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Land, Livelihood, and Civility in Southern Mexico

Oaxaca Valley Communities in History

By Scott Cook

Publication Year: 2014

Based on thirty-five years of fieldwork, this is a masterful ethnographic historical account of the struggle to maintain landholding, livelihood, and civil-religious society in the peasant-artisan communities of Oaxaca from colonial times to the present.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Maps and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

This book was written to document and explain how nine communities in the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico have endeavored over centuries to secure land, livelihood, and civility.1 There is nothing remarkable about this theme for anyone familiar with rural life in the central valleys and mountains of Oaxaca...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xx

I gratefully re-acknowledge the cooperation, hospitality, and assistance of all those communities, persons, agencies, offices, and organizations in the United States, Mexico, and Oaxaca too numerous to relist here but acknowledged in my previous research publications. To the authorities and people...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

The modern nation-state of Mexico geographically encompasses roughly three-quarters of the territory of the ancient New World civilization of Mesoamerica. Together with Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and Peru, Mesoamerica was one of the independent centers of civilizational development...

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1. The Teitipac Communities: Peasant-Artisans on the Hacienda’s Periphery

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pp. 23-40

The Teitipac cluster of three communities (San Juan, San Sebastián, and Magdalena) provides a good point of departure for a historical inquiry into the struggle for land, livelihood, and civility in the Oaxaca Valley. The community known as Zeetoba/Quehuiquijezaa in Zapotec and as Teitipac in...

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2. Hacienda San Antonio Buenavista from Two Perspectives: Hacendado and Terrazguero

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pp. 41-63

As oppressive as life was for San Sebastianos under the Marcial cacicazgo, it was even more oppressive under the hacienda regime experienced by the terrazgueros of Hacienda San Antonio Buenavista (see Map 2, center bottom, for location vis-à-vis San Sebastián). One afternoon in 1966, in the...

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3. San Juan Teitipac: Metateros Here and There

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pp. 64-87

We do not know for certain if metate production originated in San Juan or San Sebastián, or exactly when metate production originated as an industry in the Oaxaca Valley. Popular archaeological evidence supports the thesis that metates were being made in Teitipac when the Spaniards arrived. In...

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4. San Sebastián Teitipac: Metateros and Civility

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pp. 88-122

The most direct route to San Sebastián was by an unpaved road that departed from the Pan-American Highway at the 559-kilometer marker 3 kilometers east of Tule and wound its way through the pueblos of Güendulain, Rojas de Cuauhtémoc, and Santa Rosa Buenavista. After departing Rojas...

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5. San Lorenzo Albarradas, Xaagá, and the Hacienda Regime

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pp. 123-137

The consolidation of Hacienda Xaagá was critical to the formation of the communities of San Lorenzo Albarradas and Xaagá. Local discourse identified the residents of Xaagá, together with those of San Lorenzo and Unión Zapata, as castellanos in a Zapotec region. This implied their common origin...

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6. “Castellanos” as Plaiters and Weavers: San Lorenzo Albarradas and Xaagá

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pp. 138-162

As described in Chapter 5, San Lorenzo Albarradas and Xaagá may well have shared a common indigenous origin, but their shared identity as “castellanos” was forged from the sixteenth century into the twentieth century as subalterns of the same hacienda. They were divided in terms of settlement...

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7. The Jalieza Communities: Peasant-Artisans with Mixed Crafts

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pp. 163-189

Santo Tomás, administrative center of the Jalieza cluster of villages, is located approximately 26 kilometers from Oaxaca City on the highway to the district town (cabecera de distrito) of Ocotlán de Morelos, 6 kilometers farther south. At least since the early 1940s, and in escalating fashion after...

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8. Santa Cecilia Jalieza: Defending Homeland in Hostile Surroundings

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pp. 190-213

From the sixteenth century and earlier, Santa Cecilia Jalieza experienced subjugation, conflict, invasion, and resettlement without loss of its identity or place in the regional landscape. The archaeological record shows that the greater Jalieza area had shifting settlements and fluctuating populations...

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9. Magdalena Ocotlán: From Terrazgueros to Artisanal Ejidatarios

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pp. 214-245

Magdalena Ocotlán qualifies for the dubious distinction of being among a handful of Zapotec communities in the Oaxaca Valley that failed to preserve their territorial integrity and economic independence throughout the colonial period (Taylor 1972, 8), with the proviso that its preconquest and early...

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10. Magdalena’s Metateros: Servants of the Saints and the Market

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pp. 246-276

Magdalena exemplifies the thesis that occupational structures in Oaxaca Valley indigenous communities are subject to abrupt change. This was illustrated in Chapter 9 with the case of embroidery that was first introduced in the 1970s but also by the case of stoneworking. In 1880, Magdalena did not...

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11. Conclusion

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pp. 277-296

This book’s purpose is to promote understanding of a complex historical process of struggle for land, livelihood, and civility in the Oaxaca Valley. It was organized to achieve this through a series of community studies, by allowing subjects to speak for themselves, and by expanding the voice...

Photo Essay

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pp. 297-318

Glossary

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pp. 319-326

Notes

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pp. 327-358

Bibliography

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pp. 359-370

Index

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pp. 371-383


E-ISBN-13: 9780292754775
E-ISBN-10: 0292754779
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292754768
Print-ISBN-10: 0292754760

Page Count: 403
Illustrations: 62 b/w photos, 7 maps, 3 tables
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Zapotec Indians -- Industries -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley.
  • Zapotec Indians -- Land tenure -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley.
  • Zapotec Indians -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley -- Social conditions.
  • Haciendas -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley -- History.
  • Metate industry -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley -- History.
  • Brickmaking -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley -- History.
  • Oaxaca Valley (Mexico) -- Race relations.
  • Oaxaca Valley (Mexico) -- Economic conditions.
  • Oaxaca Valley (Mexico) -- Social conditions.
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