Warrior

The State of Guerrero is located in the south of Mexico, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, offering one of the best climates in the world, with a combination of traditions, color, temperate seas, paradisiacal beaches, green mountains, towns with great charm, but above all, the warmth of its people.

Brief History

Until less than three decades ago, it was believed that in the pre-Hispanic era the current state of Guerrero had been inhabited by numerous and different underdeveloped groups, without their own culture, whose evolution was due to influences from external cultures.

Even well into the twentieth century, Guerrero was left blank on archaeological maps. Only very recently was it included as the southernmost portion of one of the subareas of Mesoamerica: western Mexico. However, the presence in the Guerrero territory of numerous Olmec-style manifestations and thousands of objects made under certain vigorous local styles, of which their cultural affiliation and antiquity were unknown, remained without explanation. As will be seen throughout this text, the path that archaeological research has taken in Guerrero has been long and difficult, but in the end many of these preconceived ideas have been demolished and some of the main enigmas of the Guerrero archeology.

Getting to know the pre-Cortesian past is the task of archeology. This discipline, in the absence, scarcity or doubt of written information, relies primarily on the identification, analysis and study of the material remains left by past societies as a source of primary information. In this task, the data and the context at the moment of recovering the remains, that is, the form and disposition as those remains are associated, are essential to be able to establish not only their age and cultural affiliation, but also to obtain genuine data on life. prehispanic and the social mechanisms that determined it. To date the vestiges, it uses the materials themselves, especially the ceramic ones, with which it establishes a relative chronology, or it is based on the analysis of the organic remains by means of radiocarbon or carbon 14, which provides more reliable dates.

In the temporal aspect, it manages three main categories: horizons, periods and phases. The horizons are the widest. In general terms, the Preclassic or Formative horizon covers from 1500 a. C., and the Postclassic of 900/1000 AD. C. until the establishment of the Hispanic culture.

The periods, almost always tripartite, are subdivisions of those horizons, while the phases subdivide the periods differently in each region and even in each site. In the case of certain regions of Mesoamerica, and in particular for Guerrero, it is necessary to include a fourth horizon, the Epiclassic (650 / 700-900 / 1000), which is distinguished for being a short period but with intense cultural development.

Throughout history, the original civilizations sought a temporary or permanent seat in places where they could have enough land and water to cover their material needs. The territory that today occupies the state of Guerrero is no exception to the rule, as evidenced by the archaeological wealth discovered to date, and which promises to be even greater. This is indicated by the archaeological remains outlined in another chapter of this book, where the reasons that the entity is located as a Mesoamerican cultural cradle are discussed.

The first Spaniards who arrived in what is now Guerrero dedicated themselves, above all, to the exploitation of large deposits of precious metals.

Hernán Cortes, who knew the tributes imposed by the Aztec empire on the peoples of the Guerrero territory, organized expeditions to the region where Taxco is located today with the purpose of putting it under his control and thus being in a position to extract all possible wealth. Thus. In 1529 Taxco was founded and became the first population that developed around the mining exploitation made by the conquerors, among which Diego de Nava and Juan Cabra stand out.

The territory of what is now Guerrero was explored for the first time in 1520, in an expedition sent by Cortés and led by Gonzalo de Umbría. However, it was not until after the submission of the Mexicas when the conquistadors turned their attention to the south, knowing the riches of these lands; by 1523 they had been mastered almost entirely. In 1531 the yopes, to the east of present-day Acapulco, were unsuccessful against Spanish rule; Previously, this seasoned town had also resisted Mexica expansion.

As soon as they had definitive control of these lands, the Spanish constituted the encomienda. For this they took advantage of the political structure of chiefdoms imposed by the Aztec empire, along with the evangelization that sought to integrate the Mesoamerican peoples into the Spanish vision of the world.

For the benefit of productive activities, it remained in the hands of peninsular people, who, in addition to seeing for their own interest, had to meet the demands of the metropolis. For this reason, the Surian regions participated unevenly in the world market, since Spanish interests ran in two directions: mining expectations, based on the existence of precious metals in the region, mainly Taxco, and the search for the intercontinental connection that It materialized with the foundation of the port of Acapulco and the discovery of the tornaviaje route from the Philippine islands by Fray Andrés de Urdaneta in 1565. In other words, there were two regions and economic branches that participated in the metropolis economy: trade by the Acapulco coast and the Taxco silver mines. Therefore, both merchants and miners were among the most powerful social groups in the territory of New Spain.

