[Versión en español]


Virtual museum of
the indigenous languages of Mexico

Mitla Ruin

The average person thinks of people from Mexico or some other Latin American nation as Spanish speakers, without realizing that they may come from a community that has its own language and cultural heritage that predate Columbus and Cortez.

There are, in fact, over 150 important variants of the indigenous languages spoken in Mexico today. They belong to twenty families and three or more language stocks and are found throughout the varied landscape of modern Mexico—from Baja California in the Northwest to Quintana Roo in the Southeast, and from the tropical lowlands of Veracruz to the mountains of Puebla and high deserts of Chihuahua.

This virtual museum introduces these important and interesting languages and the people who speak them.

The Riches of Mexico’s Indian Languages

Fun with Words

Grammar—How a Language Holds Together

The Sounds of Mexico

Writing Systems and Literacy


Complete Index


The original exhibition on which this virtual museum is based was a joint production of the International Museum of Cultures and the Mexico Program of the Summer Institute of Linguistics and was sponsored in part by the city of Dallas through its Office of Cultural Affairs.