Totorames and Xiximes; These are the pre-Hispanic peoples that inhabited the south of Sinaloa  


These inhabited our state until the arrival of the Spanish, one of which was the most feared of the pre-Hispanic era.

MAZATLAN.- To speak of indigenous peoples or communities is to speak of our roots; therefore, it is important to delve into the history of our state, especially the history behind southern Sinaloa. 

And as part of the celebration of the Discovery of America, that October 12, 1492, we will talk about the native groups that inhabited southern Sinaloa before the arrival of the Spanish: the Totorames and the Xiximes.  

the cattails  

The Totorames inhabited the valley and the coast from the Piaxtla River to the Las Cañas River, which today are the municipalities of San Ignacio, Mazatlán, Concordia, El Rosario and Escuinapa, in Sinaloa, up to the Santiago River, in the current state of Nayarit. . Its main lordship was Chiametlán, today the town of Chametla, in El Rosario, the first community colonized by the Spanish. 

They occupied the coastal strip south of the Piaxtla River and also extended through the territory that today belongs to the state of Nayarit; Their language was a variant of Cora Nayarita and, like almost all the languages ​​spoken in the region, it belonged to the Yuto-Aztecan family. 

Their main settlements were in Aztatlán, Sentispac and Chametla, the latter on the Baluarte River and the first two, in Nayarit territory. 

Characteristics of the Totorams

– They made ceramic objects, wove cotton, carved shells and worked deer leather; they were skilled craftsmen who made ornaments of feathers, shells, pearls and snails. 

– They were farmers and grew corn, beans, squash, chili and cotton. They ate sea products such as shrimp, oysters and fish; they collected salt from natural deposits for their own consumption and for trade with other groups. 

– The Totorames fishermen learned about a capture technique that still has good results in some communities of the Escuinapa municipality and that they call “tapos” fishing. 

– They knew the bow and arrow, the baton, the buckler and the throwing dart. 


The Xiximes were an indigenous people, today disappeared. They lived at the end of Sinaloa that borders the current state of Durango, approximately 5 thousand inhabited this area along with other civilizations. 

They lived in a territory that the Spanish called the Sierra de Topia. 

A practice that distinguishes them is cannibalism that, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History, they practiced a ritual that is related to the fertility of their crops. 

the most violent  

The Xixime population was one of the most feared peoples. Why? They believed that by practicing anthropophagy, that is, consuming human meat in their food, the prosperity of their crops would be guaranteed.

This tribe believed that eating the body of people also consumed the soul.  

It should be noted that the ritual was only performed between members of the tribe itself, that is, they only ate each other and the remaining bones of the corpses were commonly used in rituals. 


– They knew agriculture and cultivated small plots where the land allowed it; They planted corn, beans, squash and chili. 

– They used wild magueyes to produce ixtle fiber and obtain fermented beverages. 

– Men and women wore their hair long, braided and adorned with colored stones and feathers. 

– They celebrated military victories with collective drunkenness and then disemboweled the skulls of the vanquished to decorate their houses. 

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