Mixtec is one of eight
branches of the Otomanguean language family, a family accounting
for about a third of all the indigenous language speakers in Mexico
today. Mixtecan and Zapotecan are two of the largest branches of
Mixtec is spoken primarily in the state of Oaxaca, but there are
significant groups of Mixtec speakers in the states of
Puebla and Guerrero. In addition, migration has had the
effect of creating significant Mixtec communities in
the U.S., primarily in California.
Greetings are important in Mixtec culture. One must
learn the proper greetings for each town or village visited.
If a visitor arrives and can greet the people in their
language, then that visitor is
accepted as a member of the community. If the visitor
does not know the greetings,
then that person will be considered an outsider.
The market is a meeting place for the community and neighboring communities.
It provides an important social function of bringing people together.