog
Chihuahua (chəwäˈwə), a breed of small toy dog probably of Asian origin and introduced into Mexico by Spanish settlers. It stands about 5 in. (12.7 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 1 to 6 lb (0.5–2.7 kg). There are two varieties: the smooth, with a short, close-lying, glossy coat, and the long-coated, with soft-textured, flat or slightly wavy hair that forms a fringe of longer hair on the neck, legs, and tail. The coat may be any color but is usually tan. Named after the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, this tiny dog was long believed to have been indigenously Mexican. However, there exist no archaeological remains to support this belief; the animal generally claimed to be the Chihuahua depicted in Toltecan and Aztecan art and described in the writings of early explorers of Mexico is most probably a variety of rodent. It is much more likely that the ancestors of the breed were brought by Spanish merchants by way of their trade route from China, where the practice of dwarfing both plants and animals has had a long history. Today the Chihuahua is widely popular as a house pet. See dog.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chihuahua

 

a state in northern Mexico. Area, 247,000 sq km. Population, 2 million (1976). The capital is the city of Chihuahua. The eastern part of the state is a semidesert upland plain with elevations of mainly 1,000–2,000 m. The Sierra Madre Occidental, which reach an elevation of 2,591 m, occupy the western part. Cattle raising is extensive, and irrigated land is cultivated, mainly for cotton. The mining of complex ores and nonferrous metallurgy are centered in and around Chihuahua, Hidalgo del Parral, and San Francisco del Oro. Timber is procured in the Sierra Madre Occidental.


Chihuahua

 

a city in northern Mexico; capital of Chihuahua State. A major industrial, transportation, and commercial center of northern Mexico. Population, 364,000 (1975). Chihuahua is a railroad and highway junction. The city’s main industry is nonferrous metallurgy, that is, the smelting of lead and other nonferrous metals. Chihuahua also has light industry, as well as food processing, chemical production, and metalworking.


Chihuahua

 

a breed of pet dog developed in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The Chihuahua is a small dog, standing 17–22 cm high. It is a delicate breed, with a long body, a rounded head, a small pointed muzzle, slightly bulging eyes, and large erect or pendant ears. The breed has two varieties: the long-coated, which has a long wavy coat with fringed ears, a ruff, and feathering on the legs, and the smooth-coated, which has a short, thick, shiny coat. Coat colors include brown, white, cream, black, and various shades of red. The Chihuahua is common throughout the world.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chihuahua

1. a state of N Mexico: mostly high plateau; important mineral resources, with many silver mines. Capital: Chihuahua. Pop.: 728 000 (2005 est.). Area: 247 087 sq. km (153 194 sq. miles).
2. a city in N Mexico, capital of Chihuahua state. Pop.: 650 000 (2000 est.)
3. a breed of tiny dog originally from Mexico, having short smooth hair, large erect ears, and protruding eyes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005