Inligting

Chiapas


Beboste Chiapas is die plek van sommige van die mees skouspelagtige Maya -ruïnes in Bonampak, waar ingewikkelde muurskilderye bewaar word, en in Palenque, wat in 'n nasionale park geleë is. Chiapas is die tweede plek onder die Mexikaanse state in die produksie van kakao, die produk wat gebruik word om sjokolade te maak, en is verantwoordelik vir 60 persent van die totale koffieproduksie in Mexiko. Ander belangrike gewasse is suikerriet, piesangs en ander vrugte. Die jaarlikse melkproduksie in Chiapas beloop ongeveer 180 miljoen liter (47,5 miljoen liter).

Geskiedenis

Vroeë geskiedenis
Chiapa de Corzo, 'n Maya -nedersetting in die middel van Chiapas, toon bewyse van menslike besetting sedert 1400 v.C., hoewel min bekend is oor die inwoners van daardie gebied. Omstreeks 600 nC is die Maya -stad Palenque gestig en die eerste groot strukture is begin. Baie van die vroeë geskiedenis van die stad - soos dié van die staat - bly egter 'n raaisel vir argeoloë.

Chiapas verteenwoordig 'n klein gedeelte van die streek wat eens deur die Maya -Indiane bewoon is. Die Maya -kultuur het ten minste 2 000 jaar lank in Meso -Amerika floreer. Vaardige wewers en tempelbouers het 'n magdom argeologiese skatte agtergelaat vir latere geslagte om te ontdek en te bewonder.

Die Maya's wat die streek oorspronklik beset het, is later deur die Chiapa -Indiane verower. Bewyse dui daarop dat die Asteke gedurende die 15de eeu in die gebied verskyn het, hoewel hulle nie die Chiapa -stam heeltemal kon verdring nie. In Náhuatl, die taal van die Asteke, Chiapas beteken die plek waar die chia salie groei.

Middelgeskiedenis
In 1522, nadat hy die Asteke -ryk verower het, stuur Hernán Cortés tollenaars na die gebied wat nou Chiapas is. Kort daarna stuur Cortés sy afgesant, Luis Marín, na die streek om die inheemse Tzotzile -Indiane te onderwerp. Marín was hewig teengestaan ​​in die hooglande, en versterkings is gestuur om die inboorlinge te help beheer, van wie baie selfmoord gekies het as om verower te word.

Alhoewel die formele geveg in 1528 geëindig het, het die inboorlinge tot in die 17de eeu steeds weerstand gebied teen die Spaanse heerskappy.

Terwyl baie Mexikaanse state gedurende die Spaanse koloniale tydperk floreer het-grotendeels as gevolg van hul natuurlike hulpbronne-het arm mense in armoede en ontevredenheid verswak. Die samesmelting van Indiese en Spaanse bloed wat die mestizopopulasie veroorsaak het, was in Chiapas minder uitgesproke as elders in die land. Gevolglik is die identiteit van die Chiapas -Indiane beter bewaar as die van naburige kulture. Selfs vandag het baie van die etniese groepe van Chiapas hul ou kulture, tradisies en gebruike gehandhaaf.

Onlangse geskiedenis
Onder leiding van die Katolieke priester Matías Antonio de Córdoba verklaar Chiapas in 1821 onafhanklikheid van Spanje; in 1824 het die staat by die Mexikaanse alliansie aangesluit. Die grondwet van Chiapas is in 1826 opgestel, en die staat is in 1841 volledig by Mexiko opgeneem.

Konflikte tussen koloniale grondeienaars en die inheemse bevolking het gedurende die 19de eeu voortgeduur. Die Mexikaanse rewolusie, wat in 1910 begin het, het Chiapas egter grootliks onaangeraak gelaat.

In die jare na die rewolusie het die Institusionele Revolusionêre Party (PRI) vinnig 'n dominante politieke mag geword. Deur hulle in te skakel met PRI -leiers, het die bevoorregte grondeienaars van Chiapas grondhervormings geblokkeer wat bedoel was om die groot inheemse bevolking te bevoordeel. As gevolg hiervan het Chiapas onder die armste state in Mexiko gebly.

Chiapas Vandag

In 1994 het die Noord -Amerikaanse vryhandelsooreenkoms (NAFTA), wat bedoel is om handel tussen die Verenigde State, Kanada en Mexiko aan te moedig deur tariewe uit te skakel en baie beperkings op verskillende kategorieë handelsgoedere op te hef, in werking getree. In Chiapas het die afsterwe van die ooreenkoms 'n gewapende opstand ondergaan deur die Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Alhoewel die opstand aandag gegee het aan die behoeftes van die inheemse bevolking, kon die rebelle nie die PRI -regering oorkom nie.

Die Zapatiste soek voortdurend regeringsoutonomie vir hul gemeenskappe en bevorder sosiale en politieke hervorming. Ondanks so 'n aktivisme is die bevolking van Chiapas vandag nog een van die mees gemarginaliseerdes in Mexiko.

Die primêre nywerhede in Chiapas sluit in produksie van ru -olie, vervaardiging, landbou en koffie -uitvoer. Chiapas het sy eerste monteeraanleg in 2002 geopen, 'n feit wat die historiese gebrek aan industrie in hierdie gebied beklemtoon. Toerisme, 'n ander belangrike bedryf, bring elke jaar talle besoekers na die staat om Tuxtla Gutiérrez, San Cristóbal en ander besienswaardighede te besoek.

Feite en syfers

  • Hoofstad: Tuxtla Gutiérrez
  • Groot stede (bevolking): Tuxtla Gutiérrez (503,320) Tapachula (282,420) Ocosingo (170,280) San Cristóbal de las Casas (166,460) Las Margaritas (98,374)
  • Grootte/oppervlakte: 28,653 vierkante myl
  • Bevolking: 4,293,459 (Sensus van 2005)
  • Staatsjaar: 1823

Prettige feite

  • Die wapen van Chiapas is ryk aan historiese betekenis. Die rooi lug staan ​​vir die gevare wat die staat gedurende sy geskiedenis oorkom het, en die rivier wat uit verre groen heuwels vloei, verteenwoordig stewigheid en geregtigheid. Die kasteel is 'n simbool van sterkte, rykdom, lig en wysheid, en die nabygeleë goue leeu dui op heldhaftigheid. Op die teenoorgestelde krans simboliseer die palm oorwinning en vrugbaarheid, en die leeu roep San Cristóbal op, beskermende heilige van die ou Real Villa van Chiapa. Die kroon wat op die toneel voorsit, weerspieël die edele erfenis en tydlose gesag van die staat.
  • Chiapas se reënwoude huisves duisende unieke diere en plante, waarvan sommige nêrens anders ter wêreld gevind kan word nie. Die El Triunfo Biosfeerreservaat in Chiapas, byvoorbeeld, huisves ongeveer 400 voëlspesies, waaronder verskeie skaars spesies, soos die horing-guan, die quetzal en die asuurblou tanager.
  • Die staat het een van die grootste en mees diverse inheemse bevolkings in Mexiko, met ongeveer 959,000 moedertaalsprekers ouer as vyf jaar, wat 'n kwart van die staat se bevolking verteenwoordig.
  • Conservation International en Starbucks Coffee werk saam met boere in Chiapas om die biodiversiteit te bewaar deur koffie onder die baldakyn te verbou.
  • Digter Jaime Sabines (1926-1999), algemeen beskou as die invloedrykste kontemporêre digter in Mexiko, is gebore in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Sy werk vier alledaagse mense in algemene omgewings. Octavio Paz, die gevierde Mexikaanse skrywer, noem Sabines 'een van die grootste hedendaagse digters van ons tong'.
  • Emiliano Zapata, 'n leidende figuur in die Mexikaanse revolusie van 1910, is gebore in Morelos, Chiapas. Zapata het 'n kulturele ikoon geword waarvan die prestasies in strokiesprente, historiese en fiktiewe literatuur, musiek en films verskyn het. In 1952 is sy bydraes tot die Mexikaanse geskiedenis vasgelê in die Amerikaanse film, Viva Zapata, wat Marlon Brando in die hoofrol vertolk het. Talle Mexikaanse dorpe, skole en ander plekke is vernoem na Zapata.

Landmerke

Argeologiese terreine en ruïnes
'N Belangrike toeristebestemming in die omgewing is Palenque, 'n Maya -argeologiese terrein naby die Usumacinta -rivier. Alhoewel Palenque baie kleiner is as die groot terreine in Tikal of Copán, bevat dit 'n paar van die beste argitektuur, beeldhouwerk en pleisterwerk wat die Maya's ooit gemaak het.

