Tabasco is water and energy. Its location makes it the gateway to the Mexican southeast and the Mayan World, epicenter of the oil industry and regional center of entertainment, services and communications. It has 53% of water in the entire country. It occupies the first place in cocoa production and livestock; and second place in banana production. Its low altitude and warm and humid climate make up an eternally green landscape, furrowed by rivers, and occupied by extensive lagoons, numerous swamp areas and beautiful beaches that offer visitors a paradise for sport fishing, bird watching and other activities. Its capital is Villahermosa.
Other cultures flourished in Tabasco, in addition to the Olmec. Towards the 300s of our era the Mayan culture appeared in this territory, beginning the foundation of the great cities of Comalcalco, Pomoná, Moral or Reforma, Santa Elena, El Tortuguero and Jonuta, sites that reached their maximum splendor during the XNUMXth and VII.
The meeting of natives and Spaniards occurred during the second expedition that the Spanish sent from Cuba to explore the continental lands of America, which enters the mouth of the Grijalva river and landed in Potonchán, an important population of the Chontal de Acalán manor; the expedition arrived in 1518, led by Juan de Grijalva.
During the second half of the 1598th century, after several unsuccessful attempts to pacify the province of Tabasco, the Spanish finally settled without problems in the Villa de Santa María de la Victoria, but by then the English pirates had taken possession of the Island. del Carmen and other strategic points on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, so that faced with the constant threat of the English to occupy the Villa, its inhabitants decided to settle inland on the left bank of the Grijalva river, in a place known as Tres Lomas, where they founded Villa Hermosa de San Juan Bautista, a population to which in XNUMX King Felipe II gave the title of Villa Hermosa and granted the province a coat of arms, one of the oldest in America that still identifies Tabasco .
In 1677, privateers fiercely attacked the capital Villahermosa de San Juan Bautista, destroying and burning it on several occasions, forcing the authorities to abandon the city and transfer powers to the Villa de Tacotalpa, which was the capital of the province for 139 years.
It was until January 1795 when the corsairs were defeated, the Viceroy Miguel de la Grúa Talamanca authorized the change of powers from the Province of Tabasco de Tacotalpa to Villahermosa de San Juan Bautista, taking place on Monday, August 15 of that year.
In 1821, after the signing of the Plan of Iguala where Spain recognized the independence of Mexico, General Antonio López de Santa Anna, commander-in-chief of the Acayucan battalion, Veracruz, sent Captain Juan Nepomuceno Fernández Mantecón to Tabasco, to proclaim in this province the Independence of Mexico. In 1823 Tabasco was one of the first provinces that joined the federal pact, constituting a federative entity, which promulgated its first political constitution in 1824.
When the Constituent Congress was convened in 1823, on January 29, 1824, Don José María Ruiz de la Peña participated in Tabasco, who pointed out that the province of Tabasco was in favor of the Federation, and that «Tabasco had the requirements to become one of the states of the new nation, such as population, agriculture and commerce. " After voting, the plenary approved the request, becoming Tabasco on January 31, 1824 a free and sovereign state, when the Constitutive Act of the Mexican Federation was promulgated, being officially admitted on February 7, 1824 as state number 13 founder of the new Federal Republic.
That same year the first local legislature was established that elected Don Agustín Ruiz de la Peña as interim governor. On February 5, 1825, the first Political Constitution of the State of Tabasco was published, which consisted of 11 chapters and 224 articles, the fourth being at the national level (only after those of Jalisco, Oaxaca and Zacatecas).
Later, in 1863, Tabasco would be reoccupied by foreign forces, on February 18 the French took Jonuta, on March 15 they occupied the port of Frontera and on June 18 they landed in the state capital San Juan Bautista. The French army takes the city, forcing the authorities and the federalist troops to take refuge in the Sierra and in Chontalpa. Governor Victorio Victorino Dueñas changes powers to the town of Tacotalpa, becoming the state capital.
