Popoluca love poem
Je’m in kuwiiñ ityi je’m teskat’jom
Jeam je’m agui’ wɨɨbɨk ak angmatyi
Jaya’ sɨ’ɨ, toko’oypa’
Yɨba’am je’m an tooyooy angkimi’
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Popoluca, here from Soteapan, state of Veracruz in Mexico (Soteapanec, Popoluca de la Sierra, Golf Zoque, Soteapan Zoque, Highland Popoluca), is a zoque language, close to Ayapanec and Texistepec and spoken by 35,000 people. The word popoluca originates from the nahualt and means "to babble" ... it was for the Aztecs the contemptuous way of designating other peoples around them. This term designates different peoples and languages, and could be assimilated to the word "barbarian", used by the Romans, to designate peoples who were not Romans.
We distinguish several Popoluca-Zoque languages, here it is that of Soteapan, to name some others, let us quote those of Texistepec, Oluta and Sayula de Alemán (80 communities) etc. All these variants are sometimes difficult to be inter-understandable, and because of the presence of Spanish, especially from the 20th century, the number of speakers only decreases.
The Popolucas, which are a collection of different groups, refer to themselves as the children of Homshuk (god of corn). The Popolucas are often farmers (corn, coffee, tomatoes, pineapples, squash, beans), breeders (pigs and poultry), hunters and fishermen. Their clothes remain, typical, and their culture quite strong. Their supernatural world with spirits or other beings remains significant ... and they still take care to make offerings, to put this power on their side (avoid disease, make good harvests and good hunts). When dead, they can still be buried with items, that could be useful for them in the afterlife.