Comunidad  

Indigenous Veracruz

An impressive diversity within a long, narrow state

By John P. Schmal
Published on LatinoLA: March 10, 2014


Indigenous Veracruz


The state of Veracruz, located along the eastern Gulf Coast of the Mexican Republic, has a population of 7,643,194 people, representing 6.8% of Mexico's national population in 2012. Politically divided into 212 municipios, Veracruz is a very narrow state with an area of 27,730 square miles (71,820 square kilometers). The tropical plains and low hills of the coastal region quickly give rise to the slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, thus creating a very diverse and rapidly changing topography

Veracruz shares common borders with the states of Tamaulipas (to the north), Oaxaca and Chiapas (to the south), Tabasco (to the southeast), and Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potos? (on the west). Veracruz also shares 430 miles (690 kilometers) of its eastern boundary with the Gulf of Mexico. The capital of Veracruz is Jalapa Enr?quez.

Because of its famous port of the same name, Veracruz very quickly developed into a melting pot of cultures. Immigrants from Spain and other parts of the Spanish Empire started arriving at the Port of Veracruz in 1520s and continue to arrive to this day. Immigrants from other European nations and the Middle East also arrived at this location. African slaves were also brought to Veracruz when the slave trade flourished in Mexico (from 1519 to 1827). This topic was discussed in more detail in an article at this link:

http://www.hispanicvista.com/hvc/Columnist/jschmal/013105jschmal.htm

However, the Africans, Middle Easterners and the Europeans were all recent introductions to Veracruz (post 1519). On the other hand, some of the Native Americans groups now inhabiting Veracruz have been living in that region for thousands of years. The history of the native peoples of the State of Veracruz is a very complex and fascinating story and some elements of this story are discussed below.

The Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity of Veracruz

The State of Veracruz has been home to a wide range of indigenous cultures over the last three thousand years. But, even today, Veracruz continues to display a unique cross-section of both linguistic and ethnic cultures. Most of the State's principal regions are home to multiple ethnic and linguistic groups, as detailed below:

The Huasteca (Northern Veracruz, adjacent to Tamaulipas, San Luis Potos? Hidalgo, and Puebla): N?huatl, Otom?. Tepehua and Huasteco languages.

Sierra de Huayacocotla (Northwestern Veracruz adjacent to Hidalgo): N?huatl, Otom?, Tepehua and Huasteco languages.

Totonacapan (North central Veracruz, adjacent to Puebla): N?huatl and Totonaca languages.

Grandes Monta??as (Central Veracruz adjacent to Puebla): N?huatl, Totonaca, Popoluca and Mazateco languages.

Llanuras de Sotavento (Southwestern Veracruz adjacent to Oaxaca): Chinanteco, Zapoteco, Popoluca, N?huatl, Mazateco and Mixteco languages.

Tuxtlas Popoluca (Southeastern Veracruz): N?huatl language.

Istmo Veracruzano (Southeastern Veracruz, adjacent to Tabasco and Oaxaca): N?huatl, Zapoteco, Popoluca, Chinanteco, Totonaca, Zoque and Tzotzil languages.

Because Veracruz is such a narrow state, many of its indigenous groups inhabit territories that reach into neighboring states. It is important to remember that, while the borders of the State of Veracruz were the creation of political administrators two hundred years ago, the territories of its many ethnic groups were subject to social, geographic and topographic influences that are much older.

Native Veracruz

In the pre-Hispanic period, the modern-day state of Veracruz was inhabited primarily by four indigenous cultures. The Huastecos and Otom?es occupied the north, while the Totonacs resided in the north-center. The Olmecs, one of the oldest cultures in the Americas, became dominant in the southern part of Veracruz. For the researcher seeking to learn the detailed histories of the individual communities of Veracruz, the following works will be useful:

1. "Aztec Imperial Strategies" (by Frances F. Berdan, Professor Michael E. Smith, and others)
2. "A Guide to the Historical Geography of New Spain" (by Peter Gerhard)
3. "Native Peoples of the Gulf Coast of Mexico" (edited by Alan R. Sandstrom and E. Huge Garcia Valencia)

The Olmecs

The Olmecs occupied the coastal plains in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco (southeast of Veracruz) from about 1000 B.C. to 300 B.C. Several Olmec sites have been found in Veracruz, including San Lorenzo and Tres Zapotes. These settlements were probably the most complex "ceremonial sites" found in all of Mesoamerica at the time of their apogee. For this reason, many anthropologists consider the Olmec civilization to be the "cultura madre" (mother culture) of the many Mesoamerican cultures that followed it.

