What Ancient Civilization Lived in Jalisco Mexico?

Jalisco, a beautiful state in western Mexico, boasts a rich cultural heritage dating back to ancient times. The region was home to several pre-Hispanic civilizations that contributed significantly to the country’s history and culture. In this article, we will explore the ancient civilization that lived in Jalisco, Mexico.

The People of Jalisco

The indigenous people of Jalisco were primarily divided into two groups: the Caxcanes and the Cocas. The Caxcanes inhabited the northern part of Jalisco, while the Cocas lived in the southern region.

The Cocas Civilization

The Cocas civilization was one of the most significant cultures that thrived in Jalisco. It is believed that they existed from around 2000 BC to 900 AD. The Cocas were known for their impressive ceramic art that included figurines and vessels with intricate designs.


The Cocas practiced a polytheistic religion and worshipped various gods. They believed that their gods controlled nature and used rituals to appease them.

Social Structure

The Cocas society was hierarchical, with nobles at the top and commoners at the bottom. The nobles had more privileges than commoners and had access to better resources.


The Cocas also left behind impressive architectural structures such as pyramids, ball courts, and plazas. These structures were mainly used for religious ceremonies and other social activities.

The Caxcanes Civilization

The Caxcanes civilization existed from around 1000 AD to 1530 AD in northern Jalisco. They were known for their advanced agricultural techniques and excellent skills in pottery making.

The Caxcanes also had a polytheistic religion but placed more emphasis on ancestor worship. They believed that their ancestors guided them and provided protection.

The Caxcanes had a complex social structure, with nobles at the top and commoners at the bottom. However, unlike the Cocas, the Caxcanes had a system of government that included a king or ruler who governed over several towns.

The Caxcanes were known for their impressive irrigation systems that allowed them to cultivate crops in dry regions. They also built structures such as temples and plazas that were used for religious ceremonies and other social events.

The Legacy of the Ancient Civilizations of Jalisco

The ancient civilizations of Jalisco left behind an impressive legacy that is still evident in the region today. Many of their architectural structures have survived for centuries, providing valuable insights into their way of life.

Their art, particularly pottery and ceramic works, are still celebrated today for their intricate designs and beauty. Additionally, many cultural traditions practiced in Jalisco today have roots in these ancient civilizations.

In conclusion, the ancient civilizations that lived in Jalisco, Mexico were significant contributors to the country’s history and culture. Their legacy lives on through their impressive architectural structures, artistic works, and cultural traditions that continue to be celebrated today.