Chinkultic is nog 'n matige grootte argeologiese ruïne in die staat. Hierdie voor-Columbiaanse Maya-stad floreer in die Maya Classic Era, wat die 3de tot 9de eeu strek.

Die Sumidero Canyon
Die Sumidero -canyon was eens die plek van 'n epiese geveg tussen die Spanjaard en die Chiapaanse Indiërs. Die Chiapanecans het gekies om hulself van die hoë rande van die canyon af te gooi eerder as om deur die Spaanse magte verslaan te word.

Vandag is die canyon 'n gewilde bestemming vir ekotoerisme. Besoekers onderneem gereeld bootritte langs die rivier wat deur die canyon loop en geniet die natuurskoon van die omgewing, insluitend die vele voëls en die oorvloedige plantegroei.

Ruïnes van Bonampak
Die Maya -ruïnes van Bonampak in die Lacandon -reënwoud (La Selva Lacandona) bevat 'n paar van die beste Maya -muurskilderye. Die realisties weergegee skilderye beeld menslike offers, musikante en tonele van die koninklike hof uit.

FOTOGALERIES









Chiapas: 'n kort geskiedenis

Chiapas is die mees suidelike deelstaat van Mexiko, op die grens van Guatemala. Die hoofstad is Tuxtla Guti & eacuterrez. Chiapas het 'n oppervlakte van 28,528 vierkante myl. 'N Verslag in 2003 het beraam dat die bevolking van Chiapas 4,224,800 mense was (Wikpedia, 2006, paragraaf 2). Chiapas het oor die algemeen vogtige, tropiese weer wat vog verskaf vir verskillende plantegroei en reënwoude, maar hierdie plantegroei is byna heeltemal vernietig vir landbou en boerdery (Wikpedia, 2006, paragraaf 3). Histories was Chiapas 'n arm en onderontwikkelde streek. Die ekonomie is lankal op landbou gebaseer, en meer as die helfte van die ekonomies aktiewe bevolking werk in landbou, vissery en bosbou (Encarta 2005, Chiapas, paragraaf 3). As 'n staat voer Chiapas landbougoedere uit soos koffie, sjokolade, katoen, vis en piesangs (Wikpedia, 2006, paragraaf 3). Baie van die boerdery wat deur die mense gedoen word, is egter net genoeg vir hulself en hul gesinne om te lewe. 'N Groot deel van die boerdery word uitgevoer op klein stukke grond wat aan inheemse mense gewaarborg is as gevolg van die Mexikaanse grondwet wat in 1917 geskep is. In 1992 is die artikel wat die grond aan inheemse mense waarborg gewysig, sodat die lande toeganklik is vir korporasies (Shapiro, paragraaf 19).


Mexikaanse Chiapas -rok

Die tipiese Chiapas -rok is afkomstig van die stad Chiapa de Corzo en beskryf die blommeverskeidenheid van die streek. Die bloes is gemaak van satyn (sygevoel) met 'n sirkelvormige skouerbloes en 'n rits met blomme geborduur. Die romp is lank en vol, gemaak van satyn en bestaan ​​ook uit 'n reeks plooie met geborduurde kleurvolle blomme.

Die volledige Chiapas -vroue -uitrusting is die bloes, romp, skoene, en#xa0pikseltjie, en vlegsels, oorbelle en krae. Die xicalpextle is 'n tipiese kunsvlyt uit die staat met gestempelde blomme. Die rokstof is gewoonlik swart, maar hulle het ook 'n weergawe met die wit satynstof.

Die blomme op die rok word met die hand geborduur deur die plaaslike vroue in Chiapa de Corzo, en meer as werk beskou hulle die maak van rokke as 'n tyd.

Folkloriese dans met tipiese Chiapas -rok

Geskiedenis van die Chiapas -rok

Die rok het in die vroeë twintigste eeu verskyn, en dit het deur die jare ontwikkel.

Oorspronklik het die rok 'n vou van vrye handborduurwerk in die bloes en die romp, en later is daar ekstra flounces en 'n voller romp bygevoeg.

Daar is 'n teorie wat deur die media ondersteun word dat 'n teatergeselskap in 1920 deur die streek getoer het. Tydens hul optrede in die stad Chiapa de Corzo sing hulle 'n liedjie wat hulle 'Las Chiapanecas' noem, wat 'The Women from Chiapas' beteken. Ter waardering het die stad 'n weergawe van die tipiese Chiapas -rok van vandag aangebied. Die rok wat aangebied is, was 'n skepping van Otilia Grajales de Cuesta, en sy word nou erken as die oorspronklike ontwerper van hierdie ikoon uit die staat Chiapas.

Ongeveer dieselfde tydperk is die tipiese dans vir die lied geskep en is dit vandag deel van die repertoire van Mexikaanse folkloriese ensembles.

Die rok is moeilik om te vervals omdat die oorspronklike Chiapas -rok met groot lusse met die hand geborduur is, en daarom sal die kwaliteitverskil duidelik wees.

Die oorspronklike eenvoudiger weergawe van die rok is deur die vroue in die omgewing as 'n alledaagse kledingstuk gebruik. Aangesien dit meer gesofistikeerd geword het, word dit deur vroue in Mexiko gebruik vir spesiale geleenthede, soos vierde verjaardagvieringe vir jong meisies, troues en ander spesiale geleenthede. Die rok word ook wyd gebruik tydens die Groot Fees van Chiapa de Corzo. Die verstommende ontwerp het die internasionale toneel bereik waar dit in alle lande erkenning verwerf het.

Die ontwerpers en vervaardigers van hierdie pragtige rok het nou hul winkels naby die pleine in die tradisionele dorpe in die staat Chiapas, wat hul produk kommersialiseer.


Die rebellie in Chiapas

Die rebellie van die Maya's in Chiapas is voorgestel as 'n inheemse opstand teen die ongelykhede van die behandeling van Chiapas deur die sentrale regering. In werklikheid was dit meer 'n reklame -stunt wat deur radikale aktiviste van die Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico in Mexico -stad gereël is. Hierdie marxisties-maoïste was deel van die National Liberation Forces (NLF), 'n ou radikale linkse guerrillagroep, wat moeg was vir hul gebrek aan sukses om 'n massabeweging in die stad op te wek. In die vroeë 1980's het hierdie Maoiste na Chiapas verhuis om soldate te vind wat hulle kon lei. Hulle het Chiapas gekies omdat die mense wat geïsoleer was, naïef was oor die vooruitsigte vir die sukses van 'n guerilla -opstand. Dit was nog 'n geval van die uitbuiting van die inboorlinge van Chiapas deur mense uit Mexico -stad. In hierdie geval is die uitbuiting van die Maya's deur die radikale aktiviste uit Mexikostad betrokke by die gebruik daarvan om dood te maak en vermoor te word, 'n nog gruwelike uitbuiting as dié van regeringsamptenare wat die Maya -fondse eerder as hul lewens geneem het.

Die radikale aktiviste het hul organisasie die Zapatista National Liberation Front genoem. Die naam, sowel as alles oor die organisasie, is gekies vanweë die publisiteitswaarde daarvan. Na tien jaar waarin hulle hulself as kommer oor die welsyn van die Maya's voorgehou het, het die aktiviste die lojaliteite van verskillende stamgroepe in Chiapas verkry. Toe het die aktiviste besluit om die vertroue wat hulle opgedoen het, te ontgin deur 'n opstand teen publisiteit op die dag dat die wêreld se aandag op Mexiko sou val as gevolg van die aktivering van die Noord-Amerikaanse Vryhandelsooreenkoms, 1 Januarie, 1994.

Onder leiding van Rafael Sebastian Guillen Vicente het die Maya -milisie beheer geneem oor verskeie stede in Chiapas. Terwyl die oorname oor die algemeen sonder bloedvergieting plaasgevind het, is daar verskeie mense dood. Sodra die oorname voltooi was, was die plan om 'n groep Maya's voor te stel as die leiers van die opstand, maar die versoeking van die publisiteit was te groot en Guillen Vicente kon die kollig nie weerstaan ​​nie. Hy oorheers gou dat hy homself noem Onderbevelvoerder Marcos. Hy het 'n swart skimasker gedra om sy identiteit te verberg terwyl hy die Maya's laat fotografeer het vir toekomstige identifikasie.

Die vermeende leierskap van die opstand is die Clandestine Committee genoem. Andres Oppenheimer, 'n joernalis wat 'n onderhoud met onderbestuurder Marcos sowel as met die lede van die Clandestine -komitee gevoer het, het opgemerk dat hy uitgebreide sekuriteitsprosedures en meervoudige liggaamsoektogte moes ondergaan, maar om met lede van die Clandestine -komitee te gesels. net om na hulle te stap, selfs van agter af, en hulle op die skouer te tik.

