Archive for the ‘Tenango Otomi (otn)’ Category

Amate paper and Otomí

20 May 2011

The State of Puebla is located in East-Central Mexico. There and in nearby states, the Otomí family of languages is spoken by about 240,000 people according to Wikipedia.

One of the cultural features of Puebla is the traditional craft of making tree bark paper, known as amate (fig) as one of the trees used is the fig tree. Amate has been produced in Mexico for at least 1100 years, and perhaps much longer. Amate was for writing by such peoples as the Maya and the Aztecs, and possibly the Olmecs, and is also used for creating ritual figures known as dahi.

The town of San Pablito is one of the few towns that has maintained the amate production custom. Until the 1960s, only shamans produced it in San Pablito, keeping the process a secret. To learn more about amate, see “Mexican Indigenous Textiles: Otomi of Tenango de Doria Hidalgo.”

In San Pablito, the Otomí language spoken is Tenango Otomi (otn). In September 1996, a video was uploaded to titled “Mexico’s indigenous languages – Otomi of the Sierra of Hidalgo.” The video shows a man providing translations of a few Spanish expressions in Otomí, with subtitles in English.

It appears that an Otomí version of Wikipedia is in the works. A test version can be see on the Incubator at Wp/ote/Ndänxi.

The page has other videos, including one similar to the Otomí titled “Chatino Indian language from Oaxaca Mexico.” The Chatino languages (family) are spoken by 38,000 people in Mexico according to the Ethnologue.