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amuzga

The Amuzgo people is known as the Tzjon NoThis means "town of thread, soft thread or wick", although each town in Amuzgo has its own specific name, for example in Santa María Ipalapa they are called Tzo'tyio which means "river Camarón".

LOCATION

The territory of Amuzgo is located in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. In the state of Guerrero, they are located in the southeastern region of the cities of Xochistlahuaca, Tlacoachistlahuaca, Cosuyoapan, Zacoalpa, Chochoapan, Huehuetono, El Pájaro, Las Minas, Cerro Bronco, Guadalupe Victoria, Guajentepec and Pueblo Nuevo. To the west of Oaxaca, they are located in the municipalities of San Pedro Amuzgos and Santa María Ipalapa.

FEATURES 

In the 19th century, the evangelisation of the Amuzga community began, leaving as a legacy several dances such as the Tiger, Bull, Turtle, Gachupine, Moor, Conquest and Twelve Pairs of France dances.

The house of the Amuzga community usually consists of several rooms depending on the economic situation of the inhabitants. It is common that in the ranches where the amuzgos mainly live, there is no electricity, drinking water or basic drainage. In this case, they get water from springs and use candles to light the houses.

Some houses have spaces where animals such as chickens, turkeys, which are easy to tame, live. They also grow medicinal and ornamental plants.

The predominant climate in the regions of Oaxaca and Guerrero where they live is tropical sub-humid, with abundant rainfall in the months of June and September. Thanks to this climate and the type of soil, there are many crops such as corn, chili, sesame, pumpkin, peanuts, sugar cane, avocado, melon, watermelon, orange, mango, papaya, tamarind, lemon, coconut, plum, tamarind, mamey and of course coffee.

The main activities of the community are subsistence farming and craft making.

COSTS

The Amuzgos make clay objects such as pots, comales, jugs, hammocks and backpacks from ixtle, bamboo and palm tree basketry. In Xochistlahuaca, they make machetes with inscriptions typical of the region. Many women make textile objects on a backpacking loom to sell them. Almost the whole family is involved in the craft trade; grandmothers teach their daughters the loom. So it is a legacy that is passed on from generation to generation, as are the men, who specialise in making nets and hammocks.

Solidarity is very common in the community. It is common for aid associations to arise to try to solve immediate problems, but also to carry out certain social activities such as parties, weddings, baptisms, butlers, etc.

It is also very common to establish compadrazgo relationships for baptisms, first communion celebrations and weddings.

As far as religion is concerned, the Amuzgos still practice rites and ceremonies of pre-Hispanic origin, dedicated to agriculture or to the owners of mountains, ravines, rivers, streams, caves, and entities of nature in order to receive protection and abundant crops. These rites are performed by specialists who, in addition to healing, serve as priests and magicians. Today, however, Protestant groups have developed among the population.

TRADITIONS

In the main festivals of the community, the Catholic saints are celebrated and, in each region, they are played on different dates. For example, in San Pedro Amuzgos, the patron saint's day is on June 29. In Xochistlahuaca, San Miguel is celebrated on 29 September. In addition, in these communities they celebrate Carnival, Easter, All Saints' Day and Christmas.

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