While in the state capital, Eduardo González Arévalo, who came with the French, named himself governor of Tabasco on September 16, 1863. At that time, the state of Tabasco was divided into 4 districts: Centro, Chontalpa, Sierra and Pichucalco . On November 1, 1863 the French were defeated near the city of Cunduacán in the so-called Battle of El Jahuactal and later, on February 27, 1864 during the capture of San Juan Bautista, the Tabasco forces under the command of Colonel Gregorio Méndez Magaña , expelled the French from the capital San Juan Bautista. Finally, in 1866, after the siege of Jonuta, the French were permanently expelled from the state, making Tabasco the first state to expel the French invaders from the national territory.
The popular discontent against the Porfirista dictatorship was immediate in Tabasco after the outbreak of the revolution on November 20, 1910; In the municipality of Cárdenas, General Ignacio Gutiérrez Gómez, in command of the rebel forces of Chontalpa and Acayucan, Veracruz, rose up in arms against the government of General Díaz; The potentate landowner and logging businessman Policarpo Valenzuela Yera was governor of Tabasco.
Garridismo, meanwhile, began in 1919 with the arrival of Tomás Garrido Canabal to power and ended in 1934 when he left the government after his third term. This era was characterized by the harsh and arbitrary way in which Garrido exercised political power in the state, the guidelines of his government were: support for the countryside and the workers, his fight against the clergy and the eradication of vices, mainly the alcoholism
In his religious struggle, Garrido set out to defanatize the people, eradicating religion, for this, the temples were demolished and turned into schools or barracks, the priests expelled, the images cremated, the homes raided with orders to seize all objects and symbols religious (books, images, medals, etc.), banned religious celebrations and crosses on graves, religious festivals were replaced by regional fairs and the names of all rancherías, towns, villages and cities bearing religious names were changed . In fact, the religious cult practically disappeared in Tabasco, during this time.
On July 1, 1935, the Congress of the Union declared the disappearance of powers in the state, due to the social disorder caused by the protests of the enemies of former Governor Tomás Garrido and Governor Manuel Lastra Ortiz, together with the differences of President Lázaro Cárdenas and followers of Plutarco Elías Calles, reason why the Congress of the Union appoints Aureo L. Calles as interim governor.
Between 1940 and 1960, large amounts of forest were cleared to create the "Chontalpa Agroindustrial Complex", and Petróleos Mexicanos announced the discovery of important oil fields in the municipalities of Huimanguillo and Macuspana. In the 1950s the Southeast Railway was inaugurated, connecting the state with the national rail system, and in 1959 the Juárez Institute was transformed into the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco.
At the beginning of the 1960s, President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines inaugurated the federal highway No. 180, Coatzacoalcos-Villahermosa, with which the Tabasco capital was finally communicated by land with the center and north of the country.
In the 1970s, PEMEX announced the discovery of huge deposits in the municipalities of Centro, Cunduacán, Nacajuca, Cárdenas, Huimanguillo, Comalcalco and Macuspana, which unleashed the so-called "oil boom" in the entity, with the arrival of thousands of people and hundreds of companies related to oil activity.
In 1979 the new Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport was built in Villahermosa, and in 1982 the urban development Tabasco 2000 was inaugurated, with which urban development began in the state capital. That same year, the Dos Bocas offshore port began operations.
In the eighties, the José María Pino Suárez public library was inaugurated, as well as the cultural infrastructure that encompasses the José Gorostiza House of Arts, the Esperanza Iris State Theater and the CICOM (Center for the Interpretation of the Olmec and Maya culture. The bridges of: Frontera, Balancán, Jonuta, José Colomo, Provincia, Pitahaya, Jalapita, Barra de Panteones and San Pedro are also inaugurated, with which the state is fully communicated by land.
In 2007, due to the drainage of the Peñitas dam in Chiapas and a plug created by the winds at the mouth of several rivers, a great flood originated, which affected various areas of both Chiapas and Tabasco.
In 2008 the construction of the international highway Tenosique - El Ceibo - Tikal concluded and on October 27, 2009, the Presidents of Mexico, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom Caballeros inaugurated the border port of El Ceibo, Tenosique, opening the fourth international crossing between these two countries.
In the last 30 years, governments have increased federal resources to apply in different areas, in addition to granting the 17 municipalities resources for improvements in public services and works of social interest.
LA DANZA DEL POCHÓ (Municipality of Tenosique)
It is a dance that is celebrated during the Tenosique Carnival, with the festivities of San Sebastián on January 20 and until Ash Wednesday. It is an ancient Mayan ceremony in which three fundamental characters intervene: the pochovera, the lame and the tiger.
