Totonac

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Totonac

 

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.

REFERENCE

Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(10) "These contexts include indigenous Totonacs of Mexico (Smith 2007) rural Africans (Eguavoen 2013; Patt and Schroter 2007; Shaffer and Naiene 2011), some Tibetans (Byg and Salick 2009), and the Marshallese of eastern Micronesia (Rudiak-Gould 2014: 366).
And as Schmal put it, the chieftain of the first Indians Cortes met, the Totonacs. "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 ....
To illuminate local population differences, we compare samples from sites associated with four different cultural groups located in adjacent regions of Mexico: the Toltecs and Mexicas from Central Mexico; the Totonacs from the Gulf Coast lowlands of Veracruz; and the Maya from the northern lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is an impressive site of pyramids contained within a fort built by the Totonacs. When the Spanish first saw the city they thought it was made of gold because it glowed in the sun.
This past summer, while in Veracruz, Mexico, Romo had the opportunity to photograph the Totonacs, an indigenous people of farmers who maintain traditional culture and religion yet encourage their young people to attend college.
In a short but vivid chapter, she shows that this "national democratic project" incorporated many hierarchical relations as well, such as those between men and women, younger men and village elders, and, to a lesser extent, among the various ethnic groups, be they Nahua speakers, Totonacs, or creoles.
In the 1400s, Aztec warriors subjugated the Totonacapan, "land of the Totonacs," exacting part of their tribute in cured vanilla beans, which they used to sweeten a savory beverage enjoyed by members of Moctezuma's court.