Dit is opmerklik dat die aanvanklike aksie nie volksopstande in Chiapas veroorsaak het nie. In plaas daarvan is slegs vier dorpe oorgeneem en almal is oorgeneem deur die troepe wat opgelei en gelei is deur die linkses van die Mexikostad. In die dorpe Altimirano en Ocosingo het die linksgesinde rewolusionêres beveg. In die stad Oxchuc het die inwoners die linksgesinde revolusionêre gekeer om terug te keer.

Die aard van die Chiapas -guerrilla -optrede as 'n linkse optog in Mexico -stad word onteenseglik onthul in die slagspreuk dat dit 'n stryd is neoliberalisme. Alhoewel dit iets vir stedelike linkses kan beteken, is dit heeltemal vreemd vir die situasie in Chiapas. Hierdie onvanpaste slagspreuk herinner aan die slagspreuke wat die Skitterende pad leierskap in Peru wat verwys na elemente van die kulturele revolusie in China, iets wat in die Peruaanse konteks heeltemal betekenisloos was.

Die Maya's van Chiapas, Guatemala, Yucatan en elders het sterk, wettige griewe teen hul plaaslike en nasionale regerings. Het plaaslike rebellies iets anders as die dood en ontbering aan die onderdrukte mense? Nee, die sogenaamde rebellie skep ten beste 'n terroriste-organisasie wie se optrede geen militêre waarde het nie, slegs 'n publisiteitswaarde. Die publisiteit kan 'n politieke waarde hê as dit toegewings en kompromie van die Mexikaanse regering tot gevolg het, maar die linkse leiers in Mexiko -stad is voorspelbaar nie op die punt om die toegewings te neem wat die nasionale regering bereid is om te bied nie. Dit sou hul klein rewolusie afsluit. Die liggaamstelling van die Maya's word steeds groter namate paramilitêre eenhede wraak neem op die Maya's. En die rangorde van die linkse weermag sal waarskynlik nooit hul siel herstel nadat hulle gruweldade gehad het soos die doodmaak van ander Maya's wat geweier het om by hulle aan te sluit nie.


Chiapas: ewig inheems

In die afgelope dekades is die staat Chiapas - lankal 'n verwaarloosde en onderdrukte gebied van die Mexikaanse Republiek - op die wêreldverhoog en in die media se aandag gesit. Die aandag wat aan die politieke situasie in Chiapas gegee word, het 'n groot belangstelling in die lot van die inheemse bevolking van die staat veroorsaak. Maar om die huidige situasie in hierdie suidelike staat te verstaan, moet die geskiedenis en komplekse etniese diversiteit daarvan hersien word.

Terwyl baie Mexikaanse state gedurende die Spaanse koloniale tydperk floreer het, het Chiapas - ver na die suide en skynbaar sonder minerale bronne - grootliks weens hul minerale rykdom of landboupotensiaal flou geword in armoede en ontevredenheid. Die mestizaje en assimilasie wat in die meeste Mexikaanse state plaasgevind het, het die identiteit van die Mexikaanse Indiër in die Mexikaanse mestizo verander. En met onafhanklikheid het die Mexikaanse mestizo die burger van die Mexikaanse Republiek geword.

Die proses van mestizaje was egter nie so wydverspreid of algemeen in Chiapas as in die noorde nie. As gevolg hiervan het die inheemse identiteit van die Chiapas -Indiër - hoewel dit verander - nie op dieselfde manier ontwikkel as in die meeste dele van Mexiko nie. Terwyl baie van die ander Mexikaanse state getuie was van die assimilasie, uitbuiting en kulturele ondergang van hul inheemse groepe, het baie van die etniese groepe van Chiapas hul ou kulture, tradisies en gebruike gehandhaaf. As sodanig het Chiapas sy posisie as deel van Mexiko bevraagteken, maar nooit sy buurman in die suide, Guatemala, heeltemal omhels nie. In wese het die staat een onbetwisbare identiteit behou: Chiapas is vir ewig inheems.

Beskrywing van die staat

Die staat Chiapas is in die mees suidelike deel van Mexiko geleë en deel sy grense met die state Tabasco in die noorde, Veracruz-Llave in die noordweste, Oaxaca in die weste en die land Guatemala in die suidooste. Chiapas deel ook 'n lang kuslyn met die Stille Oseaan in die suidweste.

As die tiende grootste staat in die Mexikaanse Republiek, beslaan Chiapas 73,311 vierkante kilometer, wat 3,7% van Mexiko se nasionale grondgebied beslaan. Die staat is verdeel in 'n totaal van 111 munisipaliteite (die Mexikaanse ekwivalent van graafskappe), met sy hoofstad in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

In 2010 het Chiapas - die sewende mees bevolkte Mexikaanse staat - 'n bevolking van 5.217.908. Die hoofstad, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, het 'n bevolking van 537,102, wat 10,3% van die totale staatsbevolking verteenwoordig, geglo dat Chiapas vernoem is na die antieke stad Chiapan, wat waarskynlik afgelei is van die Náhuatl -woorde, "Chia" ('n vorm van salie) en "apan" (in die rivier), wat, in kombinasie, "Chia -rivier" beteken.

Fisiografiese provinsies

Die oppervlak van die staat Chiapas is deel van die volgende drie fisiografiese provinsies, soos hieronder bespreek en in die onderstaande kaart geïllustreer:

  • Llanura Costera del Golfo Sur (kusvlakte van die Suid -Golf)beslaan 5,87% van die staat. Die kusvlakte word verteenwoordig deur die Northern Alluvial Plains in die uiterste noorde van Chiapas. Die terrein is plat, maar het holtes waarin water gedurende die reënseisoen ophoop.
  • Sierra de Chiapas y Guatemala beslaan 63,02% van die staat se gebied:Parallel met die vlakte loop die Sierra Madre de Chiapas, waarop die hoogste hoogtes van die staat is, soos die Tacaná -vulkaan, die Mozotal -heuwel en die Tres Picos -heuwel.
  • Die Cordillera CentroamericanasDie provinsie beslaan 31,11 van die gebied en bevat die sentrale depressie van Chiapas, die sentrale massief, sowel as die berge van die noorde en ooste. Die sentrale depressie is in die middel van die staat geleë en vorm 'n uitgebreide semi-plat gebied waar verskillende valleie gedefinieer word. Die sentrale massief, ook bekend as Central Altiplano, is 'n gebied met hoë berge. Die terrein van die Oostelike berge bevat verskeie parallelle bergreekse.

Die Maya -wêreld

Die naam Chiapas is vermoedelik afgelei van die ou stad Chiapan, wat in Náhuatl die plek beteken waar die chia -salie groei. Chiapas self is slegs 'n deel van die groot gebied wat deur die Maya -Indiane bewoon is. Die antieke Maya-kultuur floreer oor 'n groot deel van die huidige Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Wes-Honduras en die vyf Mexikaanse state Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Campeche en Chiapas. In totaal was die gebied wat die Maya beset het, waarskynlik ongeveer 500 000 vierkante kilometer groot en word dit soms gesamentlik na verwys as El Mundo Maya (Die Maya -wêreld).

Die kultuur van die Maya -Indiane het ten minste tweeduisend jaar lank in Meso -Amerika floreer. Die Maya's het 'n bestaan ​​gemaak deur landbou, jag en visvang. Hulle was ook vaardige wewers en tempelbouers wat 'n skatkamer van argeologiese terreine vir latere geslagte nagelaat het om te bewonder. 'N Kaart van die Maya -kultuurgebied vanaf Maggie Rost se webwerf "Mayan Civilization"

Die Maya -tydperke

Die "klassieke periode" van die Maya's het plaasgevind tussen 300 en 900 nC en het die grootste deel van die gebied beslaan wat tans as El Mundo Maya erken word. Dit is gevolg deur die 'na-klassieke periode' wat van ongeveer 1000 nC tot 1500 nC geduur het. Vanaf ongeveer 500 v.C. het die Maya -nedersettings 'n bevolkingsuitbreiding ondergaan wat meer as 'n millennium voortgeduur het. Gedurende hierdie tyd vestig Maya-nedersettings in 'n wye gebied, insluitend die hele huidige Yucatán-skiereiland sowel as Chiapas, Tabasco en noordelike Sentraal-Amerika.

