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Info de Otomi de Estado de Mexico de la Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indigenas.

Infomation from SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics) about the Otomi Language

More information on the Otomi Language, distinctions and localities

La Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México
Info de Municipio de Lerma
Info de Municipio de Morelos
Info de Municipio de Acamby
Info de Municipio de Otzolotepec
Info de Municipio de Amanalco
Info de Municipio Temoaya

Otomí, or Hña-hñu, people make up the fifth largest indigenous ethnic group in Mexico. Otomí communities can be found across Central Mexico from Michoacán in the west to Veracruz in the east. In prehispanic times, the center of Otomí culture was located at Xilotepec in what is now the State of México. Today, most Otomí live in the Toluca area and in towns and villages in 13 other municipios to the north and northeast of the city. According to the 1990 census, approximately 55,000 Otomí speaking people lived in México State. Four major dialects of Otomí, an Otopamean language, are spoken in communities around the state, and linguistic evidence indicates that ancestors of today's Otomís have occupied México State for at least 3,000 years.

Traditionally, Otomís were subsistence farmers who grew maize, beans, squash, and chiles. Today, other crops like wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and alfalfa are produced for home use or sale. Though Otomí territory is generally cold and high in elevation, temperature and rainfall can vary from village to village, which determines the crops local farmers can plant. In some areas, magueys are cultivated for fibers and for foods and beverages. In other communities, farming is accompanied by charcoal making or lumbering. Families generally keep domestic animals like sheep, pigs, and horses, as well as turkeys and chickens. Otomís, like indigenous people throughout Mexico, also support their families by working outside their communities in the major Mexican cities or in the U.S. After Spanish and Náhuatl, Otomí is the most spoken language in Mexico City.

A wide variety of crafts are produced by Otomí artisans throughout México State. Some articles like the molcajetes and metates, domestic pottery, clothing, and a wide range of baskets are produced for domestic use or for sale in local markets. However, beautiful wool carpets are woven in Temoaya for national and international buyers. And fine wool serapes and ponchos are woven by treadle loom weavers in Timilpan and Xonacatlán.

Collectors, including Frida Kahlo, have long prized the intricate backstrap woven textiles produced in San Miguel Ameyalco. Colorful belts and quechquémitls are still woven (and worn) by Otomí women in several different communities like Tlacalpan and Macapexco.

Although many Otomí women and girls still wear traditional attire in some communities, many others have abandoned local dress for western style fashions, at least for daily use. The costume of Otomí women of México State consists of a tubular wool

skirt that is wrapped around the body and secured by a hand-woven sash. Generally, two blouses - an overblouse and an underblouse - are worn and may be covered by a quechquémitl or rebozo. In Temoaya, women wear a huipil-like upper garment, called "jhiushu," made of 4 pieces of hand-woven cloth; this is not known from any other part of Mexico. Although some Otomí men still wear wool serapes or "gabanes," the garments worn underneath are generally western style shirts and pants.
Narrative written for Mexican textiles project by Karen Ewell

Thanks Karen

Bob Freund