The 5 Main Indigenous Groups Of Sinaloa

The indigenous groups of native Sinaloa were the Cahítas, the Acaxees, the Tahues, the Totorames, the Xiximes, the Guasayes and the Achires. These groups already inhabited this territory before the arrival of the Spanish, along with some Chichimeca tribes from northern Mexico.

At present, the only ethnic groups that inhabit the territory of the state are the Mayos and the Zuaques. Both indigenous peoples are descendants of the Cahita ethnic group, and are scattered throughout various areas of the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora.

Among the main indigenous peoples that inhabited Sinaloa before, during and after the pre-Columbian period were the Mayos, the Zuaques, the Ahomes and the Ocoronis.

Los Mayos – Yoremes

This indigenous people of the Cahita family inhabit the territories located in the north of Sinaloa, the south of Sonora and a few areas of the state of Durango.

They cover an area of ​​7625 km² and are distributed in the low mountains, the valley and the coastal strip.

The aboriginal communities that live in Sinaloa are distributed in the municipalities of El Fuerte, Guasave, Choix, Ahome and Sinaloa de Leyva.

Although they have had to share their territory with other mestizo populations, the Mayos live mainly in places where their ceremonial centers are located.

They are: San Pedro, Camoa, Etchojoa, Pueblo Viejo, San Ignacio, Navojoa, Huatabampo and Conicárit in the state of Sonora.

The Mayans of Sinaloa share their origin, language and history together with the Yaqui Indians who live in Sonora. These two peoples have a common ethnic root with the Guarijíos, the Warohios and the Rrámuri.

Los Zuaques

This indigenous group from Sinaloa, also belonging to the Cahita ethnic group, currently lives in the El Fuerte municipality.

During the pre-Hispanic period he lived in three villages: Mochicahui, north of Sinaloa, which was the capital, Charay and Cigüini, the latter already disappeared.

The Zuaques offered strong resistance to the Spanish upon their arrival in those territories in 1605. They were characterized as the most warlike and indomitable people in the region.

The Ahomes

This Cahite ethnic group lived in the area currently occupied by the town of Ahome, for this reason some historians affirm that it derives its name from there.

Others maintain that the name of this indigenous people, now disappeared, comes from the Kahite language Ah ou me (” ah, man”).

The Ahomes inhabited the Pacific coast. This town that came from the north of Mexico, arrived together with the zoes to settle at the mouth of the Fuerte river (Santa María de Ahome).

There they founded their main village which they named Oremy, located in the center of the forest, to serve as their fortress. They were very civilized, according to the first Spaniards who arrived in this territory.

Many could read, write, sing, and play musical instruments.

The Ocoronis

This indigenous people inhabited the surrounding territories of the Ocoroní River, together with the Guasave and Achire tribes to the east of the state and with the Xixime people, to the west in the mountains.

It is known that this town belonged to the Cahita ethnic group, from the same Uto-Aztec linguistic family, but other data are unknown. Disappeared in the 1970s.

Recent information indicates that, apparently, there are also several unrecognized Tarahumara indigenous communities in the state of Sinaloa.


The Cahites were an indigenous people who disappeared after the conquest of the northwest of the country. The war and disease did much damage to the population and the few survivors who remained mixed with the Spanish.

Their settlement was next to the Mocorito and Yaqui rivers, although they were nomadic for most of their time. They lived off what they could get on the riverbanks and their culture was one of the least developed. The little that is known about them is from the writings of the Jesuit missions, which evangelized them.


  1. Indigenous Sinaloa. Retrieved on November 10, 2017 from
  2. Indigenous groups of Sinaloa. Consulted of
  3. John R. Swanton. “Mexico extract from John Reed Swanton’s. The Indian Tribes of North America ”. Recovered from
  4. The Ahomes. Consulted of
  5. Ortega Noriega, Sergio (1999) Brief history of Sinaloa Fondo de Cultura Económica (PDF) Retrieved from
  6. The Zuaques. Consulted of

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