The Mixtecan languages are a group of closely Oto-Manguean
languages spoken by about half a million people in the Mexican
states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero, and in California in the
The name Mixtec is a Nahuatl word meaning 'cloud' or
'inhabitant of place of'. The native name for the language means
"word of the rain", and is Tu'un Sávi in one
variety of Mixtec, and Dà'àn Dávi
The Mixtecs developed their own logographic writing system
during the Post-Classic period in Mesoamerican history, from about
1,000 BC, and used it to write genealogy, history and myths
until 1522, when they were conquered by the Spanish, who
destroyed many of the Mixtec codices.
Spanish missionaries devised various ways to write Mixtecan
languages with the Latin alphabets.
Alphabet of the Mixtecan Languages (ndusu tu'un sávi)
This is the alphabet adopted by the Academy of the Mixtec
Language and later by the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP).
Sample text in Mixtec
Taka ma ñayi nguiakoi ñayivi ñatu na ja'a tnu'u
ja kusa'a ndeva'ña-i, su'uva kajito va'aña-i, yuka ku ja
jiniñu'u ja kukototna-i.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)