May 16, 2016

2559 MEXICO (Chiapas) - A Tzeltal woman to the market in Yochib

Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico, located at the border with Guatemala. Over its history, there have been three main indigenous groups: the Mixes-Zoques, the Mayas and the Chiapa. Today, there are an estimated fifty-six linguistic groups. As of the 2005 Census, there were 957,255 people who spoke an indigenous language out of a total population of about 3.5 million. Of this one million, one third don't speak Spanish.

Most of Chiapas' indigenous groups are descended from the Mayans, speaking languages that are closely related to one another, belonging to the Western Maya language group. The most numerous of these Mayan groups include the Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Ch'ol, Zoque, Tojolabal, Lacandon and Mam, which have traits in common such as syncretic religious practices, and social structure based on kinship. Some municipalities have indigenous populations over 90 percent. Among these is Oxchuc, of which the locality Yochub is part.

The largest indigenous group in the region is the Tzeltal people, who call themselves Winik atel, which means "Working Men". Their basic economic activity is the traditional agriculture. The Tzeltal have traditionally been able to produce some surplus food, which they trade by taking it to the town. Such markets rotate, usually on a weekly basis, so that each municipio will have its opportunity for commercial trade on a regular basis. This trade is the hub and the lifeblood of economic life in all Tzeltal communities.

For women the most common item is huipil embroidered with Mayan fretwork, shirts and tablecloths/napkins which are then used in the home or sold. Lengths of the huipil can vary from a short blouse-like garment or long enough to reach the floor. The style of traditional huipils generally indicates the ethnicity and community of the wearer as each have their own methods of creating the fabric and decorations.

About the stamp
The stamp, designed by Vivek Luis Martínez Alvín, was issued on February 3, 2016, to mark the closing the International Year of Light.

Chiapas - Wikipedia
Tzeltal people - Wikipedia

Sender: Wendy Sanchez (direct swap)
Sent from Xachimilco (Mexico City / Mexico), on 29.02.2016  

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