Oaxaca's Tourist Guide
Oaxaca's Tourist Guide


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(Click to enlarge)
Black&White photos courtesy of Vittorio D'Onofri

On the riverside
Triqui Girl
Ancient woman and firewood


Historical Background
The area currently occupied by the Triques or Triquis, has been populated since very remote times (probably since the year 2000 BC). The first settlers in this zone were part of the Protomixtecos, a group that in time would become Mixtecos, Amuzgos, Cuicatecos and Triques, since their dialects are closely related.

Some point out that there may be an oral tradition among the Trique. This theorises that they may have come from a distant land they fled due to hostility shown by their neighbours. According to this tradition, they settled in a place currently known as La Carbonera, north of Oaxaca City. However, Zapotecs living in that region at the time made war on the Triques, expulsing them from the territory. The Triques were forced to continue their pilgrimage, residing in San Andres Nuxio, south-east of Nochixtlan. Defeated by the Mixteco nation, who had settled there during the thirteenth century, the Triques were forced to migrate again. They found a location currently known as Llano de San Vicente, where many of them died of malaria. They separated into two groups, the first of which settled in the Chicahuaxtla hills, and the second, in the lower zone of Copala and San Martin Itunyoso, where they still live.

The Aztecs invaded Trique territory at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and the nation was forced to pay homage to the invaders.

Location and Environment
Triques inhabit the westernmost part of Oaxaca, inhabiting a territory of approximately 193 square miles, bordering on the Mixteco municipality of Mixtepec, to the north. To the south, it borders on Constancia del Rosario, a Mestizo town. To the east, it is limited by the Mixteco towns of Santo Tomas Ocotepec, and to the west, with the town of Juxtlahuaca, and the Guerrero State line.

Trique area is extremely treacherous, since most of it is located in the Sierra de Chicahuaxtla, which is part of the Southern Sierra Madre. Altitudes vary from 10,000 to 2,625 feet above sea level, allowing the presence of a variety of ecological resources.

Temperatures vary, according to altitude: hot from 2,625 to 5,000 feet above sea level, warm from 5,000 to 6,562 feet, and cold from 6,500 to 10,000 feet. The first zone is in the southern areas of the region. This is where the best soil is found, along with a great number of rivers. The most important rivers are the Copala, which crosses it from north to south, and El Pajaro and El Venado, which cross from east to west. In the temperate north central area, soil is average and grazing lands abound, as do citrus and fruit orchards. Forests of mostly non-wood species cover ample areas, and rain is scarce. The constantly foggy cold zone corresponds, to a large degree, to the Chicahuaxtla people. Soil is shallow and sandy. There are forests of pine and cedar trees, and many small creeks. Animal life in all three areas is not abundant, comprising in: rabbits, hares, coyotes, and according to some, some deer and wild boars.