Die Maya -tale

Die Maya -taalgroep is in verskillende groepe verdeel: die Huastec, Yucatec, Western Maya en Eastern Maya taalgroepe. Die Huastecos verteenwoordig 'n noordelike uitbreiding van die Maya-mense wat hulle in die huidige Veracruz gevestig het. Die Wes -Maya Die taalgroep bestaan ​​uit verskeie belangrike taalgroepe (Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol, Tojolabal, Chuj, Kanjobal, Jacalteco, Chontal en Motozintlec), waarvan die meeste in Chiapas en Guatemala gepraat word.

Die Yucatec taal is en word gepraat in die grootste deel van die Yucatán -skiereiland, wat tans drie Mexikaanse state (Yucatán, Campeche en Quintana Roo) en die noordelike dele van beide Belize en Guatemala insluit.

Verspreiding van die Maya -tale

Taalkundige studies het voorgestel dat daar 'n punt van verspreiding was van die vroegste protogemeenskap van Maya-sprekers in die huidige departement van Huehuetenango in noordweste van Guatemala omstreeks 2600-2400 v.C. Daar word geglo dat die Huastec -migrasie die protokommuniteit ongeveer 1300 v.C. en noordoos beweeg. Die migrasie van Yucatec het omstreeks 1400 v.C. plaasgevind en ook noordwaarts beweeg.

Die onderstaande kaart toon die Maya-taaldifferensiasie wat begin met die Proto-Maya-taal in Guatemala, aangesien dit vertak het in die Huasteco (1300 vC), Yucateco (1400 vC) en Tzeltalano-takke (200 nC) [Wikipedia, "Mapa de la Migración de las Lenguas Mayenses. ” Aanlyn: https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Mapa_Migracion_Lenguas_Mayenses.svg.]

Die Westerse Maya -tale

Die mees algemene van die Westerse Maya -tale is die Tzeltal en Tzotzil. Ander Westerse Maya -tale wat in Chiapas gepraat word, sluit egter Chontal, Chol, Tojolabal, Chuj, Kanjobal, Acatec, Jacaltec en Motozintlec in.

Inheemse Chiapas by Contact

Die onderstaande kaart is 'n rowwe illustrasie van die talle stamgebiede in Chiapas gedurende die 1520's toe die Spanjaarde die eerste keer die staat binnegekom het:

Die eerste kontak tussen Spanjaarde en die mense van die Chiapas -mense het in 1522 gekom toe Hernán Cortés tollenaars na die gebied gestuur het nadat die Asteekse Ryk verower en afgebreek is. Kort daarna, in 1523, het Luis Marín, een van Cortés se offisiere, in Chiapas aangekom om die Spaanse verowering in daardie gebied te begin. Alhoewel Marín sommige van die inheemse groepe kon kalmeer, het sy magte hewige weerstand ondervind van die Tzotzil -Indiane in die hooglande.

Marín kon die inboorlinge van Chiapas na drie jaar nie heeltemal onder beheer bring nie. Om die taak te voltooi, het die Spanjaarde 'n nuwe militêre ekspedisie gestuur onder bevel van Diego de Mazariegos. Maar, gekonfronteer met gevangenskap en slawerny, verkies baie inheemse krygers die dood bo die verlies van vryheid. In die Slag van Tepetchia het baie Indiërs in Cañon del Sumidero na hul dood gespring, eerder as om hulle aan die buitelandse indringers te onderwerp.

Geleidelik het die inheemse weerstand egter verswak en is Spaanse beheer deur die grootste deel van Chiapas gevestig. Teen die einde van 1528 was die verowering van Chiapas voltooi, met sowel die Tzotzil as die Tzeltal Indiërs. Op 31 Maart 1528 stig kaptein Mazariegos die Ciudad Real in die Jovel -vallei. Ciudad Real - wat was later herdoop tot San Cristóbal de las Casas - sou die hoofstad van die provinsie vir 364 jaar wees.

Die Tzotzil -Indiane - soms genoem Quelene en Chamula - hoofsaaklik besette streke langs die Río Grande in die middel van Chiapas, oos van die Chiapanec -Indiane.Volgens Peter Gerhard, in sy boek Die suidoostelike grens van Nieu -Spanje, was daar "ten minste sewe politieke eenhede van Tzotzil, elk met 'n liniaal (aghauh) wat, met priesters en mindere adel, in 'n sentrale nedersetting gewoon het wat dikwels 'n versterkte landtong beset het, was die kleinboere se huise onder hulle lande versprei. "

'N Belangrike handelsgemeenskap naby die sentrum van die Tzotzil -gebied, Zotzlem (Zinacantán), was waarskynlik 'n Asteke -garnisoen ten tyde van die Spaanse kontak.

By kontak was die Tzeltal (of Tzental) Indiërs geleë in die ooste van Chiapas, noordoos van die Chiapanecs en tussen die Río San Pedro en die Río Grande. Ook bekend as Zendal, was die Tzeltal in tot vyf-en-veertig outonome state verdeel en het 'n 'politieke organisasie- en nedersettingspatroon' wat soortgelyk was aan die Tzotzil.

Die Chol Lacandon -Maya, wat as primitiewe boere gewoon het, het gebiede langs die Río Usumacinta in die ooste van Chiapas beset. Gerhard skryf dat die "verspreide dorpe" van die Chol Lacandon "noordwaarts kon strek tot 'n gemeenskaplike grens met die Zoque en die Chontal in die omgewing. van Palenque, ”naby die grens met Tabasco.

In die suidweste woon die Chol-sprekende Lacandon en die Acala ('n dialek van Chol). Die Chol het oorspronklik die klein dorpies in die Lacandon -omgewing naby San Quintin bewoon, maar in 1564 het Katolieke sendelinge hulle na Ocosingo, Bachajon, Tila, Tumbala en Palenque verhuis. In die daaropvolgende jare het die meeste Chol in die bergagtige streke gebly.

Coxoh - Tojolabal

In die suide en ooste van die Tzeltal -streek woon 'n volk wat die Coxol -taal gepraat het. Daar word vermoed dat die Coxol-taal verband hou met die moderne Tojolabal-taal, wat deel uitmaak van die Kanjobalan-Chujean-taalfamilie van die Maya-taalgroep. Chol en Coxol wat in die agtiende eeu op Comitán woon, moes kommunikeer.

Die Chiapanec-stamme wat ten tye van kontak in die noorde van Chiapas gewoon het, het 'n Oto-Mangueaanse taal gepraat en volgens Peter Gerhard '' 'n diskrete politieke eenheid gevorm wat deur 'n priesterlike oligargie beheer word, waaruit twee hoofmanne met administratief-militêre funksies jaarliks ​​gekies is . ” Hulle sentrale nedersetting (Chiapan) was naby die huidige terrein van Chiapa de Corzo geleë. Gerhard verduidelik dat "die Chiapanecos 'n strydlustige volk was wat oor die algemeen sleg was met hul bure aan alle kante."

Daar word geglo dat die Chiapaneco iewers na 500 nC hulle in die sentrale vallei en die westelike punt van die Grijalva -vallei gevestig het, moontlik uit Sentraal -Mexiko. Teen die laat vyftiende eeu het die Chiapa de Indios 'n streeksmoondheid geword danksy hul handel met die groeiende Asteke -ryk. Vanaf 1552 het Chiapas de los Indios bekend gestaan ​​as Chaia de la Real Corona, en vandag staan ​​dit bekend as Chiapa de Corzo. Die staat Chiapaneco het dorpe in die omgewing van Zoque onderwerp en was besig om hul jurisdiksie uit te brei na die hoë lande, veral oor die soutbeddings wat deur Zinacantán beheer word.

Die Zoque -mense woon in die noordweste van Chiapas en in die naburige gemeenskappe Tabasco en Oaxaca. Die Zoques het, net soos die Chiapaneco, nie 'n Maya -taal gepraat nie. In plaas daarvan praat hulle 'n taal van die Mixe-Zoque Linguistic Group. Vanaf die Chiapanec-invalle in die pre-Spaanse periode, is die Zoque-gebied deur die eeue aansienlik verminder. Toe die Spanjaarde kom, het die Zoque aangepas by die Spaanse beheer met minimale weerstand.

Peter Gerhard sê dat "polities was die Zoques verdeel in baie outonome state van verskillende omvang, elk met 'n seremoniële-administratiewe sentrum met verspreide ondergeskikte nedersettings." Terwyl die Zoque-gemeenskappe naby Chiapan “óf beheer was óf in oorlog was met die Chiapanecos”, was die suidelike gemeenskappe (Sayula, Ixtapangajoya) “onder die politieke invloed van die Náhuatl-sprekende staat Cimatán in Tabasco.”

