Zapatista Doll Vocabulary

Acordos de San Andres= Agreement of Peace signed by Mexico and the EZLN.
                        The agreed upon demilitarization has yet to be implemented.

Acetal = name of village where 45 unarmed indigenous men, women, and children were murdered by paramilitaries in 1997.

Acción Católica = Cathoic Action organized in Chiapas in the 1960's by Bishop Samuel Ruiz and the Vatican II.
                        Together 7000+ indigenous men and women work with church representitives to organize their communities to
                        combat economic exploitation, political oppression, and social discrimination.

alféreces = cargo holders in Maya communities who organize and finance religious festivals.

apodo = nickname.

Article 27 = portion of the 1917 Mexican Constitution that guaranteed indigenous land rights.
                        Repealed in 1992 by President Salinas.

artista = artist.

autonomy = self-rule. Primary demand Zapatistas on behalf of indigenous communities in Chiapas.

autonomous community = "Communities in Resistance"
                        Reject the Mexican government services and authority in favor of self-governance.

Baak = Ancient Maya name for the Kingdom of Palenque.

borrego = Sheep. Sacred animal to Tzotzil community.
                        The animal is sheared for wool & never killed.

burro = Donkey. Used in Zapatista doll making to represent povery of the indigenous rebels.

cacique = a local or regional leader in charge of Federal ejidos (pre-1992).
                        The abuse of cacique power was widespread.

calabaza = pumpkin whose seeds are ground and used as a primary spice in Tzotzil cooking.

calpullis = Aztec communal property organization (similar to ejidio).

caminar = to walk.

camión = truck.

campo = countryside.

campesinas = country dwellers; farmers.

las canadas = Name for region of Chiapas occupied by the Zapatistas in 1994.

capitanes = cargo holders in Maya communities who dance at feasts.

caracol = 1. snail; snail shell.   2. spiral.   3. name given to Zapatista camps.

Carnival = the most important annual festival in Chamula.

cargos = charges or duties on behalf of the community. Leadership positions within Mayan communities.
                        One year responsibility to images and ceremonies of a particular Saint.                        

carpintero = carpenter.

Central Campesina Independiente = Independent Peasant Central.

Chamula = San Juan Chamula. pop. 2900. elev 2200m.
                        Tzotzil-Maya municipio near San Christobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

chal = shawl worn by Tzotzil women during ceremonies and special occasions.

Chiapas = Southern most state in Mexico, borders Guatemala.                        

Chiapaneca = of or belonging to the Mexican state Chiapas.

chiote = vegetable commonly eaten in the Chiapas highlands.

comadre = representative of an artisans collective.

Comisariado Ejidal = The formal leader of an ejido.
                        Often a corrupt member of the regional cacique’s political group.

Comitán = City near Guatemala's border.
                        Occupied by the Zapatistas on January 1, 1994

commandante = commander. Title given to male and female members of the Zapatista Army.

conejo = rabbit.

corbata = tie worn by modern businessman.

Criollo = person of "pure" Spanish descent. Top of the Mexican Caste System.

cruzobs = Mayan rebels in the War of the Castes (1847 - 1849) named after the miraculous cross
                        which predicted their war against the Spanish.

Derecho = 1. straight; Direct. 2. Lawful; just. 3. Justice; law.

desarmado = unarmed.

el  jefe = Mexico City, D.F.
                        The initials for "District Federal" are used as a nickname for the nation's capital.

ejército= army.

ejidatarios = peasants who worked ejidos.

ejidos = land that is technically owned by the government, but that peasants have the rights to profit from.
                        Provided by Article 27.

EZLN = Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional
                        Zapatista Army of National Liberation

flor = flower. Used by Chamula women to dye wool.

frente = front.

fuerza = 1. strength.  2. force; power.

FZLN = Frente Zapatista de Liberación Nacional
                        Zapatista Front of Nacional Liberation

grutas = caves

Hach Winik = The True People. Lacandones. Maya people living in the Lacandón Jungle.
                        The culture remained untouched by outside influence until the 1950's.
                        Today they are considered an endangered people.

los hornos = literally the ants nickname for illegal settlers in the 'Zones' of San Christobal.

indígena = indigenous, native.

insergente = insurgent; rebel.

January 1, 1994 = NAFTA date of implementation.
                        Date EZLN occupies Chiapas.
                        see Autonomedia timeline

Kan Balam = K'inich Kan Balam II
                        Son of Pakal also a great King of Palenque.
                        Symbolized by the Jaguar-Serpent.

Kan Hoy Chitam II = brother and successor of Kan Balam.
                        Captured during war between Tonína and Palenque.

Lacandona = Selva Lacandon.
                        Endangered Rainforest of Eastern Chiapas.

Ladinos = mestizos, Spaniards, and indigneous people who paricipate in the cultural and economic domination over the indigenous population.

Lana = wool. Important material to Chamula. Provides warmth in high altitudes.
                        Made from sacred borrego by ancient felting and weaving practices.

libertad = liberty. freedom.

La Lucha = The Struggle. In Zapatista terms, La Lucha refers to the indigenous struggle for autonomy and equality.

machete = machete. Multi-functional cutting tool common in Mexico.

maize = Corn. Sacred vegetable that provides sustenance for Chamula.

Majomut Military base = Military encampment right beside the autonomous community of Polho.

manta = cotton cloth woven by indigenous women. The Spaniards forced the native women to weave manta and buy it back from the colonist at inflated cost.

Marcos = name of Zapatista spokesman Subcomandante Marcos.
                        Acronym for the 5 towns and one military base captured January 1st.

