The lushness of Tabasco's geography and the richness of Mayan influence are reflected in the profusion of flowers adorning the yoke and sleeves of the white blouse, and the full black ruffled skirt, along with the large blossoms worn to one side of the hair. A traditional rebozo surrounds the shoulders.
Tabasco's rivers, streams, lagoons, marshes and popales (lagoons covered with aquatic plants) hold almost one-third of Mexico's total surface water. The largest river in Mexico is the Usumacinta, which flows along the easternmost edge of Tabasco and forms a natural border between Mexico and Guatemala.
Heavy rains, including great downpours, are common most of the year, and strong winds called nortes blow in from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing occasional cyclones.
Some parts of the Tobascan jungles, located in mountainous regions, have yet to be explored. In places, the tropical vegetation, which includes palo tinto, terminalia, barí and rubber trees, ferns and lianas (climbing vines which can reach 50 meters in length), is so thick no sun penetrates the dense canopy.
Precious woods like mahogany and cedar also flourish, along with ancient ceiba trees, flowering macuilí and flamboyán. Fruit trees include sapodilla, mamey, tamarind, orange, lemon, banana, and custard apple.
Tabascans are primarily involved in agriculture, fishing, and livestock breeding. Consumption agriculture plays an important role in the state; this means that the peasants produce crops to satisfy both their family's needs and those of local markets.
Tabasco is Mexico's largest producer of cacao, used to make chocolate. Other large export crops include sugarcane, banana, and coconut. The state is also in one of Mexico's main oil-producing zones. Large-scale exploitation of this natural resource began after 1950.
Did you know...?
As with many Mexican states, the origin of the name Tabasco has more than one possible explanation. Some look no further than the Aztec word tlapaco, which means "humid land".
Others say that Spaniards heard the native people call their leader Tabasco. Also, the river now known as the Grijalva was then called the Tabasco. But still others say the name of the leader was actually Taabs-Coob, since his brother, who governed Champto, was called Mooch-Coob.