See R. A. M. van Zantwijk, Servants of the Saints (1967); I. R. Dinerman, Migrants and Stay-at-Homes (1982); J. B. Warren, The Conquest of Michoacan (1985).
Indian people of Michoacán state in central Mexico. Traditionally, they have been farmers, though they fish, hunt, trade, and work for wages as well. Each village tends to specialize in a craft (e.g., woodworking, weaving, pottery, net weaving, embroidering, or sewing). Their Roman Catholicism is only slightly influenced by pre-Columbian religion. They are gradually becoming assimilated to the mestizo culture, though their primary language remains Tarascan.
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The name "Tarascan" (and its Spanish-language equivalent, "tarasco") comes from the word "tarascue" in their own language, which means indistinctly "father-in-law" or "son-in-law". The Spanish took it as their name, for reasons that have been attributed to different, mostly legendary, stories. Curiously the Nahuatl name for the Tarascans was "Michhuàquê" ("those who have fish"), whence the name of the state of Michoacán.