Zapotec


Zapotec
/zap"euh tek', zah"peuh-/; Sp. /sah'paw tek"/, n., pl. Zapotecs, (esp. collectively) Zapotec for 1, adj.
n.
1. a member of an American Indian people living in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
2. the Oto-Manguean language of the Zapotecs, consisting of a number of highly divergent dialects.
adj.
3. Archaeol. of or pertaining to a Mesoamerican Indian civilization of the Oaxaca region of Mexico c600 B.C. to A.D. 1000, characterized by a bar-and-dot system of enumeration, a calendar of Mayan derivation, ball courts, and underground frescoed tombs.
[ < MexSp zapoteco < Nahuatl tzapotecah, pl. of TZAPOTECATL person from Tzapotlan (tzapo(tl) sapodilla + -tecatl suffix of personal nouns, -tlan locative suffix)]

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Indian population living in the state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico.

Early Zapotec civilization, centred on Monte Albán (near the modern city of Oaxaca), produced the first writing in Mesoamerica and devised the 52-year round calendar later borrowed by other groups. Present-day traditional Zapotec society is largely agricultural, and members practice shifting cultivation. The major crafts include pottery and weaving. The Zapotecs profess Roman Catholicism, but belief in spirits and myths persists. See also Mesoamerican civilization.

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people
      Middle American Indian population living in eastern and southern Oaxaca in southern Mexico.

      The Zapotec culture varies according to habitat—mountain, valley, or coastal—and according to economy—subsistence, cash crop, or urban; and the language varies from pueblo to pueblo, existing in several mutually unintelligible dialects, better called distinct languages. In general, however, Zapotec society is oriented around central villages or towns and has an agricultural base. Staple crops are corn, beans, and squash; market crops such as coffee, wheat, and sugarcane are grown where the climate allows. Some hunting, fishing, and gathering of wild foods is also practiced. Agriculture is based on slash-and-burn clearing of land, and plow and oxen are used in cultivation.

      Crafts are still practiced in some areas; these are chiefly pottery, weaving, and palm-fibre weaving. Clothing ranges from traditional (particularly for women) to modern. Traditional dress for women consists of a long skirt, long overtunic (huipil ), and a shawl or wraparound headpiece. Male dress, when not modern, consists of wide, loose trousers; loose shirt, sometimes with pleats; sandals; and straw or wool hat. The religion of the Zapotec is Roman Catholic, but belief in pagan spirits, rituals, and myths persists, to some extent intermingled with Christianity. The compadrazgo, a system of ritual kinship established with godparents, is important.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Zapotec — ISO 639 3 Code : zap ISO 639 2/B Code : zap ISO 639 2/T Code : zap ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Macrolanguage Language Type : Living Individual languages : Identifier : zaa Name: Sierra de Juárez Zapotec Individual languages : Identifier : zab Name …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • Zapotec — 1. noun a) A member of an indigenous people of Mexico, concentrated in the state of Oaxaca and spread into some neighbouring states. b) Any of a group of Oto Manguean languages spoken by the Zapotec people. 2. adjective a) Of or relating to the… …   Wiktionary

  • Zapotec — /ˈzapətɛk/ (say zahpuhtek) noun 1. a Native American people living mostly in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. 2. (plural Zapotecs or Zapotec) a member of this people. 3. any of the group of languages spoken by these people. –Zapotec, Zapotecan,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Zapotec — I noun 1. a member of a large tribe of Mesoamericans living in southern Mexico whose civilization flourished around 300 to 900 • Syn: ↑Zapotecan • Hypernyms: ↑Indian, ↑American Indian, ↑Red Indian 2. the language of the Zapotec …   Useful english dictionary

  • Zapotec — [ zapətɛk] noun (plural same or Zapotecs) 1》 a member of an American Indian people of southern Mexico. 2》 the language of the Zapotec. Origin from Sp. zapoteco, from Nahuatl tzapoteca (plural) people of the place of the sapodilla …   English new terms dictionary

  • Zapotec — noun Etymology: Spanish zapoteca, from Nahuatl tzapotēcah, plural of tzapotēcatl, literally, person of (the land of) sapodillas, from tzapotl sapodilla fruit + tēcatl person (from) Date: 1843 a member of an American Indian people of Oaxaca state …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • zapotec — za·po·tec …   English syllables

  • Zapotec — Za•po•tec [[t]ˈzæp əˌtɛk, ˈzɑ pə [/t]] n. pl. tecs, (esp. collectively) tec, 1) peo a member of an American Indian people living primarily in central and E Oaxaca in Mexico 2) peo the complex of Otomanguean languages spoken by the Zapotecs,… …   From formal English to slang


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