Mixtecas, a nation of Indians in Mexico, who emigrated at an early period from the north, under chiefs who were said to have sprung from two trees. They displaced the Ohuchones or Chochos, and occupied most of the present states of Oajaca, Guerrero, and Puebla. They were industrious and progressive, and were not governed by one ruler, but by independent chiefs. Some of the bands were reduced by the Aztecs, and paid them tribute in feathers, chalchihuitl, cotton robes, maize, and firewood; but those of Oajaca remained independent. Remains of their cities, temples, and fortresses show that they possessed considerable civilization. They had sacred caves in their mountains, and believed in a heaven called Sosola. They have held their ground in part of the territory, but in Puebla have been displaced by Mexicans, and some bands were forced down into Guatemala. Their language is allied to the Zapoteca, but is more melodious and less difficult. It has several dialects, 11 according to recent authorities, of which the Tepuzculano is the principal. The language has no b, f, p, or r. It has no proper plural, cahite, equivalent to many, being added to the singular; it abounds in personal pronouns, and the negative particle varies according to the tense of the verb.
A full dictionary was compiled by F. Diego Rio; an Arte or grammar was published at Mexico in 1593 by Fray Antonio de los Reyes; and several religious treatises were printed in Mixtecan in the 16th and 17th centuries. At present they are peaceable and intelligent Mexican citizens. Protected by mountain fastnesses, they take little part in revolutions occurring beyond their limits. Their chief cities are Huajuapan, Yan-huistlan, Tlaxiaco, and Tepascoluta.