Die Encomienda

Die Spaanse koloniale administrasie het vinnig die encomendero stelsel in Chiapas, wat die inheemse bevolking feitlik verminder tot slawerny en slawerny. Die inboorlinge van Chiapas was gedwing om twee keer per jaar hulde te bring, en het 'n onderstroom van wrok van die een geslag na die ander gelei, wat gelei het tot die opstand van die Tzeltal -gemeenskappe in Los Altos in 1712. Binnekort het die Tzoltziles en Choles by die Tzeltales aangesluit in opstand, maar binne 'n jaar kon die regering die rebellie blus.

Chiapas, Mexiko en Guatemala

Volgens 'n sensus van 1814 het ongeveer 130 000 mense in Chiapas gewoon. Hierdie bevolking bestaan ​​uit 105 352 Indiane, 21 477 mestizos en 3 409 Spanjaarde. Gedurende die laat agtiende eeu het 'n aantal Spaanse en mestizo -boere en -boere na Chiapas gegaan. Hierdie nuwelinge het 'n elite -groep van welgestelde landebesitters geword wat hul besittings geleidelik uitgebrei het en die Indiese gemeenskappe geleidelik van hul tradisionele lande ontneem het voor en na onafhanklikheid.

In 1821 het México 'n onafhanklike land geword. Op 1 September 1821 verklaar Chiapas sy aanvaarding van México's Plan de Iguala en verwag dat die naburige Guatemala dieselfde sal doen. En op 3 September 1821 verklaar Chiapas amptelik sy skeiding van die Spaanse ryk. However, during 1823, Guatemala became part of the United Provinces of Central America, which united to form a federal republic that would last from 1823 to 1839. With the exception of the pro-Mexican Ciudad Real, many Chiapanecan towns and villages favored a Chiapas independent of México and some favored unification with Guatemala. At the same time, the elite classes of Chiapas openly pushed for incorporation into México. In July 1824, the Soconusco District of southwestern Chiapas split off from Chiapas, announcing that it would join the Central American Federation.

In September 14, 1824, following a referendum on either joining Federal Republic of Central America or México, the government of Chiapas endorsed the state’s incorporation into México. But, the Soconusco District maintained its neutral status for eighteen years until 1842, when Oaxacan forces under General Santa Anna occupied the province. After the completion of the military occupation, Santa Anna declared that Soconusco had been reincorporated into the Mexican Republic. Guatemala did not recognize this action until 1895.

However, even after the reincorporation of Soconusco, the Mayan states of México continued to forge a separate path from the rest of the country. The predominantly Mayan state of Yucatán rose in rebellion in 1839 and declared independence from México on May 31, 1841. Reincorporated into México in December 1843, the state declared independence again in 1846, although it was reincorporated soon after. From 1847 to 1855, the “Caste War” ravaged the Yucatán Peninsula, causing many Caucasian inhabitants to flee. Discontent of a similar kind brewed in the highlands of Chiapas, where the Mexican Government feared and suspected the emergence of a second “caste war.” From 1868 to 1872, the Tzotzil rebelled, but Government control was eventually reestablished.

Chiapas in the 1895 Census

The census of 1895 provided us with the first window into the condition of the indigenous languages spoken in Chiapas before the dawn of the Twentieth Century. As noted in the following table, Tzotzil and Tzetzal were the two most common languages spoken by 68% of the indigenous speaking people in the State:


Brief Historical Background to the Zapatista Movement

The term “Zapatistas” broadly refers to the group of people participating in the anti-globalization struggle for democracy and land reform in Chiapas, Mexico, organized around the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Front). With the goal of disrupting the state and creating a space for the “democratization of democracy,” the EZLN guerrilla forces, in cooperation with indigenous peoples, incited a rebellion in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas on January 1, 1994 (Carvey, 1998). Though the signing of NAFTA is generally agreed to be the most direct catalyst for the rebellion, additional significant factors include “a combination of ecological crisis, lack of available productive land, the drying up of nonagricultural sources of income, the political and religious reorganization of indigenous communities since the 1960s, and the re-articulation of ethnic identities with emancipatory political discourses” (Harvey, 1998).

Subcomandante Marcos, the most prominent and frequently identified member of the EZLN leadership, described the Zapatista cause in the following declaration:

We, the men and women of the EZLN, full and free are conscious that the war that we have declared is a last resort, but also a just one. The dictators have been applying an undeclared genocidal war against our people for many years. Therefore we ask for your participation in and support of this plan that struggles for work, land housing, food, healthcare, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace. We declare that we will not stop fighting until the basic demands of our people have been met by forming a government of our country that is free and democratic.
—First Declaration from the Lancandon Jungle

Additional Quotations that Illuminate Significant Facets of the Zapatista Movement

[We call for the formation of] a political force that does not aim to take power, a force that is not a political party….A political force that can organize the demands and proposals of the citizens so that those who govern, govern by obeying.
—EZLN, Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Forest, Chiapas, January
1996

So what we have here is a drawing of a pocket of resistance. But don't attach too much importance to it. The possible shapes are as numerous as the forms of resistance themselves, as numerous as all the worlds existing in this world. So draw whatever shape you like. In this matter of pockets, as in that of resistance, diversity is wealth.—Subcomandante Marcos, “The Fourth World War Has Begun,” Chiapas, 1997

"The voices of indigenous people in Mexico have been either passively ignored or brutally silenced for most of the last five hundred years. Indigenous lands and resources have been repeatedly stolen and the people themselves exploited under some of the worst labor conditions in Mexico. The official policies of the Mexican state have been largely oriented toward assimilation, with only lip service given to the value of the country's diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.”
—Harry M. Carvey Jr., “The Zapatista Effect”, 1998


The Last of the Mayans: Preserving Chiapas’ Indigenous Languages in the 21st Century

On January 1, 1994, indigenous members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) marched into the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas in the state of Chiapas, Mexico the same morning that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.[i] This past spring, thousands of teachers belonging to the National Organization of Education Workers (CNTE) took to the streets of the nearby state capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez, to protest President Enrique Peña Nieto’s signature education reform.[ii] Separated by two decades, these movements seem to have little in common. The Zapatistas worried that a NAFTA-required constitutional amendment, which permitted the privatization of ejidos (communal lands), would lead to greater property concentration.[iii] Today’s opponents of education reform fear that new teacher evaluation requirements threaten the jobs of indigenous instructors, who are vital to communities in which many parents do not speak Spanish.[iv] Their core concern, however, was and is the same: that Mexico’s economic and social reforms have consistently neglected the values, cultures, and traditions of its native people.

Language is one of the most important components of a people’s identity and culture. Although Spanish is by far Mexico’s predominant language, 7 million Mexicans speak one of the country’s more than 60 indigenous tongues. The Zapatista Uprising brought new attention to indigenous language rights, resulting in the 2003 General Law on the Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which guaranteed linguistic equality in education, public services, and mass media.[v] Since then, Chiapas’ indigenous languages, if not those elsewhere, have experienced remarkable stability. While it is difficult to attribute this maintenance solely to a relatively new national piece of legislation, there can be little doubt that the cultural and political awakening that preceded the law’s enactment reinforced Chiapas’ native tongues in a way that did not occur elsewhere.

Located on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, Chiapas is among the poorest and slowest growing states in the Mexio. Improvements in education, gender equality, and urbanization are much needed. Unfortunately, each of these changes is likely to threaten the continuity of the state’s indigenous languages. Granting greater autonomy to indigenous communities and supporting natives who migrate to urban centers would mitigate the effect of such reforms. Failure to promote inclusive development not only threatens Chiapas’ linguistic diversity but also its social order. As history has shown, if the state’s indigenous people feel marginalized by reform, they will not hesitate to defend their way of life at all costs.

