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(ōtōmē`), a Macro-Otomanguean language spoken by Native Americans of W central Mexico. See Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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a major contemporary Indian people of Mexico. The Otomi live in the states of Guanajuato, Querétaro, and Hidalgo, with isolated groups in San Luis Potosí, Puebla, and Michoacán. Population, approximately 300,000 (1961, estimate). The Otomi language belongs to the Otomian-Mixtecan-Zapotecan language family.

The Otomi are apparently the descendants of the most ancient inhabitants of Mexico. Catholicism is their official religion, although traditional beliefs, cast in Christian form, have been preserved. Farming is the people’s chief occupation. The Otomi have retained their traditional culture with considerable pre-Hispanic elements.


Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.