The Pochoveras (they wear a flowery skirt, a white blouse and a hat with flowers) are maidens of the flowers and priestesses of the god Pocho, they act first on behalf of the tigers and later as mediators between the tigers and the lame and are in charge of maintaining the fire.
The Cojóes (men dressed in a wooden mask, sack cape, chestnut leaf skirt, rattle and banana leaf sojol leggings and hat adorned with a garden palm and flowers) represent the men with their positive and negative characteristics that They fight against tigers, sent by the evil god named Pocho.
The Tigers or Balanes (men with their bodies smeared with yellow mud and black spots, carry an ocelot or jaguar skin on their backs) are the characters who go down to earth to destroy the men with corn pulp.
These three characters join in a fun dance where the only objective is to defeat the god Pochado.
DANCE OF THE BLANQUITOS (Municipality of Tenosique)
It is danced on the first Sunday of carnival. This dance is said to have been introduced into the state since the last century by a character from El Petén, Guatemala. The dance represents the symbolic revenge of black slaves, who were forced to work tirelessly against their white masters.
For this reason, some slaves smeared their bodies with limestone mud, hence the name “Blanquitos”, they painted a cross on their chest and back to remind Christianity of their oppressors, a tall cardboard cylinder adorned with strips of Chinese of various colors on the head and body only covered by a loincloth, thus disguised they dance directed by the whip of a black foreman dressed in the European style with top hat and tailcoat, to the beat of the music performed by a reed flute, which accompanies the sound of a tortoise shell being struck with a deer antler or piece of wood.
DANCE OF THE HORSE (Municipality of Centro)
The "Danza del Caballito" represents the combat of the Chontal Indians against the Spanish in the Battle of Centla, arising from the amazement of the Indians who thought that the rider and the horse were the same being. The courage of the great warrior who fought against the invaders is reproduced.
Three characters intervene: the rocking horse, the indigenous warrior, they fight with machetes until the rocking horse is triumphant and the indigenous woman who animates their defender, is accompanied with a flute and drum.
El Caballito is danced in Quintín Aráuz, Centla on July 4, day of Our Lady of Refuge and on August 15, day of Our Lady of the Assumption.
And it is also danced in Tamulté de las Sabanas, Centro on October 4, day of San Francisco de Asís and June 24, day of San Juan Bautista.
DANCE DANCE OLD (Municipality of Nacajuca)
This dance is the oldest used as part of religious ceremonies in some Chontal communities, such as festivities in honor of the patron saints of the place. Two dancers participate in this dance, it starts at 8 at night and is danced until dawn the next day, accompanied by drum and flute music. With this dance, the “Great Old Man” is remembered who appeared in Chontal lands and taught them to plant and use instruments for agriculture.
The dancers dance sones wearing wooden carved masks representing two old men with wrinkled faces and a jolotzin straw wig, in the right hand a palm fan and on the left a rattle made of jicara.
On July 24 in Tucta, Nacajuca, the day of Lord Santiago Apóstol is danced, on December 25 in Guaytalpa the day of the Holy Nativity and on August 14 in Tecoluta the day of Our Lady of the Assumption.
HORSE AND GIANT DANCE (Municipality of Nacajuca)
This chontal dance, also called "Dance of the Giant and the Horse" or "Baila Gigante", originates from the Tecoluta community in the municipality of Nacajuca. It is clearly religious in nature and is celebrated in honor of the Feast of the Virgin of the Assumption. This dance of mestizo descent involves two characters, the Apostle Santiago and the giant Goliath.
This dance dates back to the time immediately after the conquest of Tabasco, when the Spanish religious using the rites and ceremonies that the indigenous themselves used to celebrate the deities, transform them by imprinting the meaning of the Catholic religion, with passages and characters Biblical, thus created, along with indigenous cultures, a cultural syncretism for the purposes of evangelization. The uniqueness of this chontal dance consists in the inclusion of a “Caballito” and it bears a lot of resemblance to the “Caballito” or “Caballito Blanco” dance. It is danced on August 14 and 15
DAVID AND GOLIAT DANCE (Municipality of Cunduacán)
This dance is danced in the town of Cúlico, in the municipality of Cunduacán, and is a representation of the biblical passage where it narrates the fight that the young Hebrew David held, against the giant Goliath. This representation and dance contains elements of cultural syncretism that mix the European and the indigenous, since Cúlico is an ancient town of Nahuatl descent.