The Creoles, in turn, concentrated on activities related to agricultural and artisanal production, which were modest, almost insignificant, when compared to the economic dynamism of Asian transactions through the port of Acapulco and with mining in Taxco.

The people of Guerrero have been a decisive factor in the processes of construction of the Mexican State, so much so that Independence, the Reformation and the revolution had a strong presence of the people of Guerrero. The entity became the great stage of the independence feat, after the defeat and capture of Miguel Hidalgo, as it contributed the strength of its population in the construction of the national state. "This dependency was consolidated in the war against the United States and was further accentuated with the Ayutla Revolution, which ended the dictatorship of Antonio López de Santa Anna and opened the way for the liberal form. For these dates, the Surian space already existed as its own entity and at the same time constituent of the Republic ”.

Therefore, it can be concluded, together with Illades, that Guerrero has been an active periphery within the set of national construction processes.

The first Spaniards who arrived in what is now Guerrero dedicated themselves, above all, to the exploitation of large deposits of precious metals. Hernán Cortes, who knew the tributes imposed by the Aztec empire on the peoples of the Guerrero territory, organized expeditions to the region where Taxco is located today with the purpose of putting it under his control and thus being in a position to extract all possible wealth. Thus. In 1529 Taxco was founded and became the first population that developed around the mining exploitation made by the conquerors, among which Diego de Nava and Juan Cabra stand out.

The territory of what is now Guerrero was explored for the first time in 1520, in an expedition sent by Cortés and led by Gonzalo de Umbría. However, it was not until after the submission of the Mexicas when the conquistadors turned their attention to the south, knowing the riches of these lands; by 1523 they had been mastered almost entirely. In 1531 the yopes, to the east of present-day Acapulco, were unsuccessful against Spanish rule; Previously, this seasoned town had also resisted Mexica expansion.

As soon as they had definitive control of these lands, the Spanish constituted the encomienda. For this they took advantage of the political structure of chiefdoms imposed by the Aztec empire, along with the evangelization that sought to integrate the Mesoamerican peoples into the Spanish vision of the world.

For the benefit of productive activities, it remained in the hands of peninsular people, who, in addition to seeing for their own interest, had to meet the demands of the metropolis. For this reason, the Surian regions participated unevenly in the world market, since Spanish interests ran on two fronts: mining expectations, based on the existence of precious metals in the region -mainly Taxco- and the search for the intercontinental connection that materialized with the foundation of the port of Acapulco and the discovery of the route of tornaviaje from the Philippine islands by Fray Andrés de Urdaneta in 1565. In other words, there were two regions and economic branches that participated in the metropolis economy: the commerce along the Acapulco coast and the Taxco silver mines. Therefore, both merchants and miners were among the most powerful social groups in the territory of New Spain.

The death of the local chieftain figures did not mean the end of the fight for hegemony in the entity. On the contrary, as is natural in politics, new characters began to dispute the empty space of the poles of power: city intellectuals, lawyers, teachers, small landowners and small-town merchants, that is, the nascent urban and rural middle class, that the Diaz himself had charged with fostering and sustaining. These forces, however, expressed their opposition to the center with their discontent towards the outside figures. One of the most significant moments occurred when Mercenario, supported by the central power, was re-elected for the fourth time for the period from 1901 to 1905, which generated a political opposition led by the lawyer, from past Porfirista, Rafael Castillo Calderón.

Castillo had been Secretary of the Government of Francisco O. Arce, several times a local deputy and in 1899 the organizer in Guerrero of the Circle of Friends of General Porfirio Díaz. However, Díaz's intervening hand appointed Mercenario as the winner of the elections, and with this he unleashed the guerrillas' displeasure, to such a degree that he was forced to resign before taking possession of the governorship. In his place, Díaz named another outsider, the poblano landowner Agustín Mora, who was said to have had the only relationship he had with Guerrero from the goats he bought in Tlapa for his estates. In accordance with Díaz's style, while removing Mercenario, he began an annihilation offensive against the opposition; and in response, the armed disagreement did not take long to appear.

