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Totonaco of Puebla, Mexico

Info en Espanol de Municipio de Tlacuilotepec
Info en Espanol del los Tonoaca de CDI
Tlacuilotepec, Puebla is a large municipalities in Sierra Norte of Puebla; in this municipality there were three different ethnic groups Nahua , Otomi and Totonaca, the largest of which are the Totonacos. The municipality has many river valleys and deep canyons form by the large mountains. There are three rivers, San Marco, Acalman and Rio Blanco, which cross the area and serve as borders between other municipalities of Puebla and the State of Hidalgo.

To date (11/2007) I have not visited the Nahua or Otomi regions and have concentrated on the Totonacan areas. In the Totonacan region, a curious thing has occurred; there are more villages where the men’s costume is still used than the women’s attire. However the traditional costume, both men’s and women’s is for all practical purposes extinct. In three of the villages in this study only 1 person continues to use traditional costume. The exception is Petlacotla were at least two generations wear embroidered blouses and the hand woven Totonaca belts.

The economic activity is generally the same as other groups, predominantly agriculture and handicrafts. Livestock is also raised for food and trade. Coffee, corn and beans are the main crops, with fruit such as oranges,tangerines, limes, sugar cane and mangos.

Festival are Easrter week and August 24 of Santa Chiristo .

The Totonaca are a located from the Gulf coast in the southeast part of the state of Vera Cruz to the Sierra Norte of Puebla. Their territory was once a large empire called the Totanacapan. The climate is hot and humid on the gulf coast region and cool in the highland of Puebla. Today there are approximately 250000 Totanacan people. The Totanaca language is classified as Maya-Totanaca group, Totanaca branch, as well as the Totanaca family. There are a number of dialects not mutually understood by other peoples in the language group. In many areas of the Sierra of Puebla both Nahuatl and Totanaca are spoken. In the regions where the Tepehuas is spoken, there are some mixed marriages between the groups.

The traditional belief systems are blended with the Catholic, but the traditional belief systems continues be important in the harvest cycle. In some Sierra regions, children are believed to share their existence with an animal helper or "tono".