Chocholtecos: The Great Chiefdom of Coixtlahuaca

San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca

Guelaguetza Festival 2023 (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

Guelaguetza

The Guelaguetza festival is held in the capital of Oaxaca on the "Monday of the Hill" in July.

This celebration brings together the different ethnic groups and mestizo cultures of the regions of Oaxaca to share their dances, traditions, and gastronomy with locals and visitors. Learn about them!

Chocholtecos – San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

Chocholtecos (San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca)

Many years ago, a group of men were commissioned to found a tollan, which involved taking an ahuehuete to a place where the tree would grow and volcanoes would also be seen. In this way, the Chocholtecos arrived.

By 2023, they are divided into 19 municipalities, which at the time made up the great chiefdom of Coixtlahuaca, and they were the main producers of wheat in the region.

Chocholtecos – San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

Coixtlahuaca, the Chocholteco capital, was the most important commercial center in Mesoamerica and was the most difficult chiefdom for Montezuma to conquer.

King Atonaltzin is considered a hero for having been the only ruler of the South who faced Montezuma and having defeated him in combat. 

Chocholtecos – San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

The "Dance of the Mecos" is being recovered in the community museum. 

It is thought to have a pre-Hispanic origin and has a character called the "Capitán" and another, "la India," who appear on the canvases as spirits.

Therefore, they are called guiding spirits of the dance. 

Chocholtecos – San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

The "Dance of the Mecos" has several characters such as the staff-makers, who carry the staff in their hand, which represents their command.

The elderly also appear as a symbol of wisdom, as do girls, who symbolize innocence and youth. Dance represents the whole society that worships the homeland.

There are also devils because even the devil worships the homeland.

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