Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Otomi, a primitive people of the Mexican tableland, where they occupy the slopes of the mountains north of the valley of Mexico and thence nearly to the Rio Verde in the state of San Luis Potosi; they are amongst the rudest populations of Mexico, so much so that their very name has become a by-word for all that is uncouth, gross, and brutish amongst the surrounding tribes. At the time of the conquest (1520) most of them were still mere savages of a very low type, and none had formed any kind of social organisation before the 15th century; but they are specially remarkable for their Hia-hua language, as it is called, which is the only monosyllabic form of speech in the New World, and which is also of exceedingly harsh and difficult utterance. The Otomi group comprises, besides the Otomi proper, the Serranos of the Sierra Gorda in Guanajuato; the Mazahuas in the Tajimaroa and Zitacuaro Mountains; the Pomes in San Luis Potosi and neighbouring provinces, and the Ionas (Mecos) in Guanajuato; total population of Otomi speech, about 650,000.