The Amuzgo people are known as Tzjon No, which means “city of thread, soft thread or wick”, although each Amuzgo town has its specific name, for example in Santa María Ipalapa they are called Tzo’tyio which means “river Camarón”.
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. In the west of Oaxaca, they are located in the municipalities of San Pedro Amuzgos and Santa María Ipalapa.
In the 19th century, the evangelization of the Amuzga community began, leaving as a legacy several dances such as the Dance of the Tiger, the Bull, the Turtle, the Gachupines, the Moors, the Conquest and the Twelve Pairs of France.
The house of the Amuzga community generally includes several rooms depending on the economic situation of its inhabitants. It is frequent that in the ranches where the amuzgos mainly live, there is no electricity, drinking water or basic drainage. In this case, they get their water from springs and use candles to light the houses.
Some houses have spaces where animals such as chickens and turkeys live, which are easy to tame. They also grow medicinal and ornamental plants.
The predominant climate in the regions of Oaxaca and Guerrero where they live is sub-humid tropical, with abundant rainfall in the months of June and September. Due to this climate and the type of soil, there are many crops such as corn, chili, sesame, pumpkin, peanut, 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 agriculture and handicraft development.
The Amuzgos make clay objects such as pots, comales, jugs, hammocks and backpacks out of ixtle basketry, bamboo and palm. In Xochistlahuaca they make machetes with inscriptions typical of the region. Many women make textile objects on a backpack loom to sell them. Almost the whole family participates in the handicraft trade; grandmothers teach their daughters the loom. It is therefore a legacy that is passed on from generation to generation, just like the men, who specialize 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 the entities of nature in order to receive protection and abundant harvests. 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.
On the main feasts of the community, 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 June 29th. In Xochistlahuaca, San Miguel is celebrated on September 29th. In addition, in these communities they celebrate Carnival, Easter, All Saints’ Day and Christmas.