Huastecs(redirected from Huastec people)
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an Indian people in the states of Veracruz, San Luis Potosí, and Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico. The Huastecs number approximately 60,000 (1970, estimate). Little is known about their history before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Although their language belongs to the Quiché Maya group, the Huastecs were not acquainted with the Mayas’ hieroglyphic writing system. The culture of the Huastecs was influenced by that of the Toltecs of central Mexico. It may be assumed therefore that the Huastecs separated from the Mayas’ main group at a very early time. During the Spanish conquest, the Huastecs bravely resisted the invaders and were defeated by them only after a determined struggle. The Huastecs today work chiefly in the petroleum industry, in mining, and on orange and tobacco plantations.