Acaxee was a tribe or group of tribes in the Sierra Madre Occidental in eastern Sinaloa and NW Durango. They spoke a Taracahitic 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.[1]

Acaxee map.svg
Acaxee territory circa 1500
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Mexico (Sinaloa and Durango)
Acaxee Language and Spanish
Acaxee Mythology and Animism
Related ethnic groups
Xiximec, Achires, Tarahumara, Tepehuanes, and Cahita


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.[2] Ethnographer Ralph Beals reported in the early 1930s 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".[3]


  • Acaxee (proper)
  • Sabaibo
  • Tebaca
  • Papudo
  • Tecaya


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-02-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed 1 Feb 2011
  2. ^ Jose Gabriel Martinez-Serna (2009). Vineyards in the Desert: The Jesuits and the Rise and Decline of an Indian Town in New Spain's Northeastern Borderlands. Southern Methodist University. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-1-109-16040-6. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  3. ^ Kelley, J. Charles. "The Known Archaeological Ballcourts of Durange and Zacatecas, Mexico" in Vernon Scarborough, David R. Wilcox (Eds.): The Mesoamerican Ballgame. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-1360-0, 1991, p. 98. Kelley quotes Beals: Beals, Ralph J. The Acaxe, A Mountain Tribe of Durango and Sinaloa (Iberoamerican 6) University of California Press, Berkeley: 1933.


  • Beals, Ralph L. 1933. The Acaxee: a Mountain Tribe of Durango and Sinaloa.

Further readingEdit

  • Deeds, Susan. Defiance and Deference in Mexico's Colonial North: Indians Under Spanish Rule in Nueva Vizcaya. (2003) University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. ISBN 0-292-70551-4