Mayo people

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Indigenas mayos.jpg
Traditional Mayo Deer Dance
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Mexico 40,000
Mayo, Spanish
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Approximation of the extension of the Mayo habitat

The Mayo are a Mexican indigenous people living in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, originally living near the Mayo River in Sonora. In their own language they call themselves Yoreme.[1][2]

The Mayo language is an Uto-Aztecan language closely related to Yaqui and it is spoken by approximately 40,000 people (Ethnologue 1995 census).

The Mayo sustain themselves mainly by agriculture and fishing, but also practice traditional artisanry.


Traditional everyday dress worn by Mayo women, displayed at the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City.

They own traditional authorities, who are elected by vote and their hierarchy is respected on par with the Mexican civil laws. " Yoreme " They call themselves ( which respects ) . The first inhabitants of the region were initially engaged in hunting , fishing and gathering . Gradually developed an agricultural technique that allowed them to settle in a large area in various communities. On arrival of the Spaniards in the today states of Sonora and Sinaloa, the Mayos were part of an Indian confederation constituted by Apaches , Pima, and Yaqui whose purpose was the joint defense of the invasion of other groups , mutual respect their territory and ensure cultural exchange. Currently most devoted to agriculture , often with advanced techniques ; also practice fishing and make handicrafts intended for use by the community. They build their houses with sticks and mud brick or adobe , depending on the desert area or temperate places.


The first traces of settlements in the Mayo region , dating from 180 a. C. , in the present municipality of HuatSwap to Spanish. The first traces of settlements in the Mayo region , dating from 180 a. C. , in the present municipality of Huatabampo , Sonora. After the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish military campaigns were organized to subdue the Mayo region to the Spanish crown in 1531. However it was not achieved until 1599, through the mediation of Jesuit missionaries.

Pacification evangelization began under the Jesuit Pedro Méndez. However, Mayos did not cease to resist the Spaniards. In 1740 there was a new armed uprising , which ended with the victory again for the Spanish, after which there was a new period of peace that lasted almost a century.

For 1867 they returned to take up arms with the Yaquis , this time against the government of Mexico , achieving a peace agreement, after the Mexican Revolution , with the distribution of land as communal property. During the Revolution the Mayo participated as fighters.


Its main festival takes place at Easter, during which represent the passion of Christ. Change there are others such as San Juan Bautista , San Francisco de Assisi and the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Mayo Flag[edit]

The Mayo Flag

The Mayo Flag was designed by a young Sonoran unnamed . It is an orange field that represents the earth, the center stands a deer with stars like "masochoquim" which literally translates as "Deer of the stars" in the Cahita culture.


  1. ^ Crumrine, N. R. (1977). The Mayo Indians of Sonora: A people who refuse to die. University of Arizona Press.
  2. ^ɡɡɡɡɡz

Further Reading[edit]

  • Acosta, Roberto. Apuntes históricos Sonorenses: La conquista temporal y espiritual del Yaqui y del Mayo. Mexico city: Imprenta Aldina.
  • Crumrine, Lynne S. "Ceremonial Exchange as a Mechanism in Tribal Integration Among the Mayos of Northwest Mexico." Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona 14, 1969.
  • Crumrine, N. Ross. "A New Mayo Indian Religious Movement in Northwest Mexico." Journal of Latin American Lore 1(2): 127-145, 1975.
  • Crumrine, N. Ross. The Mayo Indians of Sonora: A people who refuse to die. University of Arizona Press 1977.
  • O'Connor, Mary I. "Two Kinds of Religious Movements Among the Mayo Indians of Sonora." Journal for the Scientific study of Religion 18(3)1979 :260-268.
  • O'Connor, Mary I. Descendants of Totolinguoqui: Ethnicity and Economics in the Mayo Valley. Berkeley: University of California Publications, Anthropology, vol. 19. 1989.
  • Troncoso, Francisco. Las guerras con las tribus Yaqui y Mayo del Estado de Sonora, Mexico. Hermosillo 1905.