"Place where the sun rises."



Tonalá is a municipality in the Central Region of the state of Jalisco, Mexico.

Center Region
Toponymy: Tonalá comes from the Nahuatl word Tonallan which means: “place where the sun rises”.

Some authors have interpreted it differently, since for some its meaning is: place where the count of the days is kept; and for others it is: a place dedicated to the cult of the sun. However, the most accepted meaning by the Tonaltecas is the one mentioned at the beginning.

Historical review:

Tonalá was founded by Zapotec Indians, who over time mixed with other tribes, including the Toltecs who managed to impose their customs, religion and military techniques, among other things. Nahualtec tribes also arrived in the region.

The inhabitants of the area spoke coca and tecuexe, and they fed on hunting and fishing from the Chicnahua (or Santiago) river. They worshiped Teopilzintli or child God, whom they had as a deity of good weather; to Heri the divinity of the sciences; and Nayarit the God of war. Particularly in the town, Tenaguachi and Tezcatlipoca were highly revered.

During the Salitre War, around 1510, the Purépecha invaded lands of the Tonalteca kingdom. The monarch of Tonalá gathered a powerful army that faced and defeated the invaders. They were distinguished by their courage: Coyotl, Pitláloc, Copaya and Pilili, these last three sons of Oxatac. In gratitude the lands of Tlajomulco were given to them.

Upon the arrival of the Spanish in 1530, Tonallán was ruled by a woman named Cihualpilli Tzapotzinco and its tributaries were the dominions of Tlaquepaque, Tololotlán, Coyolán, Mexquitán, Tzalatitán, Atemajac, Tetlán, Tateposco, Tlaxomulco, Cuescomutlán and Tlaquillaquilla, Cuescomutlán.

When the foreigners’ approach was known, they divided into two camps, because while Cihualpilli Tzapotzinco and some caciques believed in giving them a peaceful reception given their invincible power, others wanted them to resist them. The courageous caciques who opposed them were those of Coyolan, Ichcatán, Tzalatitán and Tetlán, the last of whom was married to a daughter of the queen and because of his courage, he exercised great influence and was recognized as chief: they climbed an immediate hill with the purpose of defending their homelands.

The peace supporters sent a delegation made up of nobles and people from the various chiefdoms to meet the Spaniards, with gifts such as honey, avocados, onions and some fruits, and to tell them that they already had news of his coming and that the they waited amicably, although some of their neighbors were opposed.

Nuño de Guzmán thanked the gifts and exhorted them to have enough food for the newcomers and their horses. Meanwhile, the dissidents had gathered in the Plaza de Tetlán under the influence of Tlacuiteuhtli, Cuauhtepizahuac, Cotán, and Catipamatac.

Guzmán was then well received by the queen, giving him provisions and gifts, but before entering the city that captain sent the field teacher with three others, and the clerk Hernando Sarmiento to go to require the rebels to number three One thousand were in possession of an immediate hill, so that they would render obedience to the King of Spain, a request that received a great shouting and a shower of arrows in response. Because of this, Guzmán arranged the assault by dividing his troops into three sections.

Thus began a combat that lasted several hours, finding the conquerors stubborn and courageous resistance on the part of the natives. Finally, the Spanish imposed their military force, but not before having suffered many losses.

After this confrontation, Nuño de Guzmán took possession of the Tonallán region on March 25, 1530; causing the sovereign Cihualpilli to swear obedience to the King of Spain, immediately ordering that on the hill where the Indians had just defended themselves, an arbor be built depicting a temple which he called “Victoria de la Cruz”, putting the insignia of Christianity at the top, of a size of about twenty yards, so that it was visible from afar.

When she was baptized Cihualpilli she received the name of Juana Bautista; and her son named Sangengui Xochitla received the name of Santiago Vázquez Palacio.

When Nuño de Guzmán left, he left Captain Diego Vázquez Buendía with some soldiers to take care of the conquered lands.

During the Spanish domination Tonallán was named as a district of the kingdom of New Galicia with the name of Santiago de Tonalá.

For approximately 18 months, Tonalá was the second settlement of the migrant Guadalajara, said town settled in this place from August 8, 1533 to February 1535.

According to a census carried out by the Royal Court in 1548, the town of Tonalá then had 185 houses and 1,791 people in the head; 147 in Cuyutlán (today Coyula), 79 in Juanacatlán and 70 in Tengo.

Translation provided by google

Source: https://www.jalisco.gob.mx/es/jalisco/municipios/tonala