Pyramidal mounds have been found in many of the Olmec settlements. It is believed that the Olmec economy centered around agricultural production on the fertile floodplains, and was supplemented by fishing and shell fishing. However, by 300 B.C., the Olmec culture was eclipsed by other emerging civilizations in Mesoamerica.

The Tepehua

Carlos Guadalupe He?ras Rodriguez, in his chapter "The Tepehua" (in Alan R. Sandstrom & E. Hugo Garcia Valencia (editors), "Native Peoples of the Gulf Coast of Mexico") notes that "The Tepehua are an ethnolinguistic groupǪ that, in comparison to other groupsǪ has received relatively little attention of researchers." The Tepehua inhabited the northern section of the state of Veracruz and the northeast part of the State of Hidalgo, as well as some localities in the municipio of Pantepec in the State of Puebla.

In Veracruz, the Tepehua call themselves "Kenanka masipithni" (We are Tepehua), which, according to Roberto Williams Garcia, is derived from "hamasipini" ("owners of hills" or "one who lives on the hill")" The word Tepehua was given to them by the Nahua and carries the same meaning. The Tepehua religion retains beliefs and practices that are rooted in their pre-Hispanic past. It is believed that the remoteness of Tepehua territory played some role in the failure of evangelists to convert the Tepehua during the colonial era. The Tepehua of the present day era are primarily engaged in agriculture. They cultivate maize, frijol, mountain Chile, tomato, lentil, onion garlic and sesame.

There are three variants of the Tepehua language, which belongs to the Mayan-Totonaco language group. Forty centuries ago, according to Anzaldo Figueroa (2000), the ancient Maya language was spoken throughout the Gulf Coast region. Tepehua is one of the languages that derived from the ancient Maya, separating from the Totonac language at least 26 centuries ago.

The Mazatec Indians

The Mazatec call themselves "ha shuta enima," which in their language means "we workers from the hills, humble, people of custom." Around the year 890 A.D., the Nonoalcas arrived in the region; their capital city, called Matza-apatl or Mazatl?n, gave them the name of "Mazatec," which in N?huatl means "people of the deer".

The Mazatec today inhabit the northern part of the state of Oaxaca, but some Mazatecos also live in the southern part of Veracruz. Their territory includes two well differentiated regions, both in terms of the environment and culture: the highlands, on the slopes of the Eastern Sierra Madre, at altitudes between 1,200 and 2,500 meters above sea level and the lowlands, located in what is known as the Papaloapan Basin.

The Totonac (Totonaque) Indians

By the time, the Spaniards arrived on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in 1519, the Totonac Indians occupied a province known as Totonacapan, which stretched through the north central part of Veracruz and the Sierra Norte of Puebla. Occupying some fifty towns and boasting a population of a quarter million people, the Totonacs spoke four primary dialects. Their capital, Cempoala, located five miles inland from the present city of Vera Cruz, had a population of about 25,000.

There is little agreement about the origin of the word Totonac, but Bernardino de Sahag??n a Franciscan friar and ethnographer learned that the Mexica called the provinces where the Totonacs lived "totonacatlalli" which means "land of heat." And Totonac means "tierracalente??o," or "inhabitant of the hot lands." Other sources claim that the Mexica used the term "totonaco" in a derogatory context, referring to a people of "little ability or skill."

Both the Totonac and Tepehua languages form the Totonac linguistic family and are believed to be Macro-Mayan languages (i.e., showing similarity to the Mayan Linguistic Family). The Totonac language itself is divided into three primary dialects.

Popoluca (Homshuk)

The Popoluca Indians inhabit the southeastern part of the state of Veracruz, not far from the border with Tabasco State. The Popoluca call themselves "Homshuk," which means "God of Corn." However, the word Popoluca originated in the N?huatl language and was used to refer to foreign peoples (i.e., people who do not speak their language). Traditionally, the Popoluca have been engaged in agriculture and cultivate a wide variety of foods, including ma?z, frijol and rice.

