The Mixtec , or Mixtecos, are indigenous Mesoamerican peoples inhabiting the region known as La Mixteca, which covers parts of the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla. The Mixtec region and the Mixtec peoples are traditionally divided into highland Mixtecs or mixteca alta in northeast Guerrero and western Oaxaca, and Lowland Mixtecs or mixteca baja northwest Oaxaca and southwest Puebla and Coastal Mixtecs inhabiting the pacific slope of southern Oaxaca and Guerrero. The Mixtecan languages form a major branch of the Otomanguean language family. In precolumbian times, a number of Mixtecan city states competed with each other and with the Zapotec kingdoms. The major Mixtec polity was Tututepec which rose to prominence in the 11th century under the leadership of Eight Deer Jaguar Claw – the only Mixtec king to ever unite the Highland and Lowland polities into a single state. Like the rest of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, the Mixtec were conquered by the Spanish invaders and their indigenous allies in the 16th century. Pre-Columbia Mixtecs numbered around 1.5 million. Today there are approximately 800,000 Mixtec people in Mexico, and there are also large populations in the United States.