In southern Mexico the Zapotecas furnish schoolmasters for the village schools.
The Mistecas, or Mixtecas, and Zapotecas, who occupy the southern slopes of the central plateau, especially Puebla, Morelos, Oaxaca and Guerrero, form another distinct race, whose traditional history goes back to the period when the structures now known as Mitla, Monte Alban, Xochicalco and Zaachila were built.
In southern Mexico, the Chontales, Tapijulapas, Mixes and Zoques inhabit small districts among and near the Zapotecas, the first being considered by Belmar a branch of that family.
This was especially true of the Mixtecos and Zapotecas of Oaxaca, from whom have come some of the leading men of the republic. The national school laws now in force had their origin in the recommendations made by a national congress of public education convened on the 1st of December 1889, and again on theist of December 1890.
Two of the most progressive Indian races of Mexico, the Zapotecas and Mixtecas, descendants, it is believed, of the prehistoric races who built the remarkable cities where the ruins of Mitla and Monte Alban '(see Central America: § Antiquities) now stand, still form the greater part of the population.
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