Otomi people

Otomi
Hñähñu, Hñähño, Ñuhu, Ñhato, Ñuhmu
Arrieros acazulco.JPG
Otomi dancers from San Jerónimo Acazulco, Mexico state performing the traditional danza de los arrieros
Total population
(>300,000)
Regions with significant populations
Mexico: Hidalgo, EdoMex, Querétaro, Puebla, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Tlaxcala, Michoacán
Languages
Primary: Otomi; second: Spanish
Religion
Predominantly Roman Catholic and animism; minority: Protestantism and Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Mazahua, Pame, Chichimeca Jonaz, Matlatzinca

The Otomi people ( /; Spanish: Otomí [otoˈmi]) are an indigenous ethnic group inhabiting the central Mexican Plateau (Altiplano) region of Mexico.

Overview

The two most populous groups are:

  • the Highland (or Sierra) Otomí, living in the mountains of La Huasteca
    • Sierra Otomí usually self-identify as Ñuhu or Ñuhmu, depending on the dialect they speak
  • the Mezquital Otomí, living in the Mezquital Valley in the eastern part of the state of Hidalgo, and in the state of Querétaro.
Otomi woman selling traditional Otomi embroidered cloths in Tequisquiapan

Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. [2] The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.

One of the early complex cultures of Mesoamerica, the Otomi were likely the original inhabitants of the central Mexican Altiplano before the arrival of Nahuatl speakers around c. 1000 CE, but gradually they were replaced and marginalized by Nahua peoples. In the early colonial New Spain period, Otomi speakers helped the Spanish conquistadors as mercenaries and allies, which allowed them to extend into territories that had previously been inhabited by semi-nomadic Chichimecs, for example Querétaro and Guanajuato.

The Otomi traditionally worshipped the moon as their highest deity, and even into modern times many Otomi populations practice shamanism and hold prehispanic beliefs such as Nagualism. Otomies traditionally subsisted on maize, beans and squash as most Mesoamerican sedentary peoples, but the maguey (century plant) was also an important cultigen used for production of alcohol ( pulque) and fiber ( henequen). The Otomi were blacksmiths and would trade valuable metal items with other indeginuous confederations, including the Aztec Triple Alliance. Some of their metal crafts included ornaments and weoponary; although metal weoponary was not as useful as obsidian weaponry, obsidian is sharper than a modern-day razor, abundant, and light in weight.

Other Languages
bosanski: Otomi
brezhoneg: Otomi
català: Otomís
čeština: Otomiové
Deutsch: Otomí
español: Pueblo otomí
Esperanto: Otomioj
français: Otomis
hrvatski: Otomí
italiano: Otomi
ქართული: ოთომი
lietuvių: Otomiai
Nāhuatl: Otomih
Nederlands: Otomí (volk)
日本語: オトミ族
norsk: Otomí
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Otomi
polski: Otomi
português: Otomis
русский: Отоми
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Otomí
svenska: Otomi
українська: Отомі
中文: 歐托米人