                  Las Margaritas
                        Altamirano
                        Rancho Nuevo Federal Army Base
                        Comitán de Domingez
                        Ocosingo
                        San Christobal de las Casas

mascára = mask.

Mascára Rojo = Red Mask. Anti-Zapatista Paramilitary Group.                        

mayordomos = senior cargo holders.

Mestizo = A person of mixed indigenous and Spanish heritage. The majority of Mexico's population.

milpa = small plots of land granted to the indigenous by the colonist.
                        Before the native farmers could feed their families, half of the harvest went to the Spanish patron.

Mochibal = Tzotzil word for wool shawl or chal de lana.

monte = mountain. also montaña.

Montes Azules Bio Reserve = Controversial "Biological Reserve" in the Selva Lacandón.
                        Funding comes from international companies with commercial interest in Chiapas.

mosco = gnat or small fly.

muñeca = doll.

municipio =   indigenous township established by the Spanish during the colonial period
                        as a means of segregating native people from the Criollo and Mestizo populations.

nación = nation.

NAFTA = North American Free Trade Agreement
                        Established free-trade zone in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
                        Eliminated tariffs and removed investment barriers within the three nations.
                        Signed by Carlos Salinas, Bill Clinton, and Brian Mulroney in 1992.
                        It took effect January 1, 1994.

narcotraficante = drug dealer.

nativo = native; occurring naturally.

Oja de Marco = highland herb used to dye wool the signature Tzotzil black.

Oventik = current headquarters of Zapatista Government. located in the Highlands of Chiapas.

Pakal = K'inich Hanab Pakal.
                        Great Ruler of Palenque AD 615 - 683
                        Symbolized by the Sun Shield, the Escudo Solar
                        Also called Guacamaya Blanca or White Macaw.

Palenque = Ancient Maya Kingdom. 100 BC to 900 AD.
                        Source of Modern Maya Culture and Religion.

pájaro = bird.

pasa montaña = literally pass the mountain. Chiapaneca name for a ski mask.

Patria = the native land. Mexico.

paz = peace.

petróleo = petroleum.

Plan de Ayala = Written by Emiliano Zapata in 1911 to establish the ejido system in Mexico.

Polho = autonomous community that offers refuge to the displaced indigenous of Chiapas.

Primero de Enero = First of January.
                        Slogan referring to the Zapatista Uprising on January 1, 1994
                        Also, proper name for 1 of 7 "Zones" in San Christobal de las Casas.

principales = Maya village elders. Position archived after fulfilling several cargos.

Popul Vuh = the "bible" of Maya Mythology. Believed to Originate in Guatemala.

Posh = sacred corn liquor made in Tzotzil communities for use in religious ceremony.

Rancho Nuevo = Army base near San Christobal de las Casas overtaken by the Zapatistas January 1, 1994.

repartimiento = Spanish colonial system of forced indigenous labor.

rebelde = rebellious

Reforma Agraria = Agrarian Reform in Mexico (1920 - 1992).
                        Federal distribution of land to peasants who had no land of their own. (see ejidos)

revolucíon = revolution

Salinastroika = Term that refers to policy of Mexican President Carlos Salinas
                        Salinas Policy outlawed worker unions, favored union of church and state,
                        and dismantled the ejido system.

San Andres =     1. Highland Maya community in the Chiapas Highlands.
                            Known for magnificent Chiapaneca embroidery

                        2. Location of first Zapatista caracoles.

                        3. The Peace Accords signed by Mexico and the EZLN.
                            The treaty was agreed upon in this location but never implemented.

San Christobal de las Casas = 2nd Largest City in Chiapas.
                            pop. 113, 000. elev. 2100m.
                            Established by the Spaniards in 1528.
                            Seized by the Zapatistas in 1994.

selva = jungle.

serape = traditional clothing worn by Tzotzil men, usually elders and governors.

Tapachula = Gateway to Guatemala. Southernmost city in Mexico. pop. 18,000.

tierra = land. also terreno.

Tierra y Libertad - Land and Liberty. Revolutionary Slogan of Emiliano Zapata.

Tonína = Ancient Maya city 65 km. south of Palenque.
                        Declares War on Palenque in 600's
.
traje = suit worn by modern businessman.

tratado = Treaty.

trensas = braids. Characteristic hair style worn by Maya women.

tortuga = turtle.

Tuxtla Gutierrez = Capital of Chiapas
                            pop 425,000. elev 532m.

Tzotzil = Mayan language and culture practiced in San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán.

Ya Basta = Enough!  Zapatista slogan that says "Enough" to exploitation, inscription, inequality, etc . . .

Yerba de Monte = Herb of the Mountain used to dye wool.

Zapata, Emiliano.   Born 1879 in Morelos. Murdered in 1919 by Carranza's army.
                                Zapata was a leader of Mexican Revolution to overthrow Diaz 1910-1919.
                                Spoke Náhuatl and was an advocate for Mexico's indigenous.
                                Wrote the Plan de Ayala establishing the ejido system.


Zinacantán = San Lorenzo Zinacantán
.                         Tzotzil municipio neighboring Chamula in the Highlands of Chiapas.
                        Although the communities share Tzotzil language and some customs,
                        there is an intense rivalry between them.
                        Zinancantan has Zapatista connections and is occupied by the Mexican military.

zocalo = Community center characteristic of Spanish Colonial cities:
                        A central park flanked Church and a Government Building.

Zones = illegal settlements surrounding San Christobal de las Casas.
                        The inhabitants are indigenous peoples displaced by violence in the highlands.