Approximately 20,000 Amusgos live in a roughly 30-mile-square region straddling the Guerrero–Oaxaca state border. Their homeland includes, besides Cacahuatepec and San Pedro Amusgos, Ometepec, Xochistlahuaca, Zacoalpán, and Tlacoachistlahuaca on the Guerrero side.
The Amusgo language is linguistically related to Mixtec, although it’s unintelligible to Mixtec speakers. Before the conquest, the Amusgos were subject to the numerically superior Mixtec kingdoms until the Amusgos were conquered by the Aztecs in A.D. 1457, and later by the Spanish.
Now, most Amusgos live as subsistence farmers, supplementing their diet with occasional fowl or small game. Amusgos are best known to the outside world for their lovely animal-, plant-, and human-motif huipiles, which Amusgo women always seem to be hand- embroidering on their doorsteps.
Although Cacahuatepec enjoys a big market each Sunday, that doesn’t diminish the importance of its big Easter weekend festival, as well as the day of Todos Santos (All Saints’ Day, November 1), and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, November 2), when, at the cemetery, people welcome their ancestors’ return to rejoin the family.