The National Decline in Indigenous Languages

As of the most recent census, indigenous language speakers make up 6.6 percent of Mexico’s population, down from 10.4 percent in 1960.[1] Recently, the decline has been particularly sharp in states such as Oaxaca and Yucatan, which both have large indigenous populations. Furthermore, over the past half century, the percentage of indigenous language speakers who cannot speak Spanish (monolinguals) has been cut in half. Today, just 6 percent of Mexican teenagers speak an indigenous language of which only 8 percent are monolingual.[vi]

Chiapas’ Indigenous Languages: Staying Strong

In Chiapas, however, indigenous languages have shown remarkable persistence. Over one million Chiapans, 27 percent, speak an indigenous language, up from 26 percent in 1990. Most notably, 34 percent of the state’s native language speakers are unable to speak Spanish, the highest rate of monolingualism in Mexico. Chiapas is home to five major languages: Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol, Tojolabal, and Zoque. The map below shows the most common language in each municipality.[2]

Though not Mexico’s largest indigenous languages—Náhuatl, Maya, and Mixteco have the most total speakers—Chiapas’ Amerindian tongues stand apart on key indicators of vitality including monolingualism, growth rate, home usage, and geographical permanence. In a chapter for Margarita Hidalgo’s Mexican Indigenous Languages at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century, Barbara Cifuentes and José Luis Moctezuma used data on these indicators from the 2000 Census to sort 27 native languages into three categories of vitality. Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol, and Tolojabal were all placed in the highest category.[vii]

The Plight of Chiapas

While Chiapas’ indigenous languages remain vibrant, those who speak them are among the poorest in Mexico. Chiapas’ has the lowest GDP per capita and slowest growing economy of any Mexican state.[viii] Conditions for indigenous speakers are worse still. The average income per capita in indigenous municipalities[3] is just $3,314 USD,[ix] a third of the statewide figure and comparable to that of the Ivory Coast.[x] Also, indigenous municipalities’ average human development index, which combines measures of income, health, and education, is on par with that of Pakistan.[xi] This evidence does not prove a causal relationship between indigenous language usage and underdevelopment. Instead, both phenomena may be linked by a series of underlying factors that sustain each.

Factors Sustaining Underdevelopment

To raise incomes and promote development, Chiapas must address alarming deficits in education, gender equality, and urbanization.

In education, Chiapas’ indigenous youth trail behind their non-indigenous peers. In 2010, just 72 percent of 20 to 24-year-olds living in indigenous municipalities had completed primary school compared to 85 percent of those in the remaining municipalities. But education het improved. In 1990 just 31 percent of indigenous 20 to 24-years-olds had completed primary school.

Expanding education is vital for economic advancement. According to researchers at the Harvard Center of International Development, holding other variables constant, one additional year of education correlates with an 11.3 percent increase in income.[xii] But much of these gains only come with a university degree. Chiapas’ short-run return on staying in school is the lowest in Mexico, with those finishing the equivalent of high-school earning just 7.5 percent more than those completing primary education.[xiii]

Another problem facing indigenous communities is gender inequality. Indigenous female school attendance is 6.3 percentage points less than male attendance, a gap twice that which exists in Chiapas’ overall population.[xiv] One consequence is that only 73 percent of young female indigenous language speakers report Spanish-speaking ability, well below the figure for young men. Lastly, at around 20 percent, Chiapas has the lowest rate of female labor force participation in all of Mexico.[xv] A paucity of women in the workplace is not unique to the state’s indigenous communities and can be explained by a general lack of salaried positions, particularly in rural areas.[xvi]

Fortunately, education for indigenous females is expanding rapidly. Since 2000, the percentage of young women in indigenous municipalities who have received at least a primary school education rose from 41 to 74 percent.[xvii] This increase is not just significant as a matter of human rights. Promoting gender equality can help unlock a community’s full economic and social potential. For households, adding a second breadwinner supplements existing income. But improving women’s education is also an investment in future generations. Educated mothers improve the conditions of early-life development and are more active in their child’s schooling.

A final hindrance for indigenous Chiapans is an aversion to migration. Only a small percentage of Tzeltal and Tzotzil speakers live outside of the state and just 7 percent of the state’s indigenous language speakers reside in one of the four largest cities that are home to a quarter of the total population. Although, census data often fails to register temporary migrants and does not account for the sizeable exodus to the United States, Chiapas has definitely experienced far less migration than its neighbors, who also have large indigenous populations.

The unwillingness or inability of Chiapas’ indigenous speakers to move forms a barrier to economic advancement. Remittances from migrant relatives are an important component in a Mexican family’s household income.[xviii] Furthermore, there are significant wage disparities across the nation and even within the state of Chiapas that migrants could take advantage of. For instance, income per capita in the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas is four times that of the average indigenous community.

Yet, Chiapas remains the only state in the country in which the majority of citizens reside in rural localities. According to researchers on the Harvard Chiapas Project, “services and public transfers…help sustain rural communities [whose residents] would otherwise be obligated to move to urban centers.” At the same time, however, these academics acknowledge that, despite higher wages, urban areas currently lack “sufficient opportunities to induce migration.”[xix]

The Effect of Development on Indigenous Languages

Addressing poor education, gender inequality, and rootedness will likely weaken Chiapas’ indigenous languages.

In a 1990 study, University of Minnesota professors Robert McCaa and Heather Mills found that almost 100 percent of indigenous Chiapan children who attend school become bilingual in Spanish.[xx] Bilingualism in one generation often leads to language loss in the next. In a 2010 paper, Hirotoshi Yoshioka of the University of Texas demonstrated that children of bilingual primary school graduates are significantly less likely to retain the indigenous language than those of monolingual uneducated parents.[xxi]

Promoting gender equality in educational attainment and workforce participation could be equally detrimental to native languages. McCaa and Mills find that, regardless of schooling, 25 percent of indigenous children with a bilingual mother lose their indigenous language abilities.[xxii] The next generation of indigenous mothers will be far more bilingual than previous ones, making it likely that the first words their children hear are of Spanish, rather than of Mayan origin.

But migration has the potential to be most damaging to indigenous languages. According to the 2010 census, over 90 percent of Tzotsil and Tzeltal speakers living outside Chiapas are bilingual. Some of this is self-selection but not all. Holding a number of variables constant, Yoshioka found that indigenous children growing up in urban centers were three times less likely to retain their native language than their rural peers.[xxiii]

A Plan for Inclusive Development

However, in expanding education, fighting for women’s rights, and encouraging urbanization, Chiapas need not sacrifice its native languages to history. Smart policies could reduce language loss and preserve Amerindian tongues for generations to come.

A good start would be to increase the autonomy of indigenous communities, one of the principle demands of the Zapatista movement. In Chiapas, decisions concerning education, social welfare, infrastructure, and land usage are too often made by the state or federal government with little input from indigenous groups.[xxiv] The exclusion of native language speakers from the political process is evident in the fact that the Chiapan state constitution was only translated into the major indigenous languages this year.[xxv] Such marginalization has a history of ending poorly. In July, indigenous protesters killed the mayor of San Juan de Chamula who claimed to lack money for promised projects.[xxvi] Greater autonomy for indigenous groups would allow them to manage their own development. They could collect and allocate resources to the projects they deem most important, while courting potential business investors on their own terms.

Bilingual education is one area in which the devolution of power would help to preserve indigenous languages. Many teachers within indigenous communities are state-hired Spanish speakers who cannot provide a genuine bilingual environment. Furthermore, most schools lack texts written in indigenous languages, ensuring that advanced subjects are only taught in Spanish.[xxvii] With greater autonomy, communities could hire indigenous teachers, construct schools within their own villages, and obtain native language texts. In regard to this last initiative, the state government could also play an active role in the translation and publication of subject material and classic literature in indigenous languages. These measures would allow Chiapan students to stay in school longer (through high school) while keeping indigenous languages strong.

State and local governments should also support native language speakers who move to urban areas. Insufficient bilingual services make it difficult for such migrants to access public goods and navigate government bureaucracy. Furthermore, widespread discrimination contributes to a hostile environment in which indigenous people often shy away from using their native language. More could be done to recognize and celebrate indigenous languages within urban environments. Policies that ensure bilingual services, fight discrimination in the workplace and classroom, and strengthen urban indigenous communities might stem the language loss correlated with migration.

It would be unreasonable to expect that further development in Chiapas will have no effect on indigenous languages. Education, gender equality, and migration all work against the recent pattern of language stability. But policies that increase the autonomy of indigenous communities and fight the stigma associated with urban migration could allow indigenous speakers to advance socially and economically without having to abandon their native tongues. If done right, indigenous languages can be preserved throughout the 21 st century and Chiapas will avoid the type of violent pushbacks that have characterized its recent history.

By Jordan Bazak,Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Original research on Latin America by COHA. Please accept this article as a free contribution from COHA, but if re-posting, please afford authorial and institutional attribution. Exclusive rights can be negotiated. For additional news and analysis on Latin America, please go to LatinNews.com and Rights Action.

Featured image: Palenque, Chiapas. Taken from Flickr.

[1] All data, unless otherwise cited, comes from Mexico’s census bureau, the National Institute of Statistics, Geography, and Information (INEGI). Tables are available for download at the following link (http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/proyectos/ccpv/2010/).

[2] This map was inspired by La Población Hablante de Lengua Indígena de Chiapas, a report released by the Mexican Census Bureau (INEGI) in 2004 using 2000 Census Data. The original can be found on page 7 here (http://docplayer.es/14571822-La-poblacion-hablante-de-lengua-indigena-de-chiapas.html). Using ArcGIS and data from the 2010 census, I construct an updated version.