Like the "Dance of the Horse and the Giant", this dance dates back to the time immediately after the conquest of Tabasco, when the Spanish religious used the rites and ceremonies that the indigenous people themselves used to celebrate the deities, and They transform them by printing the meaning of the Catholic religion, with passages and biblical characters, for the purpose of evangelization. It is believed that they were the missionaries who founded the Huimango convent, a neighboring town of Cúlico, located just two kilometers away, Despite the short time they remained in the region, between the years 1578 and 1583, they were able to teach the indigenous people this dance that finally took root in them.
It is danced on December 7 and 8 at the Celebration of the Virgen de la Concepción in Culico, Cunduacán.
RITUAL OF THE FISHING OF THE BLIND SARDINE (Municipality of Tacotalpa) One of the oldest traditions is that carried out in Tapijulapa, in the grottos of Villa Luz, known as "The Ritual of Fishing for the Blind Sardine", a feast of Pre-Hispanic origin that is part of the cult of the inhabitants to various deities of nature (rain, water, earth and moon), to whom they ask for a year of good omen in all aspects of their lives.
The ceremony begins with the music of the traditional drummers, who accompany the circle dance with drums and reed flutes; the dancers carry a basket with flowers and a candle, in addition to the barbasco (name of some plants that by their narcotic effects serve to numb the fish), wrapped in banana leaves, which they use to fish.
The first to dance in the ritual is the oldest, that is, the patriarch, the others only watch and then they join dancing in a circle, once the dance is over, the old man raises the basket with flowers, the candle and a incense stick and asks the divinity that gives you permission to fish. After saying the prayer, everyone goes to the cave and enters as far as the darkness allows, at this time they light the candles and the murmur of the voices of those who grind and prepare the barbasco to throw it into the water is heard, this causes the Fish are drugged and go to shore, then they take out their baskets and fill them with the blind sardines, then everyone celebrates the fishing and returns to their homes. The date on which it is carried out may vary, but it is always held on Palm Sunday, prior to Easter.
The most important festival in the state is the Tabasco Fair that takes place between April and May; and whose first antecedents date from 1786 and already more fit since 1880, being officially established in 1928 by the ex-Governor Tomás Garrido Canabal. This festivity is commercial, tourist, cultural, artistic, artisanal and industrial. It was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of the State of Tabasco in 2019.
On the other hand, the Catholic patronal festivals usually coincide with the ancient indigenous ritual calendar that is marked by the agricultural cycle of corn, so that the festivities are linked to the sowing, growth, maturation and harvest of the crop. To the extent that the alternation of dry and rain is decisive, this affects the symbolic contents and the dates of the festivities. Let us highlight here those that coincide with significant agro-rainfall situations linked mainly to seasonal maize. On February XNUMX, Candelaria Day is celebrated, in many indigenous towns, seed blessing ceremonies are held and the land is prepared for planting.
The official suit of the State of Tabasco is, for women, the flowered suit that consists of a white blouse adorned with an embroidered strip in sirloin stitch, a wide skirt of calico or chintz that ends in a washer; fustán or overall closed black shoes; gold necklaces and earrings; bandana around the waist and rebozo de Santa María. The hairstyle is collected in a chongo or turush; on the left side it is adorned with red and yellow tulips; on the right side four combs that represent the regions of the state: the Sierra, the Rivers, the Chontalpa and the Center. Between the tulips and the turush the bright or bright colored bow or bow is placed that combines with the predominant color on the skirt.
In the male: long-sleeved shirt and white pants, bandana around the neck, belt and closed black shoes, as well as a chontal hat. There are two versions of costumes in which they are creative: blue and white, both considered gala and for stage shows.
