The Mam are an indigenous people in the western highlands of Guatemala and in south-western Mexico who speak the Mam language.

Most Mam (617,171) live in Guatemala, in the departments of Huehuetenango, San Marcos, and Quetzaltenango.[3][4] The Mam people in Mexico (23,632) live principally in the soconusco region of Chiapas.[2]

In pre-Columbian times the Mam were part of the Maya civilization; the pre-Columbian capital of the Mam kingdom was Zaculeu.

Many Mam live in and around the nearby modern city of Huehuetenango. The city of Quetzaltenango or Xela was originally Mam. Many more Mam live in small hamlets in the mountains of northern Guatemala, keeping many of their native traditions. Many Mam are bilingual and speak both Spanish as well as the Mam language, part of the Maya language family, the latter typically as their first language.

See also


  1. ^ "XI Censo Nacional de Población y VI de Habitación (Censo 2002) - Pertenencia de grupo étnico". Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas. 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-05-27.  Note that the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) mentions a different number [1]
  2. ^ a b Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI) "Mames de Chiapas". CDI. 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Radiografía del Pueblo Mam". ALMG. Retrieved 2008-05-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ Ethnologue report for Guatemala Archived February 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.

External links