Chichimeca was the name that the Nahuas generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico, and carried the same sense as the European term "barbarian". The Nahuas are a group of indigenous peoples of Mexico. Their language of Uto-Aztecan affiliation is called Nahuatl and consists of many Nomadic people, (from the νομάδες nomádes, "those who let pasture herds" also known as nomads, are communities of people that The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. "Barbarian" is a pejorative term for an uncivilized person either in a general reference to a member of a nation or Ethnos perceived The name was adopted with a pejorative tone by the Spaniards when referring especially to the semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples of northern Mexico. A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild Foraging and Hunting In modern times only one ethnic group is customarily referred to as Chichimecs, namely the Chichimeca Jonaz, although lately this usage is being changed for simply "Jonáz" or their own name for themselves "Úza". The Chichimeca Jonaz are a group of indigenous Mexicans living in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí.
The Chichimeca peoples were in fact many different groups with varying ethnic and linguistic affiliations. As the Spaniards worked towards consolidating the rule of New Spain over the Mexican indigenous peoples during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the "Chichimecan tribes" maintained a resistance. The Viceroyalty of New Spain (Virreinato de Nueva España was a name given to the Viceroy -ruled territories of the Spanish Empire in North America, A number of ethnic groups of the region allied against the Spanish, and the following military colonization of northern Mexico has become known as the "Chichimeca Wars". Nine years after the Mixtón Rebellion, the Chichimeca War officially began
Many of the peoples called Chichimeca are virtually unknown today; few descriptions mention them and they seem to have been absorbed into mestizo culture or into other indigenous ethnic groups. Mestizo is a Spanish term that was coined during the Spanish Empire to refer to people of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry in Latin For example, virtually nothing is known about the peoples referred to as Guachichiles, Caxcanes, Zacatecos, Tecuexes, or Guamares. Of all the Chichimeca natives the Guachichiles occupied the most extensive territory The Caxcan were a partly nomadic people The Caxcan were allied with the Zacatecos against the Spaniards during the Mixtón Rebellion During the rebellion The Zacatecos (or Zacatecas) were an indigenous people inhabiting part of northern Mexico, one of the peoples called Chichimecas by the Aztecs The Tecuexe were an indigenous group found in the eastern part of present day Guadalajara, Mexico History It is believed that the Tecuexe derived from the dispersion The Guamares were an indigenous group that were concentrated in the region of the present state of Guanajuato. Others like the Opata or "Eudeve" are well described but extinct as a people. Opata (pronounced óh-pah-tah is the collective name for three indigenous peoples native to the northern Mexican border state of Sonora
Other "Chichimec" peoples maintain a separate identity into the present day, for example the Otomies, Chichimeca Jonaz, Coras, Huicholes, Pames, Yaquis, Mayos, O'odham and the Tepehuánes. The Otomi are an indigenous people of central Mexico. Some groups of Otomí self-identify as Hñähñu (ʰɲɔʰɲuː but the exact Autonym The Chichimeca Jonaz are a group of indigenous Mexicans living in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí. The Cora are an indigenous ethnic group of Western Central Mexico that live in the Sierra de Nayarit and in La Mesa de Nayar in the Mexican states of The Huichol or Wixáritari are an indigenous ethnic group of western central Mexico, living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in the Mexican states of The Pames are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. The "Yoeme" or Yaqui are a Native American tribe who originally lived in the valley of the Río Yaqui in the northern Mexican state of The Mayo are a Mexican indigenous people living in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, originally living near the Mayo River The Tohono O'odham, also known as the Papago, are a group of aboriginal Americans who reside primarily in the Sonoran Desert of the southwest The Tepehuán ( Tepehuanes or Tepehuanos) are an indigenous ethnic group in northwest Mexico whose villages at the time of Spanish conquest spanned a large territory
The Nahuatl name Chīchīmēcah (plural, singular Chīchīmēcatl; pronounced [tʃiːtʃiːˈmeːkaʔ]) means "inhabitants of Chichiman"; the placename Chichiman itself means "Area of Milk". Nahuatl ( is a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan or Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family It is sometimes said to be related to chichi "dog", but the i's in chichi are short while those in Chīchīmēcah are long, a phonemic distinction in Nahuatl. The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU  The word could either have a negative "barbarous" sense, or a positive "noble savage" sense. In the eighteenth-century cult of " Primitivism " the noble savage, uncorrupted by the influences of civilization was considered more worthy more authentically noble 
The word "Chichimeca" was originally used by the Nahua to describe their own prehistory as a nomadic hunter-gatherer people and used in contrast to their later, more "civilized," urban lifestyle that they identified with the term Toltecatl. Toltec-style Vessel 1jpg|thumb|250px|right|A rather expressive orange-ware clay vessel in the Toltec style  In modern Mexico, the word "Chichimeca" can have pejorative connotations such as "primitive", "savage", "uneducated" and "native," and can be used in much the same way in Mexican Spanish as the word "Apache" can be used in American English.
