• Environment and Geography

    The territory of the Guerrero people covered part of the southwest coast of modern-day Mexico and was flanked by the Western Sierra Madre. The region consists of both large and small valleys that are quite isolated from each other, making communications between them difficult. It is also an area of frequent seismic activity and landslides. The coast and river valleys provided the resources needed to populate and sustain the region. The Guerrero people were not a specific culture, but rather a number of groups that, in different periods and in different parts of the region, shared certain characteristics.

  • Economy and Technology

    It is believed that the peoples of the Guerrero region lived in small settlements of farmers and craftsmen, inhabiting the different valleys independently.

  • Art

    The Guerrero peoples produced a large quantity of ceramics. Vessels with stirrup handles were common, suggesting links with the cultures of Central and South America. The groups also produced ceramic figurines with clear Teotihuacan influences. It is known that the Guerrero worked with gold, silver, and copper, but they are best known for their innumerable sculptures, made of one of the most common resources in their domain: hard rock of various colors. All of the groups that inhabited the valley made us of these rocks to produce artistic works. Their pieces ranged from masks to architectural models. The most characteristic figures are those of the Mezcala style, consisting mainly of small, very stylized and delicately crafted human figurines. Other common subjects in Guerrero stonework included animals such as dogs, turtles, frogs, coyotes, birds, felines, and insects; tools, such as axes, awls, and knives; and body ornaments, such as nosepieces, rings, bracelets, and chest pieces. Standing or prostrate human figures are the most common anthropomorphic pieces. Additionally, some representations of human body parts exist, such as arms, hands, legs, heads, and fingernails or fingers with fingernails.

  • Social Organization

    Nothing is known of Guerrero social strata, although a certain level of social and/or religious complexity can be inferred, especially from the stone architectural models and the figurines.

  • Beliefs and Funerary Practices

    The representation of temples in small stone sculptures suggests ritual or religious activities, possibly in a domestic setting. Some graves have been found containing caches of grave goods, but there is insufficient information to reconstruct Guererro burial rites.

  • Settlement patterns

    The entire Guerrero territory was densely populated, with different zones apparently operating independently of each other in a range of ecosystems.

    The stone architectural models found suggest that their temples had columns and stairways at the base.

  • History

    Although the different groups of the Guerrero culture developed independently, they shared many cultural elements. They also displayed influences from the Olmec, Teotihuacán, and Mayan cultures.