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Michoacán : culture
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
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What is the Independence Road ?

The Independence road

dance of old men in MichoacánA set of colonial cities are on a road going north-west from Mexico City. This road was named Road of the Independence. These cities played a very important role during the fights for Independence from 1810 to 1821 (the cities of Dolorès Hidalgo and Querétaro, for example), and they were the born places of famous fighters of the movement of independence (as San Miguel de Allende). Finally, they are among the ones whose center - not to say the entire city- is particularly well conserved or restored. They also benefit with a measure of protection of the historic buildings. Prepare for a 700 km (437 miles) trip to tour the most noticeable cities. You will then admire numerous colonial marvels of this magnificent country.
The bus is the land transportation that suits better here. It is well organized, comfortable and cheap.

   Right picture : dance of old men in Michoacán

Coming from Mexico City, you will cross awesome landscapes : waterfalls, plateaus, valleys, wooden mountains…. Stop at the Mirador des Mil Cumbres to enjoy the view of the Ranges of Sierra Madré Occidentale.
The State is famous for the Monarch Butterflies coming from the Great North from October to March every year. They come to protect themselves from the winter and lay. The state is also famous for craft and gastronomy. Three villages of this state are part of the program Pueblos Mágicos.    

The state of Michoacán spreads over a 59,864 km2 area (15,000,000 acre) in the center-west of Mexico.
It is surrounded by the states of Colima, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Querétaro, México and Guerrero. This state has the more lakes with Pátzcuaro Lake, Zirahuén Lake, Camécuaro Lake, Cuitzeo Lagoon and part of Chapala Lagoon located at the very east of Jalisco State.
Because of the topography and the climate, it is a state rich in farming (especially production of cereals, fruits and vegetables. The spa resorts, like Los Azufres, San José Purúa, Araró, Zinapécuaro, Cointzio and Huandacareo, are much appreciated.
monarch butterfly
Characteristics of the population :
Michoacán state has a big majority of mestizo population and three ethnics have their roots in this state : the Náhuatls, the Otomíes and the Purépechas (or Tarasques). These last ones with roots very close to the Pre-Hispanic ones, stand out with cultural values, artistic qualities and craft creativity.
The indigenous of Michoacán represent 7.2% of the inhabitants of the state and 3% of the mestizos in Mexico. It ranks just after Oaxaca, 18%, Veracruz, 13% and Chiapas with 12%.

Left picture : monarch butterfly

Most of the Purépechas live on the plateaus and Pátzcuaro lake shore and some in «la Cañada de los Once Pueblos y en la Ciénega de Zacapu». These 4 areas comprise 17 municipalities : Uruapán, Paracho, Cherán, Nahuatzen, Charapan, Ziracuaretiro, Tingambato, Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Pátzcuaro, Chilchota, Quiroga, Zacapu, Los Reyes, Tingüindín, Tangamandapio, Tangancícuaro and Tancítaro.

Most of the Náhuas are concentrated in Aquila, on the coast of the state. The Otomíes live in the east, mainly in Zitácuaro.

History of the state :

Danza de Viejitos - Jarácuaro, Michoacán - Compañía Kaambal.

The dance of the old men (viejitos) is a very popular dance in Mexico. It is danced with masks in Michoacán State.


You can find pottery, basketry, clay pots and platters, jewel boxes, lacquered and enameled trays, ironworks, stone sculptures and pieces of architecture, crocheted table cloths as well as embroidered shirts, figurines made from maize paste, blankets, wooden furniture brightly painted, leather items, fabrics with Pre-Hispanic pattern embroidery, dishes and items made from vegetable fibers. There are also cardigans, rebozos huanengos (shawls) and belts.


soon in the pot !There are diverse jellies made from natural fruits, coco or chocolate jam, capirotada (a dessert made of wet bread pudding with peanuts and cheese).
The carnitas consist in braised or fried pork served with corn tortillas and guacamole. Taste also the sopa tarasca, maybe the best soup of tortillas, at least the original one and the uchepos, succulent tamales from fresh, non-dry corn.
In Pátzcuaro, try the pescado blanco, white fish dipped in an egg and fried in olive oil with garlic and try also the charales as appetizer, small fried fish, or in soup.
In Morelia the specialty is the enchilada de plaza, with cheese, potatoes, carrots, onions and chile and served with boiled chicken.

     Right picture : soon in the pot !

Traditional Mexican cuisine - ancestral, ongoing community culture, the Michoacán paradigm.

Inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Traditional Mexican cuisine is a comprehensive cultural model comprising farming, ritual practices, age-old skills, culinary techniques and ancestral community customs and manners. It is made possible by collective participation in the entire traditional food chain: from planting and harvesting to cooking and eating. The basis of the system is founded on corn, beans and chili; unique farming methods such as milpas (rotating swidden fields of corn and other crops) and chinampas (man-made farming islets in lake areas); cooking processes such as nixtamalization (lime-hulling maize, which increases its nutritional value); and singular utensils including grinding stones and stone mortars. Native ingredients such as varieties of tomatoes, squashes, avocados, cocoa and vanilla augment the basic staples. Mexican cuisine is elaborate and symbol-laden, with everyday tortillas and tamales, both made of corn, forming an integral part of Day of the Dead offerings. Collectives of female cooks and other practitioners devoted to raising crops and traditional cuisine are found in the State of Michoacán and across Mexico. Their knowledge and techniques express community identity, reinforce social bonds, and build stronger local, regional and national identities. Those efforts in Michoacán also underline the importance of traditional cuisine as a means of sustainable development. Consult the website of Unesco and see the slideshow and the video.

Magic villages

This program of tourist development in Mexico has the objective of the enhancer of the Mexican heritage, including the folklore, gastronomy, music, dances, craft, adventure and extreme sport, the everyday rural life, the urban architecture and environment. It is a strategy of development off the traditional tourist circuits. These cities or villages are located in areas close to the tourist sites, with easy road access and they present a value of historic and/or religious interest. Of course, the local government and the inhabitants adhered to this welcome program. In the state of Michoacán, 3 villages are part of this program :


Tlapujahua (2580 m or 8,464 ft)
À 107 km (66 miles) from Morelia
À 138 km (86 miles) from Mexico city
À 83 km (51 miles) from Zitácuaro

Tlapujahua was founded at the sixteenth century by Bishop Antonio de Morales, successor of Don Vasco de Quiroga. It is the birthplace of Ignacio López Rayón, a famous insurgent. Its name means “in the spongy lands” in Náhuatl.

Craft : You can find pottery, blown glass, textiles, artistic lamps, objects made from straws and the famous Christmas spheres that are exported to the USA, England, Romania and Japan among other countries.

Recommended visits :

Chapel of San Peter and San Paul dating from the eighteenth century.
Ex-convent of San Francisco dating from the sixteenth century.
Museum of the Rayon Brothers
Chapel of the Virgin of Carmen

Aucun produit culturel dans la boutique

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