Our land

What is known today as the state of Guerrero was from pre-Hispanic times a territory inhabited by various indigenous peoples, some historians and archaeologists still debate the possible direct influence of the Olmec Culture using the presence of the jaguar and its place in their worldview, as evidence. However, the period of total or partial Olmec influence in the inhabitants of this region is still to be defined.

The Mezcala Culture, located on the banks of the river with the same name (now known as Balsas River), is the one that stands out and some inferred in it and Olmec influence directly others locate it after it was formed. The Mezcala Culture developed a unique and original style in sculpture and ceramics, which is characterized by its simplicity as seen in the works of jadeite, jade, rhyolite, serpentine, basalt and flint that represent figures and human faces, animals and homes .

The Olmec influence is unobjectionable, as well as by its worldview of the world, as by the characteristic of the jaguar man. Besides the essential feature of the Olmec influence was the grouping of scattered villages, the construction of ceremonial temples and the establishment of a political, cultural and religious organization, administered by priests who were assuming government functions. Later, the Mezcala culture assimilated and incorporated the Teotihuacan cultural model into its style, integrated in some places the ball game that had a ritual character, and incorporated its characteristic elements to stone sculpture. At the beginning of our era, the development reached by the peoples who inhabited the center and southeast of Mexico allowed them to establish commercial relations with distant peoples.

The territory that today occupies the state of Guerrero is known in Nahuatl under the variants Cihuatlán or Siuatlán which means in the south or place next to the women, this is the maguey for our ancestors a goddess, Mayahuel, who followed the god Quetzalcoatl for love and in order not to be discovered by his grandmother (a Tzitzimime or demon of stars) they united themselves transforming into a tree, but that was not enough and his grandmother discovered them, he threw a bolt that paralyzed Quetzalcoatl and separated him from the tree they had joined . Mayahuel’s grandmother destroyed her granddaughter by giving her remains to the demons. After the demons withdrew, Quetzalcoatl recovered the movement and gathered the remains of Mayahuel, buried them, thus the maguey arose for our ancestors [1].

[1] The legend of Mayahuel, goddess of the maguey fermented pulque.

It is precisely from this commercial exchange that they arrived to the present state territory, as had the Teotihuacans, the Purépecha, Mixtec, Mayan and Zapotec, who created terrestrial, fluvial and maritime commercial routes, which already in the seventh century made possible a intense cultural exchange and contributed new elements to the towns of the Mezcala Culture.

In the eighth century, another group came to enrich the cultural mosaic of the entity, were the Toltecs, heirs of the Teotihuacan culture, who had the northern gate the main gateway to their trade route. His fundamental contribution was to spread the techniques of alloy, cast and work of metallic minerals, especially in Tierra Caliente and on the Costa Grande. The Toltec artisans used the resins and the colorful plumage of the jungle birds, for the elaboration of feather art and also spread the use of amate paper. Towards the second half of the XII century of our era, the Toltec empire declined and the peoples influenced by their culture were dominated by the Chichimecas, who later integrated the Mexica empire.

For the fourteenth century, they were already settled in the territory of the entity, various peoples with their own cultural characteristics, coexisting some in a peaceful way and others in constant warlike conflicts. Among the most important were the Purépechas, Cuitlatecas, Ocuitecas and Matlatzincas, in Tierra Caliente; the Chontales, Mazatlecos and Tlahuicas in the Sierra del Norte; the coixcas and tepoztecos in the Central valleys; the Tlapanecs and the Mixtecs in the Mountain; the jopis, mixtecos and amuzgos in the Costa Chica and the tolimecas, chubias, pantecas and cuitlecas in the Costa Grande.