[3] Indigenous municipalities are defined as municipalities in which over 50 percent of the population reported speaking an indigenous language in the given census year. This sample has remained remarkably consistent over the past two decades with somewhere between 30 and 35 municipalities depending on the Census.

[i] Will Grant, “Struggling on: Zapatistas 20 years after the uprising,” BBC, January 4, 2014. Accessed September 1, 2016. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-25550654.

[ii] Isaín Mandujano, “Thousands of Chiapas teachers initiate a strike,” Chiapas Support Committee, May 16, 2016. Accessed September 1, 2016. https://chiapas-support.org/2016/05/16/thousands-of-chiapas-teachers-initiate-a-strike/

[iii] Greg Campbell, “The NAFTA War,” Center for the Advancement of Journalism, July 29, 1996. Accessed September 1, 2016. http://www.tc.umn.edu/

[iv] Jacobo García, “La reforma educative no sabe zapateco,” El País (Madrid), July 2, 2016. Accessed September 1, 2016. http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2016/07/02/mexico/1467464314_537564.html

[v] Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas, Diario Oficial de la Federación, March 13, 2003. Accessed September 1, 2016. http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=220917

[vi] XIII Censo General de Población y Vivienda 2000, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). October 7, 2016.

[vii] Bárbara Cifuente and José Luis Moctezuma, “The Mexican indigenous languages and the national censuses: 1970-2000,” in Mexican Indigenous Languages at the

Dawn of the Twenty-First Century, red. Margarita Hidalgo (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2006), 191-248.

[viii] Ricardo Hausmann, Timothy Cheston, y Miguel Angel Santos, “La Complejidad Económica de Chiapas: Análisis de Capacidades y Posibilidades de Diversificación Productiva.” (CID WP No. 303, Harvard University, 2015), accessed August 16, 2016, http://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/chiapas-project.

[ix] “Índice de Desarrollo Humano Municipal en México,” Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo en México, March 27, 2014. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://www.mx.undp.org/content/mexico/es/home/library/poverty/idh-municipal-en-mexico–nueva-metodologia.html

[x] “Country Comparison: GDP – Per Capita (PPP),” CIA Worldbook, 2015. Accessed October 10, 2016. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html

[xi] “Índice de Desarrollo Humano Municipal en México,” Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo en México, March 27, 2014. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://www.mx.undp.org/content/mexico/es/home/library/poverty/idh-municipal-en-mexico–nueva-metodologia.html

[xii] Dan Levy et al., “¿Por qué Chiapas es Pobre?” (CID WP No. 300, Harvard University, 2016), accessed August 16, 2016, http://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/chiapas-project.

[xiii] “Salario relativo por hora de los trabajadores según nivel de escolaridad (2009),” in Panorama Educativo de México, Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación, 324. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://www.inee.edu.mx/bie/mapa_indica/2010/PanoramaEducativoDeMexico/RE/RE02/2010_RE02__c-vinculo.pdf

[xiv] “Polación Hablante de Lenguas Indigenas,” Instituto Naciónal de Estadística, Geografía, e Informática (INEGI), 2004.

[xv] Ricardo Hausmann, Timothy Cheston, y Miguel Angel Santos, “La Complejidad Económica de Chiapas: Análisis de Capacidades y Posibilidades de Diversificación Productiva.” (CID WP No. 303, Harvard University, 2015), accessed August 16, 2016, http://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/chiapas-project.

[xvii] “Chiapas, Educación, ” XII Censo General de Población y Vivienda 2000, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). September 14, 2016.

[xviii] Dan Levy et al., “¿Por qué Chiapas es Pobre?” (CID WP No. 300, Harvard University, 2016), accessed August 16, 2016, http://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/chiapas-project.

[xix] Ricardo Hausmann, Timothy Cheston, y Miguel Angel Santos, “La Complejidad Económica de Chiapas: Análisis de Capacidades y Posibilidades de Diversificación Productiva.” (CID WP No. 303, Harvard University, 2015), accessed August 16, 2016, http://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/chiapas-project.

[xx] Robert McCaa and Heather M. Mills, “Is education destroying indigenous languages in Chiapas?” Department of History, University of Minnesota, July 6, 1998. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://users.pop.umn.edu/

[xxi] Hirotoshi Yoshioka, “Indigenous language usage and maintenance patterns among indigenous people in the era of neoliberal multiculturalism in Mexico and Guatemala,” Latin American Research Review, 45.3 (2010): 5-35

[xxii] Robert McCaa and Heather M. Mills, “Is education destroying indigenous languages in Chiapas?” Department of History, University of Minnesota, July 6, 1998. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://users.pop.umn.edu/

[xxiii] Hirotoshi Yoshioka, “Indigenous language usage and maintenance patterns among indigenous people in the era of neoliberal multiculturalism in Mexico and Guatemala,” Latin American Research Review, 45.3 (2010): 5-35

[xxiv] Carolyn Gallaher. Interview with Author. Personal Interview. Washington D.C., September 28, 2016.

[xxv] “Traducen a lenguas indígenas Constitución en Chiapas,” El Universal (Mexico), August 17, 2016. Accessed August 27, 2016


See the Small Mexican Town Embracing Islam

In Chiapas, 400 Mexicans are building a new identity by merging their indigenous practices with Islam.

In photographer Giulia Iacolutti’s native Italy, the conversation about Islam revolved around fear and terrorism, but when she arrived in Mexico, she found none of that.

In 2014, a professor introduced Iacolutti to the imam of one of the mosques popping up around Mexico City to host a growing Muslim community. For a year, she embedded herself in their homes, rituals and feasts for a project called Jannah, an Arabic word that represents paradise in Islam.

A group of Sufi Muslims from Spain began building this mosque in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas to house the growing community in Chiapas.

Islam came to Mexico in spurts over the past decades, with immigrants from Lebanan and Syria, and even a group of Spanish Sufi Muslims who came to convert members of the Zapatista revolutionaries in the ‘90s. It caught on quickly. The country now has around 5,270 Muslims—triple what it had 15 years ago, Iacolutti says. An Arabic teacher helps them read the Quran and a scholarship offers a chance to study at a medina in Yemen.

In Mexico, which is largely Catholic, Iacolutti found that having a belief system is more important than following a particular religion. She spoke to Catholic mothers who didn’t want their daughters to convert to Islam, but were pleased when the change inspired a more pious way of life. “In Mexico it’s better to convert to Islam than in Europe,” she says. “They don't think of terrorists.”

“They want to build identity,” Iacolutti says of the new Mexican Muslims. “What is pleasing about Islam is that it brings practical actions in daily life: You have to pray five times each day. You can’t eat pork and you can't drink alcohol.” (Read more about progressive Muslim women)

Converts are fueling the growth in Mexico City, while high birthrates and large families spur it on in rural regions.

After a year of living with the community, Iacolutti asked for an introduction to the imams who tended to a rural community of Muslims in the southern state of Chiapas. By merging their indigenous practices with Islam, these 400 converts lived much differently than their Mexico City counterparts.

For one, they tend to blend in easily, since many indigenous women wrap their heads in scarves. “I want to speak my language, I want to put on the indigenous dress, but I also want to believe in allah,” they told Iacolutti.

But the remoteness makes it difficult to maintain important tenets of their religion. Chiapas is a poor state, and meat that has been butchered in accordance to Islam, called halal, is rare. During one holiday feast, Iacolutti watched as the community sacrificed two cows and immediately brought meat to their Christian neighbors. “One ideal of Islam is you have to help a person that is poorer than you,” she says. “It’s not important if you believe in another god—you are my neighbor and you can eat the same food.”

Iacolutti is an atheist, but she was never once asked to convert. In such a devout country, her subjects seemed unbothered by a nonbeliever in their midst. Once, in a conversation with a Muslim woman in Mexico City she felt a longing for the other’s faith. “I think you have a very rich life because you believe,” Iacolutti told her. “I don't believe. I see you and think you have a better life.”

The woman scolded her. “You take pictures,” she replied. “Your god is photography and beauty and information. You believe in this. I believe in allah.”


The cuisine of Chiapas: Dining in Mexico’s last frontier

Although the mention of Chiapas frequently brings to mind images of masked revolutionaries and steamy jungles, Mexico’s southernmost state is a beautiful combination of mountains, plains and seacoast where tourism is once again flourishing as people rediscover the wonders of a region with deep pre-Hispanic routes.

