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The Mixtec Culture - Essay Example

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This study will discuss their ancient and current cultures, their origin, religion, conflict with the Europeans, how colonialism influenced them negatively, up to how it still affects them today. The Mixtec people are a Mexican indigenous group who were found in Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero…
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The Mixtec Culture

Download file to see previous pages... As the discussion stresses there is no definite history of the Mixtec, but the furthest that archaeology can trace their history is in the valley of Oaxaca, which was home to three major language groups: the Zapotecs, Nahus, and the Mixtec. History has it that the Zapotecs dominated the valley, while the other two occupied the centre of the valley, although some Mixtecs lived beyond the valley in the west. The Mixtec presence in Oaxaca is traceable to three full centuries before the invasion of Spanish conquest, in the 14th century, seemingly through intermarriage with the Zapotecs. Terraciano explains that a Mixtec lord got into marriage with a Zapotec maiden, and they were given the Culiacan population as a gift after the marriage. This was a contributing factor to the emergence and growth of the Mixtec population in the valley of Oaxaca. Before this event, the two would meet in trading gold and other commodities. However, after the two began co-existing, the Mixtec invaded and took over the Zapotecs’ capital, bringing back the rivalry between them though it was not long before the Zapotecs got their land and city back.This paper discusses that the Mixtecs in the early colonial and post-classic periods had an invention of their own writing that was pictographic. They painted on deerskin, paper and cloth before the Spanish conquest came in with their own dictatorial that the images be directed to Spanish officials. This forced the Mixtecs to come up with multicultural forms of communicating to both the indigenous natives and Spanish aliens. To write on the deer hide and paper made from fig tree barks, the Mixtec would apply gesso paste or lime plaster on two surfaces to create the smooth writing surface then sewed them together to form a screenfold manuscript. Such manuscripts could fold back over the other, allowing the two surfaces to be viewed individually. On average, a folded manuscript was the size of a book but after stretching, was about ten metres in full size. These forms of picturesque writings are referred to as codices. The writings usually featured three styles of expression: direct representation of images (logograms and ideograms), phonetic transcription (use of symbols to represent words), and conventional imagery (the use of images to pass an idea or word without using language). All these forms of writing applied throughout Mesoamerica, and were usually meant for public use as they mostly carried information concerning recitations and public performance guides such as music, dances, songs, and drama performances (Terraciano 15-16).

The Mesoamerican calendar
The Mixtecs had a sacred calendar similar to the other Mesoamerican cultures whose scared calendars had two-hundred and sixty days. This ritual calendar was called the Tzolkin and used to tell the day. In their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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