The Zapotec people refer to themselves as Ben ‘Zaa, which translates to ″The People of the Clouds.″ It was believed for many years that the exonym Zapotec stemmed from the Nahuatl word tzapotcah (singular tzapotcatl), which means ″inhabitants of the place of sapote.″ However, recent research has shown that this is not the case.
The Zapotecs created a calendar and a logosyllabic system of writing in which each syllable of their language was represented by a distinct symbol in the written form. It is believed that this writing system was one of the first writing systems used in Mesoamerica. It is also considered to be a forerunner of the writing systems used by the Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec civilizations.
The Zapotecs, also known as the ‘Cloud People,’ resided in the southern highlands of central Mesoamerica, more especially in the Valley of Oaxaca, which they occupied from the late Preclassic era until the end of the Classic period. This time span spans the Zapotec civilization (500 BCE – 900 CE).
They referred to themselves as the people of the clouds.
Their ruling class was under the impression that they were descended from supernatural creatures who had formerly inhabited the skies, and that after death, they would travel back to those heavenly abodes.Because of this notion, Zapotecs are now commonly referred to by their historical name.Zapotecs living in the Central Valleys refer to themselves as ″Be’ena’ Za’a,″ which translates to ″The Cloud People.″
Zapotec is the name given to a Middle American Indian people that now resides in the eastern and southern regions of Oaxaca in southern Mexico.
Zapotec (/zaeptk/) is the name given to a set of over fifty closely related indigenous Mesoamerican languages. These languages represent a primary branch of the Oto-Manguean language family and are spoken by the Zapotec people who live in the southwestern-central highlands of Mexico.
In the late sixth century BCE, the Zapotec civilisation emerged in Oaxaca’s three central valleys and spread throughout the region. There are five separate Zapotec eras, which are designated by the numbers 1–5 for Monte Albán (after the place of origin). Zapotecs believed in a pantheon of gods and invented a calendar and a writing system based on logosyllables.
Monte Alban was the Zapotec name for the city that they constructed on top of a mountain in the middle of the Oaxaca Valley. It is considered to be the first true urban center in the Americas. By the year 200 B.C., the population had reached 15,000, and at its height, it reached 25,000.
In post-classic Zapotee civilization, there were three classes of people: commoners, priests, and nobles. Each of these communities was led by a lord who exercised authority over them.
Zapotec. The Zapotec civilisation was an indigenous pre-Columbian society that thrived in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica. It dates back to before the arrival of the Spanish.
After having been occupied by the Aztecs beginning in the 15th century, Oaxaca was subsequently captured by the Spaniards and Hernán Cortés formally classified it as a city in 1529. The Church of Santo Domingo, which was built in the 16th century and features elements of Indian design, is home to some of the city’s 16th-century art and architecture, which has been preserved.
Zapotec is an exonym that originates from the Aztec Nahuatl word tzapotcah (singular tzapotcatl), which means ″inhabitants of the place of sapote.″ Zapotec is derived from this word. The phrase Be’ena’a, which may be translated as ‘The People,’ was used by the Zapotec people to refer to themselves in a variety of ways.
Why was it that the Zapotec civilisation originated in the valley of Oaxaca? There was a concentration of gold and silver there. The valley was situated next to a holy mountain. The ground in the valley was excellent for farming.
Many thanks for taking an interest in the languages of Native America! Zapotec Word Sets are here.
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Beans, gourds such as squash, maize, which is a variety of corn, and chili peppers were some of the food crops that were cultivated by the ancient Zapotecs. The Zapotec diet still includes the items listed above, particularly maize.
An earth-shattering chain of occasions led to the conquest of the Zapotec people who lived in the central valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico, by the Spanish. This took place about 500 years ago.