Mixtec people

The Mixtec or Mixteca (derived from the Aztec language Nahuatl of Mixtecapan - people from the clouds country or Mixtecatl - cloud people ) are an ancient Mexican Indian people who lived the Mexican state of Oaxaca, adjoining to the northwest of Puebla and lying in the northeast of Guerrero. The Mixtecs speak Mixtec and called themselves savi depending on the dialect as Nuu, Nuu Zau, Nuu davi, naa savi - sometimes called Tay Ñudzahui or Nuu dzavui ( ' People of the rain deity place' - ' people at the location of the rain god ') and formed at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Triple Alliance one of the largest nations in southern Mexico. Along with the neighboring Zapotec they speak a variant of the Otomangue language family. Distinction is made between the actual Mixteco "( Mixtec, Nuu Savi - 'Language of the rain ') with several languages ​​and dialects ( 450,000 speakers), as well as the closely related Cuicateco ( ' Cuicatekisch ', 12,000 speakers) and Trique ( ' Triqui ', 24,000 spokesman) distinguished.


The Mixtecs were the bearers of a sophisticated pre-Hispanic culture in southern Mexico. The origins of their culture can be traced back to the 7th century written sources. Important former cultural and political power centers of the Mixteca were the capital Tilantongo ( Nuu - Tnoo Huahi Andehui - 'Black Town -Temple of Heaven '), and the towns Achiutla, Cuilapan, Huajuapan, Tlaxiaco, Tututepec, Juxtlahuaca, and Yucuñudahui. In addition, the Mixteca in Monte Albán and Mitla, formerly the Zapotec cities, famous buildings and works of art built and continued the colonization. The Mixtecs were excellent craftsmen, whose products were very popular and the neighboring peoples. They asked brightly colored ceramic ago, created precious turquoise mosaics and were masters of metal processing, in particular the goldsmith's art. At the height of the Aztec Empire fell some cities (but not all Mixteca - cities) presented in the dependence of the Aztecs and their art products make a major contribution of the tribute shows, they had to pay the Aztecs. Famous products of their outstanding metalwork and jewelry of their craft are the finds from the grave # 7 in Monte Albán. The artistic influence of Mixtec also extended to Cholula, where he formed the regional Mixteca - Puebla style. Later, they rose up against the Spanish conquistadors and were conquered by the Spaniards with the help of Indian auxiliary troops from central Mexico under the leadership of Pedro de Alvarado.


Epiklassikum (ca. 650-950 ) Postclassic (ca. 950-1200 ) Late Postclassic (ca. 1200-1519 )


The Mixteca recorded for their codices, an illuminated manuscript in a Faltbuch (Leporello) deerskin, which was written in the form of pictograms and ideograms, world famous. In these codices the Mixteca, the Aztekencodices wrote similarly, their history and myths down, calendar and genealogical lineages of their rulers and the gods. The most famous story of the Mixtec Codices is that of the ruler 8 Deer ( Iya Nacuaa Teyusi Ñaña, epithet: ' Jaguar Claw ') ( 1063-1115 AD), written in the Codex Nuttall, which it as the first ruler succeeded in all three Mixtec city leagues ( upland, lowland and coastal ) under a capital city ( Tilantongo ) to unite. The life and deeds of 8 deer are also mentioned in other codices, such as the Codex Colombino (Mexico), Codex Becker I and Vindobonensis (Vienna), and Codex Bodley and Selden (Oxford). The majority of Mexican manuscripts preserved today are Mixtec origin.

Groups of the Mixteca

The Mixteca Mixtec or her home area and are often divided geographically and culturally into three Regionenen or city leagues:

  • The Mixteca Alta ( Highland Mixtec ) live in the highlands and west and in the mountains of Oaxaca valley in north-eastern Guerrero and western Oaxaca
  • The Mixteca Baja ( Lowland Mixtec ) live north and west of these mountains in the northwestern and southwestern Oaxaca Puebla
  • The Mixteca de la Costa (coastal Mixtec ) live in the southern plains and along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the eastern Guerrero and western Oaxaca.

For most of the period Mixtec history before the Spanish conquest, the Mixteca Alta was the dominant and dominant political force, also the capital Tilantongo was the Mixteca in the highlands, which was controlled by them. The valley of Oaxaca itself was often a disputed border region, sometimes dominated by the Mixtec, then turn from their neighbors to the east, the Zapotec (which called themselves actually Peni zaa - "cloud people", the name was but by the Aztecs to the neighboring Mixteca transferred ).