Published on December 3, 2012 by Amy
Acaxee was a tribe or group of tribes in the Sierra Madre Occidental in eastern Sinaloa and NW Durango. The spoke a Tarachatitian language in the Southern Uto-Aztecan language family. Their culture was based on horticulture and the exploitation of wild animal and plant life. They are now extinct as an identifiable ethnic group.
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In December 1601, the Acaxees, under the direction of an elder named Perico, began an uprising against Spanish rule. This revolt was called the Acaxee Rebellion. They are said to have been converted to the Catholic faith by the society of Jesuits in 1602. Early accounts by Jesuit missionaries allege continual warfare and cannibalism among the Tepehuan, Acaxee, and Xixime who inhabited Nueva Vizcaya. Interestingly, ethnographer Ralph Beals reported in the early 1130s that the Acaxee tribe from western Mexico played a ball game called “vatey [or] batey” on “a small plaza, very flat, with walls at the sides”.