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an American Indian people in Mexico, inhabiting the northern part of the state of Puebla, the adjoining regions of the state of Veracruz, and the eastern part of the state of Hidalgo. They number more than 100,000 (1971, estimate). The Totonac language, one of the Maya-Zoque languages, is still spoken, although many Totonac also speak Spanish. The ethnic territory of the Totonac is the site of numerous archaeological monuments, such as the famous pyramid with niches in El Tajin.

Most Totonac engage in farming, mainly the cultivation of Indian corn. The economy is semisubsistence; in some regions sugarcane and bananas are grown commercially. Since the 1940’s an increasing number of Totonac have been employed in local oil fields; this has accelerated the assimilation of the Totonac to the Spanish-speaking Mexicans migrating to new industrial regions. The Totonac are Catholics, although pre-Christian religions are also practiced.


Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.
References in periodicals archive ?
2007) 'Presence of mind as working climate change knowledge: a Totonac cosmopolites' in M.
Through six 18th-century uprisings in the town of Papantla, Veracruz, Frederick examines how the native Totonac perceptions of their own political abilities, their increasingly difficult economic environment, and their sense of justice changed in the wake of colonial reform.
Both the tree and fruit are called cachichin, a word of Totonac origin that means bitter fruit.
Truesdell Kelly, Isabel, y Angel Palerm, The Tajin Totonac, Washington, United States Government Printing Office, 1956.
The Curse of Ham became known in New Spain through Juan de Torquemada, a Franciscan friar, historian and author of Monarquia indiana (1615), an account that was largely based on the oral histories of the Totonac (in present-day Veracruz.
He tells the story of Zempoala temple, an indigenous Totonac holy place, three hundred miles northwest of Ixtepec.
complained that the Mexica [Aztec] tribute collectors had picked the country clean and that hundreds of young Totonac children were brought to the altars of |Aztec capital] Tenochtitlan for sacrifice .
About fifty years ago, the ceremony was primarily practiced in indigenous communities of a few ethnic groups in eastern Mexico, such as the Otomi, Nahua, and especially the Totonac people, who comprised most Voladores-dancers in Mexico and are still known best for this dance.
Jerome Offner examines three pictorial manuscripts related to the Totonac region and argues that local historical traditions can be detected in them, despite the later Nahua Tenochcan conquest and their ensuing rewriting of the region's history.
The Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico, embellish the 40 hottest days of the year--aka canicula, or dog days--with centuries-old traditions.