Ribbons weave the colors of the Mexican flag into the long braid; and both the white blouse and the long full skirt - dark green at waist and hem with a sequined red field between - bear bold embroidered Mexican eagles. This proud statement reflects both the influence of Puebla's indigenous people and the state's connection to the War of Independence.
The Nahuas, the largest group of indigenous people in Mexico, are concentrated in Puebla, Morelos, Tlaxcala, and Mexico. The Nahuas carried the powerful influence of the Aztec culture through the Spanish conquest and into modern day Mexico.
The Otomi live in various areas of the country, but principally in Puebla, Mexico, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz. Many Otomies live in poverty, building their homes from the large spiny leaves of the maguey and cultivating the plant to produce pulque, an alcoholic drink.
Most of the Tepehuas and Totonacos live in Veracruz and Puebla. Though large numbers have moved to the cities, more than 200,000 still live in their place of origin.
In a tiled fountain on the northern end of Puebla, a statue keeps alive the memory of a non-indigenous but legendary figure, La China Poblana. Mirrha (her real name) was actually born in Delhi, India in 1609. Kidnapped by pirates at the age of nine, she was sold to a Portuguese merchant in Manila who shipped her to Puebla. There, Miguel Sosa and his wife, who had commissioned the merchant to send them a "little Chinese girl", adopted Mirrha in 1620, when she was eleven, and baptized her Catarina de San Juan. Catarina married Domingo Suarez. She died in 1688. It was not her strange journey to Puebla, but her many acts of charity that established her legacy.
In northeast Puebla, many lakes formed within volcanic craters, which the indigenous people call axalapascos. the mineral waters of Puebla's natural springs are thought to have healing properties, and the mineral waters of Tehuacan are used to make soft drinks. Puebla's industrial activities include bottling soft drinks, chemical and petrochemical plants, food processing, and automotive plants.
The city of Talavera is world famous for its distinctive ceramic pottery, intricately decorated and brilliantly colored. the pottery originated in Spain, but Talaveran artisans mastered the technique and developed their own unique designs.
In southeast Puebla, El Mar del Tiempo (the Sea of Time) holds fossils of ocean creatures left behind from when the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean met across the land. Puebla shares several of the highest peaks in Mexico with neighboring states: the Citlaltepetl or Pico de Orizaba with Veracruz; Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl with the state of Mexico and Morelos; and Malinche with Tlaxcala.
Did you know...?
When the Spaniards were founding cities in Mexico, new settlements were often called pueblas meaning "seeds which a gardener sows." The settlement was later named City of Angels, but the locals continued to call it Puebla, and when the territory became a Mexican state, it was named after its capital city.