Indigenous peoples and their languages
By: Regina Sámano
The main consequence of the Conquest of Mexico consummated by the Spaniards in 1521 was the miscegenation, between Indian and Spanish.
The territory we now know as Mexico sheltered very different indigenous groups, perfectly differentiated from each other, not only by their varied cultural elements, such as traditional attire, housing, religious customs or cuisine, but by something sharper and more evident : LANGUAGE.
At the end of the 20th century, our country continues to be one of the most important in the world in terms of its indigenous cultural diversity. As far as the number of its native languages is concerned, Mexico ranks second with 68 languages, in this case most indigenous cultures are many centuries old, some up to millennia.
Its heritage in terms of language is made up of 11 language families, 68 groups of this type and 364 variants, according to the figures.
When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, a survey of the number of languages spoken in the country was not made. The earliest data point to the fact that by the 17th century, up to 100 languages were still spoken. Today there are 68 languages, so Mexico is the country of America with more native speakers.
The 68 linguistic groups considered in this work, arranged in alphabetical order, are:
In Baja California Sur, only 1% of the population continues to use indigenous languages, all the native languages of that region are extinct, but that does not mean that they continue to speak some other language. In this part of the Republic they speak:
In Quintana Roo, 16% of the population continues to speak some of the indigenous languages. The languages that still live in this State of the Republic are:
MAYA TSOTSIL CH'OL Q'ANJOB'AL
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