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Tlapanec people: Wikis


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Total population
Mexico:approx 75,000
Regions with significant populations
Mexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca, Morelos)

Tlapanec, Spanish,


Roman Catholic, Animism

Related ethnic groups


The Tlapanec people is an ethnic group indigenous to the Mexican state of Guerrero. Their language, Me'phaa, is a part of the Oto-Manguean linguistic family and its closest relation is the Subtiaba language of Nicaragua. Today Tlapanecs live in the states of Morelos and Oaxaca as well as in Guerrero; there are around 75,000 Tlapanecs in Mexico.

In pre-Columbian times they lived in the isolated mountain area along the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, just southeast of present-day Acapulco. Their territory was called Yopitzinco by the Aztecs who also referred to the Tlapanecs as Yopi. Yopitzinco was never conquered by the Aztecs and remained an independent enclave within the Aztec empire. The main Tlapanec city was Tlapan and the name Tlapanec is the Nahuatl for "Inhabitant of Tlapan".


The Tlapanecs explain natural phenomena through myth, like the myth of the creation of the sun (Akha'), the moon (Gon') and the fire god (Akuun mbatsuun'), who all were born on the bank of the river and who were raised by Akuun ├▒ee, goddess of the temazcal sweatbath and patron of the hot/cold duality.

Another important element in their culture is nagualism. When a baby is born it is said that at the same time an animal is born and that that animal is the nahual of the child. No one except the child knows which animal is its nahual because the nahual will only show itself to the child in its dreams.




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