Mexico: A Megadiverse Country

Mexico is considered a “megadiverse” country, due to its biological and cultural richness. It has 68 ethnic groups, 72 different languages, and 364 language variants. In Mexico, the Nearctic and neotropical zones converge, integrating the fauna and flora of two continents that were isolated for a long time (North and South America). This means that we have all the types of vegetation that exist in the world, except tundra. In total there are more than 108,000 species described in the country, although there could be millions that inhabit our soils, waters or other remote sites.

This great cultural and biological diversity is reflected in the cultural traditions of Mexico. In each of the different regions of the country there are festivals and ceremonies in which the communities use their typical clothing to represent traditions associated with the life and nature of their peoples. There are dances dedicated to different species of animals, thus honouring their lives and r

especting human interactions with the ecosystem.

In MUREM you can see very clear examples of plant and animal embroidery on the clothing that is on display. The fighting tiger comes from Acatlán Guerrero and is part of a ritual around May 3 where men with their boxing gloves fight, representing the ferocity of the jaguar. The huipiles of X'hazil and X'Pichil Quintana Roo are embroidered with patterns based on the skin of a snake, and the embroiderers narrate that their grandmothers told them that it was important to caress the skin of a real snake to have visions of future designs embroidery.

In MUREM you can also see a rich collection of masks, belonging to Ricardo De Anda Flores and Judith Fernández. Among which are a great variety of animals: deer, macaw, hummingbird, jaguar, coati, fox, bull, among others. Masks are a fundamental piece in traditional dances and ceremonies. So far, masks have been discovered in Mexico that are around 3000 years old, and the practice of wearing masks for ceremonies is believed to be even older.

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