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Encyclopedia > Tarahumara

The Tarahumara are a Native American people of northern Mexico, renowned for their long-distance running ability. Their word for themselves, Raramuri, means runners or flying feet in their native tongue. The term Raramuri refers specifically to the males of the tribe. The females are referred to collectively as 'igomele' or individually as 'muki'. With widely dispersed settlements, these people developed a tradition of long-distance running for intervillage communication and transportation. The long-distance running tradition also has ceremonial and competitive aspects. Often, the runners kick wooden balls as they run. A Hupa man, 1923 The scope of this indigenous peoples of the Americas article encompasses the definitions of indigenous peoples and the Americas as established in their respective articles. ...

Originally inhabitants of much of the state of Chihuahua, the Tarahumara retreated to the Copper Canyon in the Sierra Madre Occidental on the arrival of Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century. The area of the Sierra Madre Occidental which they now inhabit are often called the 'Sierra Tarahumara' because of their presence. The state of Chihuahua is the largest of the 31 states of Mexico and is located in the northwestern part of the country. ... The Copper Canyon The Copper Canyon (Spanish: Barranca del Cobre) is a canyon system in the Sierra Tarahumara in the southwestern part of the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. ... The Sierra Madre Occidental is a mountain range in western Mexico and the extreme southwest of the United States, extending 1500 km from southeast Arizona (south and east of Tucson) southeast through eastern Sonora, western Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes to Guanajuato, where it joins with the Sierra Madre Oriental and...

Current estimates put the population of the Tarahumara in 2003 at between 50,000 and 70,000 people. Most still practice a traditional lifestyle, inhabiting natural shelters such as caves or cliff overhangs, as well as small cabins of wood or stone. Staple crops are corn and beans; however, many of the Tarahumara still practice transhumance, raising cattle, sheep, and goats. Almost all Tarahumara migrate in some form or another in the course of the year. Binomial name Zea mays L. Maize (Zea mays ssp. ... Green beans Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae) used for food or feed. ...

The Tarahumara language is in the Uto-Aztecan family. Although it is in decline, under pressure from Spanish, it is still widely spoken. The Uto-Aztecan languages are a Native American language family. ...


Tarahumara Religion

The Tarahumara religion is a mélange of indigenous customs and Roman-Catholic Christianity, characterized by a belief that the afterlife is a mirror image of the mortal world, and that good deeds should be performed not for spiritual reward, but for the improvement of life on earth. In certain traditions (perhaps those more strongly based on pre-Columbian practice), the soul ascends a series of heavens, is reincarnated after each death, and after three lives becomes a moth on Earth which represents the final existence of the soul. When the moth dies, the soul dies completely. However, this end is not regarded as negative or a punishment, but merely as a continuation of the order of life. In Tarahumara cosmology, God has a wife who dwells with him in heaven, along with their sons, the so-called 'sukristo' (bastardized from Spanish 'Jesuscristo') and their daughters, the 'santi'. These beings have a direct link with the physical world through Catholic iconography, respectively crucifixes and saint's medallions. The Devil's world is not necessarily evil, but is tainted through its ties with the 'Chabochi', or non-Raramuri. The Devil is said to sometimes collaborate with God to arrange fitting punishments, and can be appeased through sacrifices. In some cases, the Devil can even be persuaded to act as a benevolent entity. The Devil and God are brothers (the Devil is the elder) who jointly created the human race. God, using pure clay, created the Raramuri, whereas the Devil, mixing white ash with his clay, created the Chabochi. Thus, the Devil is as much protector and life-giver to the Chabochis as God is to the Raramuri. The Tarahumara share with other Uto-Aztecan tribes a veneration for Peyote, the spirits of which are said to be mischevious and capricious.

The Tarahumara are known for the brewing of tesguino, a corn-based beer brewed in ceramic jars, that features prominently in many Tarahumara religious rituals. Binomial name Zea mays L. Maize (Zea mays ssp. ... Beer, generally, is an alcoholic beverage produced through the fermentation of sugars suspended in an aqueous medium, and which is not distilled after fermentation. ...


Raramuri Souls: Knowledge and Social Process in Northern Mexico by William L. Merrill

See also

This is a list of Spanish words that come from Indigenous languages of the Americas. ...

External links

  • Tarahumara.com.mx
  • Puro Chihuahua
  • Tesguino and the Tarahumara
  • Tarahumara Images by Kit Hedman

  Results from FactBites:
Conquistadors - North America (223 words)
Today the Tarahumara are the second largest surviving native Indian group, with a population of between 50,000 to 70,000 people.
Just as then, the Tarahumara Indians live in naturally cool caves under cliffs, and in small stone or wood cabins in isolated areas of Copper Canyon in northwest Mexico.
The name Tarahumara means "foot runners." They say, "Our children run before they walk; it is more natural in the sierra because of the great distances." Also, the Tarahumara are very religious and private and believe in the morality of "walking straight, correctly," fully aware of the responsibilities of what they do.
Running Feet (3013 words)
The Tarahumara indians are part of the Uto-Aztecan indian lineage and are closely related to the Apaches of the Southwestern United States.
The Tarahumara take cooperative farming to the extreme and agriculture is a project for the entire village.(Welker 2) They consume livestock for meat but mostly use it as a source of fertilizer.
The Tarahumara consider being into xicated a matter of pride and are not at all ashamed to be drunk.
  More results at FactBites »



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