In the XNUMXs, at the request of Lic. Carlos A. Madrazo Becerra (former Governor of Tabasco), the designer Ramón Valdiosera took on the task of investigating in the four regions of the state and based on the pick used in Tamulté de las Sabanas, municipality of Centro and with the blue color of the municipality of Tacotalpa; was elaborated in the following way:
Blue Tapijulapa skirt (light navy) with wide waistband, cut “A”, it has planks on the back, four straps on the bottom of the skirt; the blouse is white with flower ribbon on the neck and sleeves, fustán, rebozo and bow of the same color. Years after its creation, the embroidered strip in loin stitch originating in the municipality of Nacajuca was introduced and ribbons with the colors representing the regions of the state were added: green, the Sierra; blue, the rivers; yellow, Chontalpa and red, the Center.
The white outfit equals the blue one and was created for a beauty pageant in the XNUMXs. The accessories, hairstyle, decorations and shoes are the same as in the flowery suit.
Tabasco has museums that safeguard the glorious past of ancestral cultures. There are them of different headings and in different municipalities from the state.
Among them are:
1. Dr. José Gómez Panaco Museum (Balancán)
2. Prof. Omar Huerta Escalante Museum (Jonuta)
3. Museum of the Ventura City Marín Azcuaga (Emiliano Zapata)
4. Museum of the Sierra (Oxolotán, Tacotalpa)
5. José Natividad Correa Toca Museum (Teapa)
6. La Venta Museum Park (Villahermosa)
7. Regional Museum of Anthropology Carlos Pellicer Cámara (Villahermosa)
8. Tabasco History Museum "Casa de los Azulejos" (Villahermosa)
9. Ángel Gil Hermida Popular Culture Museum (Villahermosa)
10. José Narciso Rovirosa Natural History Museum (Villahermosa)
11. Papagayo Interactive Museum (Villahermosa)
12. Tenosique History Museum (Tenosique)
13. Carlos Pellicer Camera House Museum (Villahermosa)
14. Colonel Gregorio Méndez Magaña House Museum (Jalpa de Méndez)
15. Tomás Garrido Canabal House Museum (Villa Luz, Tacotalpa)
16. La Venta Site Museum (La Venta, Huimanguillo)
17. Comalcalco Site Museum (Comalcalco)
18. Pomoná Site Museum (Tenosique)
The great sensitivity of the Tabasco artisans, is reflected in their varied craftsmanship and of great beauty. Due to the jungle vegetation of the area, which provides various natural fibers, there are many basketry items, among which palm hats and wicker furniture stand out, as well as the extraordinary filigree jicars. In the same way objects are made in leather, shell, vine, carved in bone, horn and wood.
Between the municipalities of Nacajuca and Jalpa de Méndez, starting from the City of Villahermosa, the tourist, cultural, artisanal and gastronomic corridor “Biji Yokot'an” has been established, finding a great variety of handicrafts made with materials typical of the region. The crafts of Tabasco prides itself on not being able to be imitated for its tradition and unique materials that distinguish it.
The art of sgraffito or carving of jícaras is the most genuine representation of Tabasco crafts. It starts from when the fruit is in the plant, since it is chosen from its birth. When the fruit is prepared to separate it from the plant, the cutting, emptying and tilling process begins, in which the craftsman uses rudimentary tools. One of the municipalities where this art has gained singular fame is Jalpa de Méndez.
Another fruit that acquires attractive shapes when being worked is coconut. With it precious statuettes, kitchen elements and all kinds of decorative objects are made. The coastal towns of the municipality of Paraíso are fond of this art. In Cárdenas and Jalpa de Méndez, coconut crafts also work; bone is also worked in this last locality. Religious motifs, jewelry and small sculptures are predominant in the carving.
Wood is widely used for making masks, which are later decorated and painted in bright colors; those of Tenosique are worth noting. At the same time, cedar and willow woods are popular, with which, in addition to masks, sculptures and canoes, musical instruments such as the drum, yembe and tunkul are made; or beautiful spoons with decorated handles. Emiliano Zapata stands out for the wooden furniture made with the splicing technique, that is, inserting toothpicks. In the Gregorio Méndez town, cedar and mahogany furniture is highly appreciated. As for the Teapa communities, precious woods are carved with which horcones, trunks and beautiful wardrobes are produced, among other items. As for Jalapa and Cárdenas, carved wooden crafts are made. The populations of the coast make objects with teeth and jaws of shark, shells and snails. On the other hand, joloche flowers are typical of the Chontal peoples. In these communities there are hundreds of craft houses where you can buy these products.
