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Indigenous Languages, Gender and Community Organisation in the Era of Globalization: The Case of the Mazatec Women of the Naxi-í in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the experience of an organisation of Mazatec women in Oaxaca, Mexico, who have managed to reinforce their ethnic and linguistic identity while working to develop more just gender relations. The group is the Naxi-í Organisation of United Women, which has more than a decade of experience of organising Mazatec women and of developing productive activities that contribute to family incomes. The use of the Mazatec language has played a fundamental role in this process. Naxi-í is based in the village of San Jeronimo Tecoatl in the Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca State in Mexico. In Mexico, the diversity of indigenous cultures and languages is also threatened with extinction. The desire of some women to participate more actively in the political and economic life of the community led them to accept the invitation of the then municipal president to establish an organisation of Mazatec women.

Keywords: Mazatec language; Mexico; Naxi-í Organisation of United Women; Oaxaca; San Jeronimo Tecoatl



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