A HISTORICAL CULTURAL PROFILE OF THE CITY OF MANTE
The region know today as Mante is taken from the Huastecan Indian name, "cinco potreros de Tamatán", or the five pasture grounds, and in the "Tenek" or Hustecan language a word that means, "the embarkation of canoes."
According to various documents, it was a very unsanitary place due to the flooding that the land suffered when the regional rivers overflowed, and more so due to the Mante River whose waters stayed for months without any exit which caused the formation of large lime deposits that afterwards became a breeding ground for mosquitos, not to speak of the "tábano", or horse-fly whose sting was very painful. Due to these insupportable and unsanitary conditions neither the Spanish nor the Crioll Indians formed colonies in the region, although due to the rich and fertile capability of the ground they did farm the area.
According to several studies there were
several Indian tribes of "collectors-hunters" that inhabitated the area although
the Parnes, Chichimecas and Janambres were predominant in the area. The Janambres
represented a formidable danger to those who attempted colonization as they attacked all
who tried to settle in the "Tamatán" area.
There do exist, on the other hand, indications that early in the conquest of Mexico, the region of Mante actually was visited by several augustine missionaries, among them Frail Juan de Mesa, Frail Nicolas de San Paulo (last name Witte); Frail Comel de Bye and Frail Antonio de Roa, who ministered in several areas such as Tamezin (Tamesi, Tanchipa) and Tanguachin. These facts are taken from Doctor Patricia Osante in her book "Orígenes del Nuevo Santander" (The Origins of New Santander).
However, according to the available evidence, neither of these agustine missionaries established a mission or any other colony, or at least, none of the evidence gives one reason to believe so. Therefore, the "Cinco Potreros de Tamatán" (Five Pastures of Tamatan), also known as "Frondoso Paraje de Canoas" (The Luxuriant Embarkation of Canoes) or (The Leafy Embarkation of Canoes), was not considered by the founding officials, including the Escandones.
The poor quality of the lands of San Juan
Bautista de Horcasitas (today Magiscatzín, a township of González, founded by José de
Escandón May 11, 1749), forced several of his fellow colonists to migrate towards the
mountain range of Tanchipa, including the surrounding areas of the Mante River spring. In
this area they began to cultivate the fertile lands that guaranteed them excellent
harvests of corn, beans, sugar cane, peppers and fruit, which they used for their
subsistence and commercial reasons.
After fulfilling all the legal requirements,
Escandón orders Captain Juan Antonio de Barberena to take possession or the lands known
as "Cinco Potreros de Tamatán" (The Five Pastures of Tamatán), which according
to the testimony of the same Barberena occurred March 8, 1764, at the same time taking an
official census of the marketing colonists, and belongings of the Hustecan and Olive
Indians that lived in the Horcasitas. Miguel Velazquez and Ausencio Hernández represented
the colonists and Andrés (Andrew) Gómez the Indians. There were thirty five colonists
living in the immediate vicinity of the Mante River spring and sixty six in the area from
Abra to Tanchipa.
However, we should recognize that a dividing of the land among the inhabitants does not constitute the founding of a town or city, and in this sense, the Ciudad Mante (City of Mante) does not possess a precise founding date.
THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME "MANTE"
Mr. Hipolito Aviles, a fellow citizen and
researcher living in Mante, submits that the word "mante" comes from the Nahuatl
language and is composed of three syllables in that language: "man",
"atl" and "tetl", which mean "place of", "water"
and "rock". Taken together these words mean "the place of the water in the
rock" or "where the water comes out of the rock", clearly alluding to the
Mante River spring, because it is there that the water surges forth from the rock in the
"Sierra de Cucharas".
On this basis we must conclude that the name "Mante" correctly came from the tree in the family of the sapota tree with the same name. "Mante" therefore means "yellow stick (or tree)."
CHRONOLOGY OF HISTORICAL FACTS
On March 8, 1764 Captain Juan de Barberena took
possession of "Cinco Potreros de Tamatán" (The Luxuriant Embarkation of Canoes)
or (The Leafy Embarkation of Canoes)on orders from Jose de Escandón, later known as
"Rancho Canoas" (Canoe Ranch) which later broke off of Horcasitas to become part
Derechos Reservados:E NET MX ® 1999/2000, Diseńo: L.D.G. Adolfo Rodríguez Vidal.