Chontales: The People who Come from Distant Lands

San Pedro Huamelula

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!

Chontales – San Pedro Huamelula (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

Chontales (San Pedro Huamelula)

Chontal derives from the Nahuatl "chontalli" and represents "the one who comes from distant lands." They are located on the hot coast of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Chontales – San Pedro Huamelula (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

Their presence in Oaxaca has not been clarified. 

By oral tradition it is known that they arrived a long time ago and were conquered. 

They were a people who struggled to find a territory to settle. 

Chontales – San Pedro Huamelula (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

They have festivities almost all year round, but the one for Saint Peter the Apostle stands out. 

Chontales – San Pedro Huamelula (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

In the dance, characters such as Turks, black dancers, and Christian dancers are represented and symbolize a confrontation between the Turks and the natives.

Chontales – San Pedro Huamelula (2023) by Secretaría de las Culturas y Artes de OaxacaSecretaría de las Culturas y Artes de Oaxaca

In the community, it is said that being a Chontal is "giving your life for your town, for your people."

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