The Mixtèques (to pronounce “Michtèques”), were people mésoaméricain, whose descendants still live in the current Mexican States of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla. Like their neighbors Zapotèques, they belong to the linguistic group oto-mango. “Mixtèques” means “people of the clouds” in Nahuatl. Mixtèques are called themselves ñuu savi , ñuu djau , ñuu davi , naa savi , etc according to the local alternative.
The mixtèque history is relatively well-known for us thanks to a series of codex: the Vindobonensis Codex, the Bodley codex, the Codex Zouche-Nuttall, the Selden Codex. The Mexican archeologist Alfonso Caso is the first to have recognized that these manuscripts contained a mine of information on the mixtèque history. At the beginning of the 10th century, they occupied the basin of Oaxaca and drove back towards the east the Zapotèques. Overcome by the Aztec at the 15th century, they opposed to the century following a resistance baited to the Spanish before being subjected by the latter. Their civilization strongly influenced that of the other people of Mexico Précolombien. Mixtèques are often divided into three geographical and cultural surfaces: Mixteca Alta in the mountains of the west of Oaxaca, Mixteca Baja in the north and the west of the precedent, and Mixteca of Costa in the plains of the south and on the coasts of the Peaceful . Mixteca Alta dominated the area politically. In the south, the mixtèques ones took share with the Maya Civilization declining; in north they defended their independence against the Aztèques.
The mixtèque culture was flourishing in the south of Mexico of, and Mixtèques themselves were famous being the best craftsmen of Mexico. Their work of metal and the stone, for example, remained unequalled. In 1520, during an exposure to Brussels on the mixtèque works of art, (the Cortes had sent to Charles Quint several gifts that it had received itself from Moctezuma II) the painter Albrecht Dürer was very impressed by artistic high-quality which had produced this civilization and by the statues Zapotèques. All these works of art are lost, because melted unfortunately today by the Spaniards. The compositions of feathers, the potteries painted with the reasons Polychrome S, the fabric weaving and embroidery belonged to arts in which they had become Masters. Mixtèques left a pictographic memory of the military and social history (many of these codex arrived to us), of the agricultural techniques, and a calendar similar to that which was used by the Aztec ones.
At the end of the 20th century, the mixtèque language was spoken by about 300.000 people.
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