The Indigenous Community of Mazahua
Back in Time with Mala
(Page 2)

A Mix of Languages
I have nine children. Three are married, three are in school outside of this community, and three are still in school here in El Tigre. Maximilliano (6), Franciso (8), and Gilberto (11) are losing the ability to fully communicate in Mazahua as in school they are required to learn Spanish and later on English. This makes me sad, to see that they are "too proud" to learn their ancestral language. Yet I know they can still understand it when I speak to them. As for the older ones, they remember more. My grandparents did not speak any Spanish. The people outside of this community, who don't wear the typical dress of kay -jeah and faja (flared skirts with hand-stitched petticoats and cloth belts), are considered "castellanos" as they only speak Spanish.

Mala shows her "mapee" (bolsa),
which is made by hand.

Her son, Maximilliano

My son, Gilberto would like to teach you some common phrases in our language
  • Mazahua
  • Spanish
  • English

  • Vinnugoo Gilberto
  • Me llamo es Gilberto
  • My name is G ilberto

  • Vimvingova El Tigre
  • Yo vivo en el Tigre
  • I live in Tigre

  • Nguee a ha see ya
  • Como esta Ud.?
  • How are you?
  • ngoseeveeree
  • fuego
  • fire

  • geussona
  • la comida
  • food

  • kay -jeah
  • una falda
  • a skirt

  • mapee
  • bolsa
  • purse
Disscusion Questions:

  • What are some different languages you know how to speak, read or understand?
  • How many indigenous languages do you think exist in present day Mexico?
  • Why might it be important to not forget these indigenous languages?