The fight against the centralist offense arose in Mochitlán, with the Zapote Plan, where the popular right to vote freely was proclaimed and it was ensured that all landowners, foreigners, travelers and the people of Guerrero in general would be respected. This uprising was led by the poor strategist Anselmo Bello, friend of Castillo Calderón, who could never articulate a homogeneous movement; He was lucky enough to escape alive thanks to the help of a landowner from Chilapa; instead, another of the leaders, Eusebio Almonte, was captured and executed in Mezcala by the Porfirian troops commanded by Colonel Victoriano Huerta. In his own style, Huerta shot a considerable number of rebels and captured others. For his part, Castillo Calderón was detained in Mexico City, where he had taken refuge, and pardoned on the condition that he never set foot in Guerrero again. Years later he would convert to hiking.

The Castillo Calderón movement can be described as a precursor to the Mexican Revolution in Guerrero, both for its social composition and for its basic request: non-centralist interference in state elections and in the entity's designs. Thus, the slogan of the Revolution against Díaz, effective suffrage, not reelection, began to take shape in Guerrero territory. Even, in the long-term historical perspective, the movements of Diego Álvarez and Canuto A. Neri had the same sense. There is no doubt that these actions responded more to the personal and regional interests of the caciques than to the formalization of the procedures of a democratic regime; However, the historical causality is more complex and their actions opened up spaces that ultimately allowed the people to question the one-man absolutist regime: the one implemented by Porfirio Díaz.

In the same sense, the various rebellions against the despotism of the political prefects must be contemplated, as well as those led by peasants and indigenous warriors, affected by liberal laws, since a part of the 1910 rebels adopted the claim of municipal and land freedom. In general terms, the correlation of political and social forces that fought in the national revolutionary feat had representation in the state of Guerrero.

The state of Guerrero has achieved international fame thanks to its large number of artisan manufactures. That they are recognized for their ethnic and regional particularities, their different local contributions, their beauty, exoticism and quality, since individual artistic treatment is generally added to the utilitarian nature of the garments and objects.

Some handicrafts retain a ceremonial character in their origin, which has allowed them to persist in their local production with identity, iconographic and ritual features typical of each producing community; Such are the cases of the Amuzgos textiles, the Alto Balsas pottery ...

The Olinalá or Acapetlahuaya lacquers and the wooden or leather masks, among the most outstanding. From time to time, the commercialization of the different branches of crafts has increased, in parallel with the growth of local, national and international tourism. In this sense, artisanal activity has proven to be a good supplementary source of income and in some cases of specialization, and has become an alternative source to traditional peasant income in both indigenous and mestizo communities. However, hoarding phenomena, the lack of adequate commercial channels and distribution costs have restricted the producers' monetary benefit.

The same diversity and in some cases the quality of artisanal production has been affected by the effects of its insertion in the modern market, which demands competitive prices, even at the expense of a reduction in quality. As background we must point out that in the origin of the Mesoamerican peoples the use of fibers, such as cotton, palm or maguey, stood out; stone and wood carving, and pottery, among others. Due to its antiquity, which dates back to the same pre-Hispanic era, pottery, basketry, textiles, lacquers and the work of precious metals stand out.

During the colonial period, artisanal work was enriched with the contribution of the Spanish, Asian and African traditions, in accordance with the local needs and influences of each historical period and cultural region.

At present they emphasize the goldsmith shop; wood carving; Nahua, Mixtec and Amuzgo textiles; fiber work such as coir (coconut waste); the use of seashells, as well as the use of totomoxtli, among other modalities.

Next, we will make a tour of the mestizo, Afromestizo and indigenous handicraft production centers, as well as white descendant communities (especially Spanish, but also French, Belgian, Italian and Lebanese, among others.

Festivals, Rituals and Traditional State Fairs

The state of Guerrero, its name is due to the hero of the Independence of Mexico, Don Vicente Guerrero Saldaña, originally from the city of Tixtla de Guerrero. The entity is located in the southern part of the Mexican Republic, on the margins of the Pacific Ocean, between 16 ° 18 'and 180 ° 48'. The territorial surface of the State is 64,281 Km2, which hardly corresponds to 3.3% of the surface of the national territory; it occupies the fourteenth place in relation to the extension of the other states of the country. It limits the North with the states of Mexico and Morelos, the Northwest with the state of Michoacán, the Northeast with the state of Puebla, the East with the state of Oaxaca and the South with the Pacific Ocean.

According to its economic, social and geographic characteristics, it is divided into 81 municipalities, integrated into seven regions: the Mountain, Central Zone, Acapulco, Northern Zone, Costa Grande, Costa Chica and Tierra Caliente. Due to their ethnic-social composition, their historical-cultural development, and the economic situation in which their inhabitants live, during the annual cycle, they carry out a series of festivals that take on very specific characteristics depending on the town, community, region or group. who performs them.