The Popoluca language corresponds to the Zoque-Mixe branch of the Macro-Maya Linguistic Family (distantly related to the Mayan language). Today, the Popoluca language is divided into four dialects. Linguistic analysis has determined that the Popoluca probably settled in southern Veracruz approximately fourteen centuries ago.

The Otom? (The Sierra Nah??u)

The Otom? (who call themselves Nah??u, or H??ah??u) belong to the seventh most common language group in Mexico and presently occupy portions of the states of Hidalgo, M?xico, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Quer?taro and Michoac?n. Within the State of Veracruz, Otom? is also the seventh most commonly-spoken language.

Nah??u belongs to the Otopamean language family, a subfamily of the very large Otomanguean Linguistic Group. However, linguistic studies indicate that the Otom? split from the ancestral Otomanguean about 6,500 years ago.

Conquest by the Aztecs

During the Fifteenth Century and the early years of the Sixteenth Century, the mighty Aztec Empire, ruled by the Mexica Indians from their capital city Tenochtitl?n (now Mexico City), began a concerted effort to subdue and incorporate the rich eastern coastal areas into their domain. After their conquest by the Mexica ruler Axay?catl in 1480, the Totonacs were incorporated into the Aztec provinces of Cempoallan, Misantla and Xalapa. These areas, with an abundance of water and fertile land, were richly endowed with a wide array of vegetation and crops, including cedars, fruits, cotton, cacao, maize, beans, and squashes. In pre-Hispanic times, cotton was a very significant crop, which the Totonacs used to make cotton armor. As tribute to their Aztec masters, the Totonacs sent cloth, clothing, maize, foodstuffs, honey and wax to Tenochtitl?n.

The province of Cempoallan, and its associated Totonac towns and fortifications, could mobilize up to 50,000 warriors at a time. The natives of Cempoallan, incited by the neighboring Tlaxcalans (who remained an independent enclave within the Aztec Empire), continuously rebelled against the Mexica. Even the last Mexica emperor Moctezuma II spent the early years of his reign leading campaigns against the Indians of Veracruz.

The Aztec Province of Xalapa (Jalapa), also inhabited by Totonac Indians, was only added to the Mexica domain by Moctezuma II in the years immediately preceding the Spanish contact. Jalapa stood along a major route between the coast and Tenochtitl?n and was rich agricultural territory, with maize and chilies as its prominent crops.

Totonac was the prominent language in the northern half of Xalapa, while N?huatl was spoken in the south. When Cort?s arrived on the east coast in 1519, he used the inland route through Xalapa to move inland. The city of Jalapa has been the capital of Veracruz since 1824.

The Spaniards and the Totonacs

The Totonacs were the first natives whom Captain Hern?n Cort?s met upon his landing on the Gulf Coast near present-day Veracruz. Being compelled by the Mexica to the payment of a heavy tribute, including the frequent seizure of their people for slaves or for sacrifice in the bloody Aztec rites, the Totonac were ripe for revolt, and their king, Tlacochcalcatl, eagerly welcomed Cort?s and promised the support of his fifty thousand warriors against Emperor Moctezuma and the Aztec Empire. The Spaniards helped the Totonacs to expel Moctezuma's tribute-collectors in Totonacapan who apparently fled to a Mexica garrison at Tizapancingo, about twenty miles to the southwest. With a full force of Spaniards, 16 horses, and Totonacs, Cort?s seized control of Tizapancingo.

The Founding of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (1519)

In June 1519, the Totonacs helped Cort?s and the Spaniards in the founding of "La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz" (The Rich Town of the True Cross) on the site of the present-day port of Veracruz. Veracruz thus became the first city founded by the Spaniards on the North American continent. Even today, Veracruz remains as one of the most important commercial and industrial centers of Mexico.

In the subsequent events, culminating in the taking of the city of Tenochtitl?n and the downfall of the Aztec Empire in August 1521, the Totonac took an active part in the campaign as allies of the Spaniards and the Tlaxcalans. In addition to giving ready allegiance to Spaniards, they embraced the Roman Catholic faith of the Europeans. As early as 1523, the Franciscans first started working among the Totonac people of the highlands. The Augustinians arrived a decade later to proselytize the Totonacs along the border region of Hidalgo, Puebla, and Veracruz.