Long before the Europeans advanced into Chiapas from the north in the 1520’s, several indigenous groups, most of Mayan extraction, had built civilizations known for their cultural and technological development. Besides their contributions to the fields of mathematics and astronomy, the chiapanecos made significant progress in the area of agriculture. Slope irrigation and drainage produced an abundance of produce, including corn, cacao, bananas, mangos, watermelon, tobacco, beans, avocados and chiles. The number of crops later grew to include coffee, soy, cotton, sugar and an enormous variety of exotic tropical fruit.

In addition to farming, the terrain of Chiapas also proved ideal for cattle ranching. Named for the Chiapas Indians, who are believed to have migrated from what is now southern Nicaragua, the region was prime for the importation of the European stock that graze on the high plains. The introduction of bovine and wool-bearing animals bore an important influence on both the economy and cuisine of Chiapas.

Like most inhabitants of Mesoamerica, the chiapanecos have always depended first and foremost on corn as the dietary staple. Strong indigenous roots still influence Chiapan cooking, especially in the use of native herbs such as chipilin, a fragrant, tasty, thin-leaved plant, and hoja santa, the large anise-scented leaves that characterize much of southern Mexican cooking. These are often used in the many varieties of Chiapas’ famous tamales, with chipilin incorporated into the corn dough of some tamales and hoja santa used as a wrapping for others. Corn is also taken as a beverage, in the form of pozol, made with corn dough dissolved in water and flavored with chocolate and sugar or left to ferment and served ice cold. The black beans favored in the region make a tasty and nutritious compliment to the many corn-based meals and snacks.

Adding variety to the local diet are dishes prepared with the beef, pork and chicken that contributed to the formation of a creole cuisine. Although some indigenous groups still hunt deer and wild boar, this practice is becoming less common as these species are in danger of being hunted into extinction. Much more common is the use of beef, especially the thin cut called tasajo, which is prepared with a variety of sauces. One of the tastiest and best known of these is made with pumpkin seeds, an important ingredient in Chiapan regional cooking. Meat dishes are frequently accompanied by vegetables such as squash, chayote and carrots.

An offshoot of the beef industry is the making of cheese, much of it still done on a small scale on ranches and cooperatives. Among the most highly regarded of these artesanal cheeses are those of Ocotsingo, Rayon and Pijijiapan. Smooth, white rounds of Ocotzingo cheese with pale yellow rinds are specially ordered by restaurants and gourmets in different parts of Mexico.

As though the culinary resources provided by field and farm were not enough, Chiapan cuisine also makes use of the abundant fish and shellfish of the state’s Pacific coast. Bass, grouper, mojarra, sardines, shrimp, crab and clams are all frequent additions to the menus of the coastal region where, like their Oaxacan neighbors, the inhabitants preserve the shrimp harvest by drying what will not be prepared immediately. Dried shrimp are often combined with a fresh tomato salsa for an appetizer, and are an essential ingredient in the famous tamales juacanes, filled with a mixture of black beans, dried shrimp and pumpkin seeds.

Topping off a Chiapan meal or eaten as late afternoon or evening snacks, are the regional sweets: crystallized fruit, coconut candies, flans and compotes. San Cristobal de las Casas is famous for its sweets, chocolates and baked goods, as well as gourmet coffee. Other cities boast their own specialties.

In Tuxla Gutierrez, one may sample ningüijute, a seed-based pork mole, chispola, a beef and vegetable stew, and pictes, fresh sweet corn tamales. In Chiapa de Corzo, famous for its food and fiestas, cochito horneado, roasted suckling pig, is flavored with an adobo (paste) made with ground seeds and herbs. Comitan’s culinary offerings include hearts of palm salad in vinaigrette, and visitors to Palenque will find many versions of fried plantains, including those filled with black beans or cheese, on the menus. This pre-Hispanic site is located in a cattle-grazing area and the beef dishes here are particularly good.

With the many pre-Hispanic and European ingredients that produce such a wide variety of dishes, it is worth noting that, unlike other regional Mexican cuisines, this one does not rely heavily on chiles as an integral part of its recipes. Instead, they are normally served as condiments. The Chiapan chile de siete caldos, named for the fact the just one is enough to season seven pots of soup, and the tiny, dried red chile simojovel, are both far too hot to be used in quantity while cooking the food itself. In plaas daarvan, chiapanecos much prefer a combination of slightly sweet seasonings in their main dishes. Cinnamon, plantains, prunes and pineapple are often used to flavor meat and poultry dishes.

The following is a selection of recipes that are worth trying at home and even better in beautiful Chiapas itself.


Chiapas typical food: featured dishes

The marked presence of indigenous cultures, such as the Olmeca or Mayan, plus the Spanish influence, mark the gastronomy of the area.

Likewise, its orography and the amount of crops that are presented in the State, such as corn, mango or chocolate give your food a wealth of ingredients.

1- Tamales of chipilín

The tamales are, with all their varieties, the main dish of this State, reflecting all the cultural influences of the zone. Among them stands the chipilín, a wild plant originating in the tropical areas of the region.

To elaborate it it is necessary to mix the leaves of this plant with mixtamal mass, which is nothing more than the corn cooked next to the lime and later husked and ground.

Then to this mass chicken and cheese is added and everything is wrapped in banana leaves

2- Holiday Soup

In its origins this soup was taken during the vigil of Holy Week in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Over time, it was losing that union with religion, new ingredients were added and today it is found in many other celebrations and celebrations.

Currently, this dish, also called bread soup, includes white bread, poultry broth, raisins, green beans, banana, egg.

Nor can you miss the oregano and saffron that are the ones that give it its special flavor.

3- Shuti with momo

The use of shuti as an ingredient in many chiapanecos dishes goes back to pre-Hispanic times, when indigenous peoples already included them in their diet.

It is a river snail, with a characteristic black shell. They are very frequent in the area between Palenque and Ocosingo, as well as in areas near Tuxla.

This dish, in addition to these snails, contains chili, epazote and tomato broth. To use the shutis, you must first have several days feeding them on holy grass, in order to cleanse your stomach.

4- Pepita with Tasajo

The pipette with tasajo is the best known dish of Chiapa del Corzo, where it is usually taken at all important parties.

In this locality this plate is known like"the great food". At present, it can be found in many other cities of the state and is served at any time of the year.

This meal is prepared with strips of dried meat plus a sauce made with pumpkin seeds, tomato and rice. To this stew, spices like the achiote are added to it.

5- Pozol

Already the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region were drinking a drink made with corn masa, cocoa and pochotl grains, which give the recipe its name.

Not only did they take it to cool off, but the nutrients it contains are enough to almost replace a meal.

At present, it has become the drink that best represents Chiapas. It is usually drunk using a jicara of nose, a traditional fruit of the zone.

It is taken cold or at room temperature, with cocoa and sugar. The drink is accompanied by chili and salt or, depending on taste, sour with dry chile.


1994: The Zapatista uprising

A brief history of the rebellion in Chiapas in the jungles of Mexico, where hundreds of thousands of people rose up against the Mexican state and organised themselves into libertarian-inspired federated communes, which are still in existence today.

“¡Ya Basta!” ("Enough is Enough!") declared the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army - named after the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata), as they burst to international attention on New Years day 1994.

The rebellion started in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico in the tradition of all peasant armies: ransacking town halls and burning land deeds! Destroying 10 government offices, freeing 179 prisoners, then attacking an army garrison, and in one town shooting down an army helicopter, and torching the town hall before quietly slipping back into the jungle. The timing for the international “audience” was crucial, coinciding with the controversial introduction of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It didn’t take long for the state to respond, on January 4th ten towns near San Cristobal were bombed, 400 people died. On the 5th tanks arrived in the area along with more troops, yet more died. The government began to distribute black propaganda, and prevent human rights organisations entering Chiapas. The EZLN then withdrew to the jungle, and a tense ceasefire began on January 12th. Since then the Mexican army has been using a tactic of low intensity warfare (killing and displacing civilians), which continues to this day.

The Zapatistas have organised international “encuentros” attracting thousands of people from around the world which have been influential on the global anti-capitalist movement.

The Zapatista uprising has allowed over 1,100 communities in Chiapas of 300-400 people to organise federally into 32 autonomous municipalities where power lies at the base. Local decisions are taken at a local level and important decisions are made at a wider regional or municipal level, discussions continuing until something like consensus is reached. In these areas the people have much more control over their lives than before and women can play a much bigger role than traditional society allowed.

On the negative side the EZLN is hierarchically organised with officers of different ranks and high profile leaders. Their stated aim is a programme offering little more than liberal capitalism and it’s even backed up by appeals to the Mexican constitution.

Nevertheless, the struggle of the peasants in Chiapas has been inspirational to many people around the world and we send our solidarity to all those struggling for freedom and equality in Chiapas.