|Regions with significant populations|
|Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango, Jalisco, Tubare, Zacatecas, Nayarit)|
|Northern Tepehuán, Southeastern Tepehuan, Southwestern Tepehuan, and Spanish|
|Animism, Roman Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Cora, Huichol, Tarahumara, Durango Nahuatl through intermarriage|
The Tepehuán (Tepehuanes or Tepehuanos, from Nahuatl “People from the Mountains”) are Native Mexicans in northwest Mexico, whose villages at the time of Spanish conquest spanned a large territory along the Sierra Madre Occidental from Chihuahua and Durango in the north to Jalisco in the south. The southern Tepehuán community included an isolated settlement (Azqueltán) in the middle of Huichol territory in the Bolaños River canyon. The southern Tepehuán were historically referred to as Tepecanos.
The Tepehuán languages, which include the Northern Tepehuan, Southeastern Tepehuan, and Southwestern Tepehuan languages, are part of the Uto-Aztecan language family and is related to the Pima Bajo and Tohono O'odham.
The name is pronounced [tepeˈwan] in Spanish, and is often spelled Tepehuan without the accent in English-language publications. This can cause confusion with the languages called Tepehua ([teˈpewa] in Spanish) and collectively referred to as Tepehuan in English. The name in Odami is "The People" in Northern Tepehuan and O'dam is "The People" in Southern Tepehuan. These are spoken on the other side of Mexico, and are closely related to Totonac and not at all to Tepehuán. The names of both groups come from Nahuatl and mean 'mountain dwellers' or 'mountain people'.
Most of the Tepehuan Indians still worship Animism. They believe in the Deer God, the Mountain Spirit, the Morning Star, and a cultural hero resembling Quetzalcóatl of Aztec mythology. They pray to a mitote or in Tepehuan xiotahl. They do dance rituals for the mitote. A shaman usually praying for the whole tribe.
The following groups of Tepehuán live in Mexico today:
- Baborigame (about 6,200 speakers, some use a dialect variant similar to the Tarahumara)
- Nabogame (about 1,800 speakers)
- Southeastern Tepehuán (about 10,600 speakers, live in southeast Durango and adjacent areas, their cultural and religious center was Santa Maria Ocotán)
- Southwestern Tepehuán (about 8,700 speakers, live in southwest Durango and adjacent areas)
- "Tepehuan, Northern." Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Tepehuan, Southeastern." Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Tepehuán Language and the Tepehuan Indian Tribe (Tepecano, Tepehuano)
- Gradie, 17-183
- "Tepehuan." Native Languages. Accessed Feb 13, 2011
- Deeds, Susan. Defiance and Deference in Mexico's Colonial North: Indians Under Spanish Rule in Nueva Vizcaya. (2003) University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. ISBN 0-292-70551-4