H.R. Harvey and Isabel Kelly, the authors of "The Totonac" in the "Handbook of Middle American Indians," write that "In the large areas where Totonac speech has survived to the present, there was little to attract the Spaniard. Transportation and communication were difficult; Also, Totonacapan largely lacked the mineral resources so attractive to the Spaniards. Thus, until relatively recent years, much of Totonacapan has remained intact and isolated, and many forms of native Totonac culture have survived."

Today, the Totonacs of Puebla and Veracruz, numbering about 100,000, are industrious farmers. Their chief crop is sugar cane, from which they manufacture sugar in their own mills. Dancing and festivals are important elements of their culture. Although some of their festivals retain elements of their ancient sacrificial rites, most of the Totonacs are Roman Catholic today.

The Huastecos (Teenek)

The Huasteco Indians, who speak a form of the Mayan language, presently occupy 55 municipios in the modern-day states of Veracruz, San Luis Potos? and Hidalgo, as well as smaller sections of southern Tamaulipas and eastern Quer?taro. It is believed that they were isolated from the rest of the Maya and evolved separately and may have arrived in the area as early as 200 A.D.

Under Aztec rule, the Huastecos inhabited two Aztec provinces, Atlan and Tochpan. Atlan Province, located in the area of the present-day towns of Metlaltoyuca and Pantepec, was occupied by Huastecos, Tepehu?n, Otom?es and Totonacs. This region was an important cotton-growing region, and the Huastecos of this province were forced to pay tribute to the Mexica in the form of skins, paper, cotton and blankets. However, when the Spaniards arrived in their territory, the Huastecos did not cooperate with them as the neighboring Tlaxcalans and Totonacs did. In 1520, the Huastecos wiped out a small Spanish settlement that had been set up in their territory.

Once he had taken control of Tenochtitl?n in August 1521, Cort?s marched toward Huasteco territory with a large force of Spaniards and Mexica allies, intent on subduing them. After meeting with considerable resistance, Cort?s defeated the Huastecos and founded the Villa de San Esteban in 1522. However, revolts by the Huastecos in October-December 1523 and 1525-26 were put down with great cruelty. In spite of their battles with both the Mexica and the Spaniards, the Huastecos continue to survive today, maintaining many aspects of their traditional culture and language. Huastecan music and dancing have influenced the musical folklore of Mexico.

The Huasteca region of northern Veracruz was originally named after the Huasteca people. This region is in the northern reaches of the Gulf of Mexico where the Sierra Madre mountain range meets the coastal plain of the Gulf. This is considered a rich agricultural region with an abundance of water from the riverine system flowing to the Gulf. The Huasteca consists of 55 municipios that are spread across Veracruz, Hidalgo and San Luis Potos? and boast a wide diversity of indigenous peoples (besides the Huastecos).

Tochtepec Province

Tochtepec was a large and sprawling Aztec province that extended from the Gulf Coast inland to the rugged eastern mountains. While the N?huatl language of the Aztecs dominated Tochtepec, the Chinantec and Mazatec languages dominated the southwestern edge of the province. The Aztecs valued this province because it became a source of many highly valued resources, including cacao, cotton, precious feathers, gold, greenstones, and rubber, as well as several staple foodstuffs, fruits, and fish.

Cuetlaxtlan Province

The Aztec province of Cuetlaxtlan lay along Veracruz's broad coastal plain north of Tochtepec. Michael E. Smith and Frances F. Berdan, in their descriptions of the Aztec provinces, write that "Cuetlaxtlan was very frequently caught in the political machinations of the Mexica and Tlaxcalans. Upon abandonment by their Tlaxcalan allies, Cuetlaxtlan was conquered by Moctezuma Ilhuicamina." However, the province was frequently in a state of rebellion against their Mexica overlords. Eventually, Emperor Axay?catl, who ruled from 1468 to 1481, reconquered the region and installed Aztec tribute collectors and garrisons.

