For: Sr. Juan José Mata Bravo .

"La cueva", el Nacimiento.

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.

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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 are many stories that the Janambres were constantly hostile towards the colonists and when these fought to repel the attacks, the Indians withdrew to the hill, among others, formed by a very spiny plant called a "choveno" or "sinverguenza" (without shame), where no human being was able to extract them.

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.

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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.
So it was that in November, 1750, when Escandón was on an inspection visit in Horcasitas, that he found the area already populated. Finding it justifiable he proceeded to donate these lands to the Bishop of Manila, Don Manuel Antonio Rojo de la Fuente and Vieyra, who also, considering it justice proceeded to accept them.

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.
On the basis of this historical data, some people consider this date and these colonists the founders of what was then know as "Frondoso Paraje de Canoas" (The Luxuriant Embarkation of Canoes) or (The Leafy Embarkation of Canoes), later known as "Rancho Canoas" (Canoe Ranch), and later still as Villa Juárez (Juarez Village), and now as Ciudad Mante (Mante City).

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.

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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".
Contradicting the previous opinion is the fact that one must remember that this region was never inhabited by the Nahuatl Indians. It is absolutely proven that the tribes that lived here were Huastecan, a branch of the Mayan Indians, and their language was "tének" or "huasteco" (Huastecan), and not Nahuatl.
According to the research of diverse renown educators that have diligently studied the Tenek language, it is known that the word "mante" is of Tének origin and is formed from two roots which are: "man" meaning "yellow", and "te" meaning "stick" or "tree".
Therefore it is obvious that the word "mante" refers to the tree of that name, and whose fruit, upon ripening is of such an intense yellow color that it gives the same yellow appearance to the leaves of this tree when seen from a distance.
At the same time it is clear that it is this tree that gives the River Mante it's name, later to the sugar mill and also to the City of Mante. If the version of Mr. Aviles were true, then only the river would have this name but not the tree because the tree does not "surge forth from the water in the rock."

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)."

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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 of Quintero.
In 1921 Quintero lost it's municipal and overseeing capacity as the governing city and ceded it to Rancho Canoas, which was converted into the governing city with the name of Villa Juárez, and Quintero remained within the new township.
On October 28, 1937 the name Villa Juárez disappeared and the city became Ciudad Mante as the municipal and governing city of the township of El Mante, which it retains unto the present date.


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