Amuzgo - Settlements



The Amuzgo settled in various towns: Ayotzinapa, Ometepec, Xochistlahuaca, Igualapa, Cozoyoapa, Tlacoachistlahuaca, Huajintepec, Quetzalapa, Chalapa, and Amuzgos. Xochistlahuaca ("Vale of Flowers") was made the capital ( cabecera ) of the Amuzgo region in 1563. Of the towns that survived epidemics and colonization, those that still exist today are Cozoyapan, Huehuetonoc, Minas, San Cristóbal, Tlacoachistlahuaca, Cochoapa, Huajintepec, Huixtepec, and Zacualpan in Guerrero and the territories of Amuzgos and Ipalapa in Oaxaca. When the state of Guerrero was formed in 1849, the Amuzgo found themselves divided between two states, a division that was detrimental to intercommunity relations between Amuzgo towns. Besides these towns, there is a large population dispersed in smaller cuadrillas or parajes (hamlets), in which people live temporarily or permanently, in order to be nearer their cultivable land and their encierros (fenced pastures). Amuzgo settlements were exposed to the cultural influence of the coastal Black population, as is evident by the construction of round houses, known as redondos , made of mud, plaited lightweight cane, and otate -cane wood. Later the dominant form was the square adobe house with a two-eaved tile roof. Settlements in cabeceras (principal towns/administrative centers) or large towns are agglutinative; in the hamlets or cuadrillas they are dispersed. In a cabecera, the mestizo population generally lives in the center and the indigenous population on the periphery.


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