The first descriptions of "Chichimecs" are from the early conquest period. In 1526, Hernán Cortés writes in one of his letters of the northern Chichimec tribes who were not as civilized as the Aztecs he had conquered, but commented that they might be enslaved and used to work in the mines. Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro 1st Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca ( 1485&ndash December 2,
This approach was followed by Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán whose attempts to enslave the indigenous populations of northern Mexico provoked the Mixtón Rebellion where Chichimec tribes resisted the Spanish forces. Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán or sometimes Nuño de Guzmán (ca 1490 - 1544 was a Spanish Conquistador and colonial administrator in New Spain. After the conquest of Mesoamerica, the Spaniards sent various expeditions to explore La Gran Chichimeca.
In the late sixteenth century, an account of the Chichimecs was written by Gonzalo de las Casas who had received an encomienda near Durango and partook first-hand in the wars against the Chichimec peoples — the Pames, The Guachichiles, the Guamari and the Zacatecos who lived in the area which was called "La Gran Chichimeca. The encomienda system is a Trusteeship labor system that was employed by the Spanish crown during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the La Gran Chichimeca was a term used by the Spanish Conquistadores ' of the 16th century to refer to an area of the northern central Mexican plateau a territory " Las Casas' account was called "Report of the Chichimeca and the justness of the war against them," and contained ethnographic information about the peoples called Chichimecs. He wrote that they did not use clothes (only to cover their genitalia), painted their bodies and ate only game, roots and berries. He mentions as further proof of their barbarity that Chichimec women having given birth continued travelling on the same day without stopping to recover.  While las Casas recognized that the Chichimecan tribes spoke different languages he saw their culture as primarily uniform.
In 1590, the Franciscan priest Alonso Ponce commented that the Chichimeca had no religion because they did not even worship idols such as the other peoples - in his eyes another symptom of their barbarous nature. The only somewhat nuanced description of the Chichimeca is found in Bernardino de Sahagún's Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España in which some Chichimec people such as the Otomi were described as knowing agriculture, living in settled communities, and having a religion devoted to the worship of the Moon. Bernardino de Sahagún (1499 &ndash October 23 1590) was a Franciscan missionary to the Aztec ( Nahua) people of Mexico The Florentine Codex is the name given to 12 books created under the supervision of Bernardino de Sahagún between approximately 1540 and 1585 The Otomi are an indigenous people of central Mexico. Some groups of Otomí self-identify as Hñähñu (ʰɲɔʰɲuː but the exact Autonym
The image of the Chichimecas as described by the early sources was typical of the era; the natives were "savages" - accomplished at war and hunting, but with no established society or morals, fighting even amongst themselves. This description became even more prevalent over the course of the Chichimec wars as justification for the war (the Chichimec area was not entirely under Spanish control until 1721). Year 1721 ( MDCCXXI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a
The first description of a modern objective ethnography of the peoples inhabiting La Gran Chichimeca was done by Norwegian naturalist and explorer Carl Sofus Lumholtz in 1890 when he traveled on muleback through northwestern Mexico, meeting the indigenous peoples on friendly terms. Carl Sofus Lumholtz (1851 – 1922 a Norwegian discoverer and Ethnographer, best known for his meticulous field research and ethnographic publications on indigenous Year 1890 ( MDCCCXC) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common With his descriptions of the rich and different cultures of the various "uncivilized" tribes, the picture of the uniform Chichimec barbarians was changed - although in Mexican Spanish the word "Chichimeca" remains connected to an image of "savagery".