The Nahuas of Veracruz

N?huatl is the most spoken language in the Mexican Republic. More than 1.5 million people in Mexico speak N?huatl, representing 23.1% of all indigenous speakers in the country. N?huatl is also the most spoken language in Veracruz. As a matter of fact, N?huatl speakers are scattered through several regions of Veracruz. The four primary regions in which Nahua speakers live are:

The Nahuas of Huasteca (the Huasteca region extends from northern Veracruz into eastern Hidalgo and southeastern San Luis Potos?). Today, an estimated 75% of the population of the Huasteca speaks N?huatl, while the remainder speak Teenek or Huastec (22%), Otom? (2%) and Tepehua, Pame and Totonac.

The Nahuas of Totonacapan. Totonacapan extends through both Veracruz and the Sierra Norte de Puebla region of Puebla State. This interethnic area includes N?huatl speakers, as well as Totonac, Tepehua and Otom? speakers.

The Nahuas of the Sierra de Zongolica. Situated in the Grandes Monta??as of the west central region of Veracruz, this area is comprised of 12 municipios. The N?huatl speakers in this area speak the Orizaba dialect. In 1991, speakers of the Orizaba dialect through all states numbered 120,000.

The Nahuas of Southern Veracruz: N?huatl speakers inhabit some portions of the southern region of Veracruz, which is composed of lowland plains and volcanic hills and borders the western part of the State of Tabasco.

According to the studies of Guy Stresser-P?an, Jesus Vargas Ram?rez and Mar?a del Refugio Cabrera, the N?huatl speakers of the Huasteca did not arrive in the area at the time of the Aztec expansion and conquest. Instead, the N?huatl movement into the area took place earlier in the Twelfth Century following the fall of Tula (as described by Mar?a Teresa Rodr?guez L??pez and Pablo Valderrama Rouy in "the Gulf Coast Nahua" in "Native Peoples of the Gulf Coast of Mexico."

The 1921 Mexican Census

In the unusual 1921 Mexican census, residents of each state were asked to classify themselves in several categories. With a total state population of 1,159,935, the inhabitants of Veracruz were categorized according to the following racial classifications:

406,638 persons (or 35.06%) claimed to be "ind?gena pura" (of pure indigenous background)

556,472 persons (or 47.97%) classified themselves as being "ind?gena mezclada con blanca" (indigenous mixed with white)

114,150 persons (or 9.84%) classified themselves as "blanca" (white).

It is worth noting that the classifications for the entire Mexican Republic were quite similar to the figures for Veracruz. Out of a total population of 14,334,780 in the Mexican Republic, 4,179,449 or 29.2% claimed to be of pure indigenous background, while 8,504,561 or 59.3% were of mixed origins. The total number of people who classified themselves as blanca was only 1,404,718 or 9.8% of the population almost identical with the corresponding figure for Veracruz.

Indigenous Groups in the 2000 Census

According to the 2000 census, the population of persons five years and more who spoke indigenous languages in Veracruz amounted to 633,372 individuals, who represented 9.2% of the total state population. These individuals spoke a wide range of languages, many of which are transplants from other parts of the Mexican Republic. The largest indigenous groups represented in the state were:

N?huatl (338,324 speakers)
Totonaco (119,957)
Huasteco (51,625)
Popoluca (36,999)
Zapoteco (20,678)
Chinanteco (19,285)
Otom? (17,584)
Mazateco (8,784).

Nahuas of Huasteca Veracruzana (Machehuale)
According to the 2000 census, N?huatl was the most widely spoken language in Veracruz, accounting for 53.42% of all indigenous speakers in the state. Almost one-third of these people lived in the Huasteca Meridional, an area in which a large number of N?huatl speakers lived.

Totonacos

In the 2000 census, the Totonaco Indians of Veracruz numbered 119,957 persons five years of age and older, representing 49.98% of all the Totonaco speakers in the Mexican Republic (240,034). Today, the Totonacos continue to live throughout the coastal plain of the state of Veracruz and in the adjacent mountain ranges of Puebla.

Haustecos (Teenek)

In the 2000 census, the speakers of the Huasteco language of Veracruz numbered 51,625 and represented the third largest language group in Veracruz. The Huastecos living in Veracruz represented 34.36% of the total Huasteco population of the Mexican Republic (150,257) in that year. The Huastecas are also called Teenek, which means "Those who live in the fields." The area occupied by the Huastecos today lies mainly in Eastern San Luis Potos?, Northern Veracruz and Northeastern Hidalgo. There are some smaller populations of Teenek in the states of Tamaulipas and Puebla.

