If you want to talk about Mexican roots, you have to go back to the ancient indigenous cultures. The true essence of Mexico.
Before the Spanish arrived to colonize the territory of Mexico, in the Mexican territory lived more than a hundred different cultures of indigenous. They had their own government, religion, traditions, culture – a true civilization.
When theSpanish came to Mexico more than 10,000 millions of Indian inhabitants were already there. So they realized that it was impossible to eliminate all of the indigens, so they built their Colonial empire upon the Indians cultures. That is why Mexico’s past wasn’t erased. Instead, they merged with the Spanish, and even mixed, creating the mestizos. Over 20 million Native Mexicans speak nearly 60 languagesand dialects; and they are all descendants of these ancient civilization.
The Mexico Pre-Hispanic was divided in three territories because of its many differences in cultures and climates between these regions.
Aridoamerica is a vast cultural area that covers the north area of Mexico. Mesoamerica had an arid, dry climate and landscape. Because ofthis, the indigenous cultures that occupied this region were nomadic and hunted for food. They were called “Chichimecas”, which means barbaric, dogs or uncivilized
This area was the last Spanish could colonize.
Oasisamerica is in the north of Mexico. This area is a dry land, but unlike Aridoamerica the weather was slightly better. It has several flowing rivers that permitted theagriculture.
The cultures in Oasisamerica were primarily agricultural society, but the climate didn’t permit very efficient cultivation, so they also hunted.
The cultures had some similarities with Mesoamerica; they had a commercial relationship between the cultures of this region.
The main cultures were:
MESOAMERICAMesoamerica means “middle America” in Greek. In this region you can find from tropical-humid to mountain-cold weathers. This is the territory where the main cultures flourished.
Mesoamerican cultures have many similarities between them, even though they developed in different periods of time.
These are some similarities:
They cultivate corn mainly
Used two differentcalendars; 260 days ritual calendar and 365 days solar calendar)
Vigesimal number system (based 20 number system)
Practice of various forms of sacrifice
Believed in more than one god
GENERAL ASPECTS OF THE MAIN MESOAMERICAN CULTURES
CIVILIZATION POLITICAL ASPECT CULTURAL ASPECT ECONOMICAL ASPECT
Olmecas -Dominate during the Pre- Classic -Mother culture
-Their artrepresent jaguars, faces and heads mainly
Aztecs (Mexicas) -they controlled their big empire from Tenochtitlan -Triple alliance with Texcoco and Tlacopan
- cruel human sacrifices -Abuses and excessive demands of tribute payments to their conquered cities
Señoríos Mayas -Esplendor: 600 y 800
-Fall: 800 y 900. They developed fonetic writing
and calendars -Roseagriculture
Teotihuacanos they conquered and
dreated colonies and cities -Sun and Moon Pyramid
-Quetzalcoatl Temple. -They used the obsidian rock to create their own instruments
Toltecas -Highly herarchical
-Military chiefs were named
after the main lineages
. -Antrophormorphic strructures
- Tlahizcalpantecuhtli Temple. -Agriculture fields were irrigated by very complex canal systemsZapotecas -Sedentary.
-govern by priests. -Religious center in Mitla.
MAIN CULTURES OF MESOAMERICA
In Mesoamerican territory the main, most important, and with more development cultures of Mexico flourished; but in different period of time. It is therefore that time before Spanish colonized is divided in three main periods: