For nearly 4,000 years, the people who have lived in the region known as Mexico have expressed themselves through a variety of folk arts. Today, the art and architecture of Mexico blends indigenous and pre-Columbian influences with Spanish and European traditions. From architecture to music, from painting to poetry, from colorful clay pottery to ornate woven baskets and rugs, Mexicans have demonstrated the vitality and creativity of their culture. This book provides information about Mexico's ancient and modern architecture, visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, and folk art.
The Mexican cuisine of today originated thousands of years ago. The ancient Olmec and Mayan civilizations domesticated maize, beans, and chili peppers and developed the flatbread cakes known as tortillas. The Aztecs expanded the Mexican diet with other meats, fruits, and vegetables. As Spanish explorers conquered and colonized Mexico, European cooks introduced new ingredients, such as rice, wheat flour, and the meat of domestic animals like pigs, chickens, and cows. They also brought previously unknown methods of preparing food, such as frying. Today, Mexican cuisine is extremely popular far beyond the borders of the nation, and in 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Mexican cuisine to be an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
After Christopher Columbus and other European adventurers landed in the Americas during the 15th and 16th centuries, the lands they explored were often called the "New World." However, North, South, and Central America were new only to the people of Europe. Native Americans had lived on the land for millions of years.In some cases, the natives and Europeans were able to live in peace and even learned from each other. Most of the time, however, the European invaders brought with them disease and violence, which spelled the end of the Native Americans' way of life.
From the woodland tribes to the tribes of Mexico and the Caribbean and all the way to the Arctic, Native American houses reflected the environments in which various tribes lived. Furthermore, Native American homes also reflected the deep spiritual life of a people. The way in which they were built, the materials used, and even the direction the house faced was significant. This book provides an understanding of the different homes built by the Native Americans from longhouses to tepees to igloos to pueblos.
The hunting practices of Native Americans differed throughout North and South America. Some hunted with bows and arrows, others with spears and clubs, and still others with snares and traps. This book discusses the ways in which Native Americans hunted in different regions, the weapons they used, and the types of animals that were hunted. It also describes the rituals the tribes performed before hunting, and explains how they used not only the meat, but also the bones, hide, and sinews of the animals they killed.
When Europeans arrived in the Americas during the 16th and 17th centuries, they found that some Native American tribes had created alliances, or confederacies. These agreements allowed the member tribes of the confederacy to control trade and keep the peace in their region. This book explains how these Native American confederacies were formed, discusses some famous examples like the Iroquois Confederacy, and explains how Native American groups continue to work together for the good of all tribes in the present day.
The diet of Native American tribes reflected the areas in which they lived. For some tribes, like those of the Pacific Northwest, salmon was a staple part of the diet; for the people of the Great Plains, the buffalo was hunted for food. This book discusses the foods common to various tribes as well as the cultural significance certain foods had for specific tribes.
To an outsider, Native American family life may seem simple. In reality, the societies within Native American tribes are incredibly rich and complex. Nor is family life the same from tribe to tribe. Some tribes are organized into clans; others trace their lineage according to matrilineal lines. This book discusses some of the familial arrangements of various tribes, including the reasons for such arrangements as well as the roles individuals played in their respective societies.
Contrary to popular belief, Native Americans did not always have horses to assist them in their daily lives. For thousands of years they carried items themselves or even used dogs. The arrival of the horse in the Americas during the 16th century dramatically changed the lifestyles of many Native American tribes. This was particularly true of the people living on the Great Plains. This book discusses the introduction of the horse to the Native Americans by the Spanish and explains the impact this had on various Native American tribes.
Prior to becoming a "melting pot" of many languages, the continents of North and South America were already home to a variety of Native American tribes, each with its own language. What's more, subsets of tribes often had their own dialects, sometimes making communication between two people nearly impossible, even if they lived near each other. This book discusses the major Native American languages used by tribes in various regions and how some of their words have been incorporated into the English language today.
From pre-Columbian times to the present day, Native Americans have enjoyed celebrating holidays and other special occasions. Tribes celebrated festivals and ceremonies throughout the year. These included everything from significant events in a person's life, the changing of the seasons, the arrival of special people or places, and elements of nature. This book discusses the important festivals and ceremonies celebrated by tribes in specific regions, outlining the form of the festival and how each was celebrated.
For thousands of years, humans have lived and worked in the land that today is known as Mexico. This book provides an overview of Mexican history, from the origins of its ancient civilizations, such as the Olmec and Maya, to the arrival and impact of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, to the struggles for Mexico to become a stable, modern, independent state during the 19th and 20th centuries. This book also examines the present-day issues that affect Mexico, including widespread poverty and economic inequality, as well as a brutal internal conflict between government forces and powerful drug cartels.
Located in North America, the modern country of Mexico is about one-fifth the size of the United States, its neighbor to the north. Within Mexico can be found a variety of climates and terrains, from tropical beaches and lush jungles to arid deserts. The country also features many geographic features, including high rugged mountains and volcanoes, low coastal plains, and elevated plateaus. Those who travel through Mexico observe an ever-changing pattern of beauty and diversity. This book provides information about the climate, topography, natural resources, national parks, and geographic wonders of Mexico.
The more than 3,800-year-old history of the land known as Mexico is populated with great military and political leaders, inspirational artists and writers, and extraordinary women. This book provides biographical information about some of the most important figures in Mexico's history, including the Aztec emperors Itzcoatl, Montezuma, and Montezuma II; the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés; the 19th century political leaders Agustín de Iturbide, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Benito Juárez, and Porfirio Díaz; the revolutionaries Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa; and artists like Diego Rivera, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Frida Kahlo. Their biographies show how the contributions of these famous people, and others, made Mexico the nation it is today.
Like people everywhere, Mexicans have experienced governments that have been beneficial to the people, and those that have treated people harshly. The history of government in the land known as Mexico is long and complex, beginning more than 3,000 years ago with the various Amerindian civilizations that lived in the region. Once the Spanish conquered the native people during the 16th century, they imposed their own forms of government that persisted until the early decades of the 19th century. Since Mexico gained its independence in 1821, the people have experienced many periods of unrest and turmoil, as various groups have attempted to create an effective government. With the election of Enrique Peña Nieto as president in 2012, many Mexicans hope that their government is headed in the right direction to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The history of Mexican government, and hopes for the future, are traced in Meeting Future Challenges: The Government of Mexico.
Mexicans today are proud of their rich heritage and their beautiful land, but they also recognize that their nation has many problems, including widespread poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and drug-related violence. Many of Mexico's ongoing problems - such as illegal immigration, environmental issues, and drug trafficking - also affect its northern neighbor, the United States. Mexican Facts and Figures is an overview that will tell you about Mexico's past and its present, while also providing statistical information about the country's 31 states and its federal district.
The central states of Mexico are the geographic and economic heart of the nation. This region has been the site of many events that shaped Mexico's history, and includes the federal district that is home to the national government. The fertile farmland of central Mexico provides food. In Mexico's Central States, you will learn about the geography and climate, history, economy, culture, and the major communities of 11 Mexican states: Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico State, Mexico City (Federal District), Michoacn, Morelos, Puebla, Quertaro, and Tlaxcala.
The Mexican states located on the Gulf of Mexico are known for their ancient ruins, crystal-clear waters, and friendly people. This region was home to some of Mexico's earliest Amerindian civilizations, and was the first part of Mexico that Europeans explored during the early 16th century. Today, this region is among the safest and most stable parts of Mexico. In Mexico's Gulf States, you will learn about the geography and climate, history, economy, culture, and the major communities of five Mexican states: Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Yucatán.
Northern Mexico is a vast desert region bordering the United States. This region an important center for manufacturing, mining, and other industries due to its proximity to the U.S., and many maquiladoras (small factories) are located along the border. It also has many sights that attract tourists, such as the world-famous Copper Canyon. In Mexico's Northern States, you will learn about the geography and climate, history, economy, culture, and the major communities of seven Mexican states: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
The states of Mexico's Pacific North region feature a wide range of terrains, from dry desert to beautiful coastal beaches and fertile valleys. Numerous archaeological sites can be found in the regions rugged mountains, and tourists enjoy beach resorts such as Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and the Sonoran Desert. Unfortunately, this region is also the base for one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, so in recent years drug-related violence has been a constant problem. In Mexico's Pacific North States, you will learn about the geography and climate, history, economy, culture, and the major communities of five Mexican states: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora.
The southernmost states along Mexico's Pacific coast are rich in both history and natural resources. These states have been shaken by natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, and plagued at times by rebellions and violence. Yet these states attract millions of tourists each year, drawn to the beautiful beaches of Acapulco, Huatulco, and other resorts, or to major archaeological sites such as Monte Albán and Palenque. In Mexico's Pacific South States, you will learn about the geography and climate, history, economy, culture, and the major communities of four Mexican states: Colima, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca.
The land that today is known as Mexico has been inhabited for thousands of years. This book provides a historical survey of the major pre-Columbian civilizations, such as the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztecs. It examines how the population of Mexico was changed by the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and their subsequent three centuries of rule over the country. And it provides demographic and cultural information about the more than 118 million people who live in Mexico today.
Like people all over the world, Mexicans enjoy playing and watching a wide variety of sports. Some of these sports are familiar to Americans, such as soccer (which Mexicans call fútbol) and baseball. Others are not as well known, such as charrería, a form of rodeo that is unique to Mexico. Mexicans enjoy many other sports, such as handball, bullfighting, jai alai, swimming, and long-distance running. This book provides an overview of many of the most popular sports of Mexico, along with biographical information about some of the country's greatest athletes.
According to Mexico's official Secretariat of Tourism, each year more than 5,000 officially recognized fiestas, or holiday celebrations, are observed in the country. These fiestas include religious feasts like Easter in the spring, and the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe in December. They also include national and local holidays like Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo. Some Mexican festivals pay homage to the special foods and crops of the nation; other special events are held for birthdays, baptisms, weddings, and graduations. This book provides information about many of the most popular and important festivals celebrated in Mexico today.