Namely, the social composition of the State is made up of the Nahuas, Na saavi (Mixtecos), Me´phaa (Tlapanecos), Nan cue ñomdaa (Amuzgos), Afromestizos and Mestizos groups. Each of these groups culturally express themselves differently, according to their worldview, their way of thinking and being; This expressive multiplicity through symbols, meanings and organizational forms, are reflected in each of their festivities that they communally carry out on the dates that they have chosen from time immemorial by custom and tradition, to celebrate their main festival, as well as other related festivities. with its annual life cycle.

Each town, community or city is dedicated one day of the year to celebrate a certain "saint" or "virgin", which in a popular way is called "the patron saint" or "the patron saint of the town". This veneration is influenced by the process of colonization and Christianization that was generated during the conquest of the original peoples by the Spanish or Europeans. One of the consequences of the meeting of these two worlds, of these two cultures, was the imposition of images of saints and virgins in white teas, bearded, dressed in European style and fine physical features that displaced the totems made of stone, or the figures finely carved with obsidian stone that served as gods or deities that the original peoples recognized as sacred, which before the arrival of the Spanish paid homage to them by venerating them with great festivals where they organized feasts with the participation of the rulers, priests and people in general.

Mexican gastronomy is one of the most varied in the world, it is the product of the union of European and pre-Hispanic culinary customs. This variety of dishes and diversity of elements that are used to prepare them have led it to be considered as intangible cultural heritage of humanity, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010. Our country is the first to be awarded this recognition worldwide. In Mexican food there are roots, identity, tradition, folklore, a variety of ingredients that provide flavors, textures and smells. The ability to eat is such a natural action that once learned by the human being from the mother's lap, he will not abandon it in his entire life. We have a culinary art that characterizes each town, culture and region, since food defines basic aspects of individual and collective identity. There are people who cook with art without having attended any school, since they have only learned from older people. Said culinary knowledge has been safeguarded, transmitted and enriched from generation to generation and is jealously guarded by family members. The state of Guerrero is rich in gastronomic cultural diversity, since the inhabitants of the towns, communities or rancherías are those who participate and integrate so that the seasoning is strengthened, preserved and preserved in the preparation of special dishes to offer to their idols, deceased relatives or offer to the assistants in some festivity.

Each ethnic group settled in the Guerrero territory, be it Mixtec (na savi), Amuzgo (nanncue ñomndaa), Tlapaneco (xabu me'phaa), Náhuatl, Afromestizo, have their peculiar way of celebrating their religious images, as well as making their various Rituals in planting places, hills, crossroads, water holes or springs, this are carried out with the purpose of asking or giving thanks for the achievements obtained according to your worldview. They are organized collectively, where children, youth and adults without distinction of sex participate, the activities they carry out are cleaning where food is prepared, which is in most cases the atrium of the chapel or church, carrying firewood, some families give corn or tortillas, marrano, beans, beef, etc. The people who prepare the food are elderly women, since they know the secrets and the seasoning of the dishes they make according to the holiday.

To receive the deceased faithful, they prepare rice pudding, pipián (green mole) with iguana meat, chicken or pork with black tamales, white pozole with pork, elopozole, pozole de camahua, tamales with pork, chicken or beef with chili, butter, chipile or tichinda, green beans, rice, chickpea, ground or whole beans, wrapped in corn or banana leaf, red mole with turkey meat, chicken or pork with white rice and tortillas, pine nut mole with chicken meat, oven memelas, boiled plantain with milk, beef broth seasoned with yerba santa and dried chili accompanied with boiled ground male plantain, rice pudding, pigeon bean memelas for small deceased, gorditas de oven and of curd, tocares (memela de camagua), drumstick bread, white and painted bread dolls, hard milk sweets, pachayota, preserves of tejocotes and grapefruit, sweet pumpkin, torrejas. Various drinks such as atole con leche, aguardiente, chilate de cacao, milk chocolate, holy water, beer, natural water, aniseed, bitter pozole, torito, mezcal con nanche, mezcal with apple, chilote, chicha (fermented corn), aguardiente, chickpea atole, rice, purple and white corn (xoco) with sauce prepared with seed, guajillo dorado chile and salt or green chile with epazote and salt, among other dishes.