Mixe of Tlahuitoltepec, Ocotepec Cotzocón and Puxmetacán


Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH), 2

This book is a unique collection of narratives in Mixe, a language of the Mixe-Zoquean group spoken in the Sierra Norte, state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This collection of texts, never before published, is a testimony to this language and culture and arose from the field work undertaken by the author in Mixe communities of the Sierra Norte in 2018 and 2019. The book contains introductory materials, texts in Mixe, Spanish, and English, and vocabularies of three Mixe varieties. Two of these varieties were completely undescribed and the third only moderately documented. The narratives presented here are authentic, and with their colourful and diverse descriptions of everyday life and villagers’ experiences, folktales, beliefs and songs, offer ethnographic information and portray Mixe culture. The narratives found in this book provide attractive and reliable literary materials for children and adults of the Mixe communities, and can be used for the development of literacy in this language. This is genuine narrative material, unadulterated, received from the speakers themselves and prepared in close partnership between the Mixe speakers and the author, the scholar leading the project. The narratives range from simple texts about everyday life to complex tales and legends. The Mixe are an indigenous people of Mexico who live in the Sierra Norte, the north-eastern highlands of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Their endonym is “Ayuujk jä'äy”, which means “the Ayuujk people”. They speak Mixe languages (Mixe-Zoquean family), which have not been thoroughly researched. Never conquered or dominated, the Mixe are culturally conservative and maintain their language to the present day.


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