The 2010 Census

At the time of the 2010 census, N?huatl remained the most widely spoken language in Mexico with 1,544,968 persons five years of age and older speaking that tongue. N?huatl speakers, in fact, represented 23.08% of the indigenous speakers 5 and older in the Mexican Republic. The 12 most spoken languages in Veracruz in the 2010 census are shown (as well as their percentage ranking within the Republic):

1. N?huatl: 355,785 speakers (No. 1 language in Mexico)
2. Totonaca: 120,810 speakers (No. 8 language in Mexico)
3. Huasteco: 52,660 speakers (No. 10 language in Mexico)
4. Popoluca: 40,796 speakers (No. 23 language in Mexico)
5. Zapoteco: 20,678 speakers (No. 5 language group in Mexico)
6. Chinanteca: 19,285 speakers (No. 12 language group in Mexico)
7. Otom?: 17,584 speakers (No. 7 language group in Mexico)
8. Mazateca: 8,784 speakers (No. 9 language in Mexico)
9. Tepehua: 6,103 speakers (No. 36 language in Mexico)
10. Mixteca: 3,535 speakers (No. 3 language group in Mexico)
11. Zoque: 2,818 speakers (No. 18 language group in Mexico)
12. Mixe: 2,358 speakers (No. 14 language group in Mexico)

The Leading Indigenous States in 2010

In the 2010 census, the four Mexican states with the largest populations of indigenous speakers (by number) in the 2010 census were:

1. Oaxaca 1,165,186 indigenous speakers
2. Chiapas 1,141,499 indigenous speakers
3. Veracruz 644,559 indigenous speakers
4. Puebla 601,680 indigenous speakers

However, although Veracruz had the third largest population of indigenous speakers, it was ranked tenth among the Mexican states for the percentage of indigenous speakers (9.4%). This is easily explained by the fact that Veracruz has the third largest population in Mexico (after Distrito Federal and Estado de Mexico) and thus has a much larger population of both indigenous and non-indigenous people than most other states.

The 2010 census also included a question that asked people if they considered themselves indigenous, whether or not an indigenous language was spoken. Nearly one-fourth of the residents of Veracruz 3 years of age and older (19.9%) were classified as indigenous, ranking Veracruz ninth among the Mexican states.

Many languages in Mexico are in danger of gradual extinction as the children of indigenous speakers move to new locations in Mexico and fail to learn the languages of their parents. For the State of Veracruz, this may also be a factor, but the State and its people also feel great pride in their connection to their indigenous past. It is likely that some of the more concentrated indigenous-speaking communities of Veracruz will continue to carry on the legacy of their native ancestors and pass their languages down to future generations.

Copyright ? 2014 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.

Primary Sources:

Alan R. Sandstrom and E. Hugo Garc?a Valencia (editors), "Native Peoples of the Gulf Coast of Mexcico" (Tucson: Arizona University Press, 2005).

Instituto Nacional de Estad?stica Geograf?a e Inform?tica (INEGI). Censos de Poblaci??n y Vivienda, 2000 y 2010.

INEGI, Censo de Poblaci??n y Vivienda (2010): "Panorama Sociodemogr?fico de M?xico" (March 2011).

H. R. Harvey and Isabel Kelly, "The Totonac" in Evon Z. Vogt, "Handbook of Middle American Indians, Part Two, Vol. 8" (Austin: University of Texas, 1969), pp. 638-681.

Michael E. Smith and Frances F. Berdan, "Province Descriptions" in Frances F. Berdan et al., "Aztec Imperial Strategies" (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1996), pp. 265-349.

Peter Gerhard, "A Guide to the Historical Geography of New Spain" (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972).

Scheffler, Lili?n, "Grupos Ind?genas de M?xico" (M?xico, 1985).

Veracruz, "An?lisis Social. Plan de Desarrollo para Pueblos Ind?genas." Online:
http://www.bansefi.gob.mx/sectahorrocredpop/investigacionesSACP/Documents/Otros%20estudios/PATMIR/IPDP_Veracruz.pdf

About John P. Schmal:
John Schmal is a market analyst, genealogist, editor and writer. He specializes in researching families from Jalisco, Aguascalientes and Zacatecas. At the present time, he is developing indigenous histories for all of the Mexican states.




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