Durango is one of the constituent states of Mexico. Its estimated population in 2003 was about 1,450,000 people. The city of Durango is the capital. The Sierra Madre Occidental is a mountain range located in the western portion of the state. This mountain range contains a plentiful supply of mineral deposits, including the silver that encouraged Spanish occupation of the teritory after it was discovered. These mines extend north into Chihuahua and south into the state of Zacatecas.
Culturally, Durango is famous for a type of musical style known as música duranguense.
The major occupations in Durango are farming, lumbering and ranching. Vast desert basins in the Laguna District are irrigated by the Río Nazas. Major crops grown in the area include cotton, wheat, sugarcane, tobacco, corn, and other vegetables.
Francisco de Ibarra, the first to colonize Durango, settled this part of the vast northern province of Nuevo Vizcaya in 1563, when he founded the capital city and named it Durango for his native town in Vizcaya, Spain; the foundation was just one in his larger program of initiating settlements through the province. This was a late colonization for the Spanish, mostly due to heavy resistance to Spanish occupation by the indigenous population living there, from first contact to modern times, in attempts to gain some autonomy, address grievances, or maintain traditional land ownership. Spanish colonists became highly attracted to the Durango area for its mining and grazing capabilities. In 1823, shortly after the Mexican revolutionary victory over Spain, Durango earned the right to be a separate state.
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