Mayan Indian group of central Chiapas state in southern Mexico.

Traditionally an agricultural people, they cultivate corn (maize), beans, chiles, squash, manioc, and peanuts with digging sticks and hoes. Their major crafts are pottery, weaving, and basketry. They profess Roman Catholicism, though pre-Columbian rituals are also practiced.

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      Mayan Indians (Maya) of central Chiapas, in southeastern Mexico, most closely related culturally and linguistically to their neighbours to the west, the Tzotzil. The Tzeltal speak various dialects within the Maya language (Maya languages) family. They live in an area that includes plains, gentle hills, and high peaks; the climate and vegetation vary with altitude. The economy is predominantly agricultural. Staple crops include corn (maize), beans of several varieties, and chilies; squash, manioc, peanuts (groundnuts), and other crops are also grown. Ceramics, spinning, weaving, mat making, and basket making are the major crafts. Wage labour also provides a source of income for some people.

      Tzeltal houses are typically made of logs or wattle and daub and have thatched roofs; houses with running water and electricity are rare. Most people live in small hamlets that are within walking distance of a village or town where a school, a market, and other services are located. Communities, each comprising a village and its hamlets, maintain their unique identities through variations in clothing styles, dialects, and religious celebrations. Men's clothing typically consists of short pants, a knee-length shirt, a hat, sandals, and a red sash; women's clothing usually includes a long wraparound skirt of wool, a sash, a cotton blouse or tunic, and a rebozo, or shawl. Women generally go barefoot.

      The ritual kinship institution of intensive godparenthood, or compadrazgo, is strongest in communities with influential Ladino or other nonindigenous populations. In more traditional locales, godparents are chosen but the ties invoked are less formal. Tzeltal religion and rituals are syncretic, combining aspects of indigenous belief systems with elements of Roman Catholicism. In many places, a laymen's religious society, the cofradía, elects officers to organize and sponsor the fiesta of the local patron saint and to care for the saint's image.

      Early 21st century estimates indicated a Tzeltal population of approximately 300,000 people.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Tzeltal — Parlée aux  Mexique Région Chiapas Nombre de locuteurs 371 000 Classification par famille …   Wikipédia en Français

  • TZELTAL — Les Indiens Maya de la famille linguistique tzeltal (261 000 en 1990) vivent dans les hautes terres du centre de l’État du Chiapas au Mexique jusqu’à la frontière du Guatemala dans des communautés fortement individualisées. D’abord indifférents à …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Tzeltal — ist die Sprache von rund 280.000 Indigenen, hauptsächlich im mexikanischen Bundesstaat Chiapas. In der mexikanischen Diözese wurde jetzt die erste Ausgabe der Bibel in Tzeltal in 10.000 Ausgaben gedruckt. An der Übersetzung waren Jesuiten der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • tzeltal — s m 1 Grupo indígena mexicano que habita en el estado de Chiapas, en la cordillera de Huitepec y en el valle de Ocosingo. Su gobierno lo constituye un sistema jerárquico de cargos en el que los ancianos tienen la autoridad más alta. Su religión… …   Español en México

  • Tzeltal — Tzeltạl,   Volk der Maya im zentralen Chiapas, Südmexiko; östliche Nachbarn der Tzotzil. Die etwa 260 000 Tzeltal betreiben neben Saisonarbeit in Plantagen v. a. Feldbau (Männer) und Töpferei (Frauen) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Tzeltal — noun A Mayan language of Chiapas, Mexico …   Wiktionary

  • tzeltal — Grupo indígena maya de la zona central del estado de Chiapas, en el sur de México. Tradicionalmente un pueblo agricultor, cultivan maíz, frijoles, ají, calabazas, yuca y cacahuetes (maní) con palos para cavar y azadones. Sus artesanías… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • tzeltal — tzel·tal …   English syllables

  • tzeltal, e —  adj. D un peuple amérindien du Mexique …   Le dictionnaire des mots absents des autres dictionnaires

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