In Tabasco, stone is also carved to make decorative objects, such as ashtrays or boxes. Figurines of serpentine stone, a translucent, waxy dark green magnesium silicate, were used symbolically to protect against snake bites.
In some communities, such as the Chontal towns near Nacajuca, wooden canoes were used to be made in one piece. Uncontrolled and human deforestation has made it difficult to find the raw material to create this type of boat. Currently, these towns as well as the community of Jalapa are dedicated to the manufacture of miniature wooden canoes, which after finishing are filled with Tabasco chocolates.
Tabasco artisans use a wide variety of plants to make their crafts. Hyacinth, reed, bamboo, wicker, reed and espadillo are very popular materials in the state and all kinds of articles are made with them. But there are some more, the reed is used as a raw material for the manufacture of baskets and musical instruments. Palm weaving is also traditional. Various objects made from this material can be found in Tapijulapa, Huimanguillo and Nacajuca. Guano palm is used to make hats in the Miraflores ejido. In Macuspana, the chontales make baskets, fans and cradles with guano. In Tenosique, the baskets made with chewing gum are popular and in Emiliano Zapata, the rustic furniture of woven vine in the town of Chablé stands out, as well as brooms, baskets, yaguals, fans and muzzles.
The embroidered strip, in addition to being used in the regional costume, is used in clothing such as shirts, guayaberas, pants, dresses, skirts and blouses; even in the manufacture of bags, fans, table linen and footwear.
The manufacture of leather objects is also very popular in the state of Tabasco, Tenosique stands out for its vast production of shoes, belts, bags, wallets and saddles made with skins of bovine, otter, lizard, iguana and snake, they are worked with great quality and daring colors.
In Macuspana, the chontales make vases, flowerpots, comales, and jars. In Emiliano Zapata the comales stand out (a type of griddle for cooking, whose name comes from the Nahuatl Comalli. In Jalapa they specialize in clay figures. Nacajuca is known for its pots and figures made with this material. The most precious ceramic objects are found in Cunduacán and in the town of Cupilco (Comalcalco).
In recent years, hand-painted garments with Tabasco motifs have become fashionable, highlighting hats and fans, although they are also made in clothing and footwear. In the state capital, Villahermosa, there are various craft stores where you can buy countless products.
The elements that are part of its extraordinary gastronomic culture, such as pejelagarto, piguas, oysters, chipilín leaf, chaya, momo and fruits such as cashew, pitahaya, huapaque, caimito, uspí and chinín, confirm that the food Tabasco is tied to a past of splendor and the landscape of a territory privileged by nature.
Ancient Mayan and chontal recipes are present in the kitchens of Tabasco that include beef, pork and poultry; as well as a great variety of vegetables, herbs, plants and fruits that abound in this fertile land, which give the Tabasco table a rainbow of flavor, smell and color.
Among the most delicious dishes are roasted pejelagarto, smoked oysters and tapesco, piguas (river lobsters), fish sweated in momo leaf, rich butifarras (delicious sausage), salted meat with chaya, chanchamitos (a kind of small tamale) or chipilín or strained masa tamalitos; they are all a pleasure to the palate.
The plantain is typical of Tabasco and gives rise to a wide variety of traditional appetizers of both green and ripe fruit, so you can taste the delicious plantains stuffed with mince or cheese, the green plantain sliced crushed and fried, in rich snacks or the delicious dessert of dehydrated plantains that are achieved through a natural sunny process.
You should not stop savoring the typical drinks such as very cold pozol, corn dust or matalí water.
The cocoyol candy, the ear of monkey, the papayita, the huapaque, the meringue, the meringues of soursop, the coconut and milk candy and the cocoa liquor, are the perfect end to this gastronomic experience.
Gastronomic Corridor Puerto Ceiba- El Bellote- Chiltepec.
You can find a large number of lagoons that create a very pleasant landscape and a tropical atmosphere, as well as a great choice of restaurants in the gastronomic corridor Puerto Ceiba- El Bellote- Chiltepec, where you will enjoy an excellent day with your family, they offer boat rides children's games, typical gastronomy and specialties in fish and seafood.
Some of our places that you can visit