Ethnohistory

Ethnohistory
Volume 50, Number 1, Winter 2003
Special Issue: Beyond the Hacienda: Agrarian Relations and Socioeconomic Change in Rural Mesoamerica


Contents

    Chance, John K.
  • Haciendas, Ranchos, and Indian Towns: A Case from the Late Colonial Valley of Puebla
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    Subject Headings:
    • Land tenure -- Mexico -- Tecali de Herrera -- History -- To 1810.
    • Tecali de Herrera (Mexico) -- Social conditions -- To 1810.
    • Tecali de Herrera (Mexico) -- Economic conditions -- 1540-1810.
    Abstract:
      Traditional views of rural central Mexico during the colonial period commonly overlook the role of the small, subsistence-oriented Spanish ranchos, which in the vicinity of Santiago Tecali, Puebla, far outnumbered the larger hacienda estates. In Tecali, dealings of the local Nahua elite with the ranchos and their proprietors were of greater social and economic import than those with the haciendas. This case study raises questions about the timeworn opposition between the hacienda and the Indian community and suggests that we need to work toward more differentiated models of Spanish agrarian enterprise, on the one hand, and colonial Indian society, on the other.
    Fournier García, Patricia.
    Mondragón Barrios, Lourdes.
  • Haciendas, Ranchos, and the Otomí Way of Life in the Mezquital Valley, Hidalgo, Mexico
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    Subject Headings:
    • Otomi Indians -- Land tenure -- Mexico -- Mezquital Valley (Hidalgo) -- History.
    • Otomi Indians -- Mexico -- Mezquital Valley (Hidalgo) -- Government relations -- History.
    • Mezquital Valley (Hidalgo, Mexico) -- Economic conditions.
    Abstract:
      During the colonial period, Indian republics were formed as were private holdings in the Otomí region of the Mezquital Valley. The indigenous population was deprived of fertile agricultural lands while ranchos and haciendas raised cattle, affecting the fragile semiarid environment of the region. This article analyzes the economic strategies of the indigenous inhabitants of the valley with an ethnoarchaeological and historical perspective. Based on the historical evidence, this article studies the socioeconomic interactions among the Otomí Indians and the haciendas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The impact of the indigenous marginal survival strategies on the economic success of ranchos and haciendas in the Tula and Ixmiquilpan subregions is analyzed.
    Sanders, William T.
    Price, Barbara J.
  • The Native Aristocracy and the Evolution of the Latifundio in the Teotihuacán Valley, 1521-1917
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    Subject Headings:
    • Indians of Mexico -- Land tenure -- Mexico -- Teotitlán del Valle -- History.
    • Caciques (Indian leaders) -- Mexico -- Teotitlán del Valle -- History.
    • Indians of Mexico -- Mexico -- Teotitlán del Valle -- Government relations -- History.
    Abstract:
      Latifundismo, representing a variety of jural types, has characterized land tenure in the Teotihuacán Valley since Aztec, very probably pre-Aztec, times. Throughout the colonia and until the inception of the Republic, the largest single landholder in the valley remained the cacique of Teotihuacán. While much extant literature contrasts the hacienda as a type with the estates of the native aristocracy, we suggest a functional similarity based on comparability of market articulation (including commodities produced and the land itself as commodity), of export work, of control of labor.
    Kyle, Chris
  • Land, Labor, and the Chilapa Market: A New Look at the 1840s' Peasant Wars in Central Guerrero
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    Subject Headings:
    • Peasant uprisings -- Mexico -- Guerrero (State) -- History -- 19th century.
    • Chilapa de Alvarez (Mexico) -- Economic conditions -- 19th century.
    • Chilapa de Alvarez (Mexico) -- Social conditions -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      Historical research on haciendas in nineteenth-century Guerrero, Mexico, including related work on a series of peasant wars in the region in the 1840s, has rested in large part on an uncritical application of assumptions about haciendas that derive from research done elsewhere in Mexico. This article draws on demographic and ecological information in examining the economic and political pressures that had developed in central Guerrero in the years leading up to the 1840s. I show that in the years leading up to the 1840s a settlement distribution had developed in the region that created enormous difficulties in supplying the urban market of Chilapa with basic resources, especially maize. The hostilities of the 1840s grew out of the efforts of elites to resolve these problems by establishing, among other things, commercial agricultural estates.
    Monaghan, John.
    Joyce, Arthur A.
    Spores, Ronald.
  • Transformations of the Indigenous Cacicazgo in the Nineteenth Century
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mixtec Indians -- Land tenure -- Mexico -- History -- 19th century.
    • Mixtec Indians -- Race identity -- Mexico -- History -- 19th century.
    • Caciques (Indian leaders) -- Mexico -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      Many estates in the Mixteca region of southern Mexico were controlled by the descendants of the Mixtec nobility well into the second half of the nineteenth century. Rather than view these estates, or cacicazgos, as the last gasp of the waning colonial order, this article focuses on their transformations. It examines the connections between the cacicazgo and other key nineteenth-century rural institutions in the Mixteca, such as the corporate community and the hacienda. It also examines the continued deployment of the idea of cacicazgo in nineteenth-century struggles over land tenure, jurisdictional boundaries, issues of sovereignty, and group definitions—even when the cacique was no longer present and the cacique's estate was no longer extant.
    MacLeod, Murdo J.
  • Indian Confraternity Lands in Colonial Guatemala, 1660-1730: Some Uses and Trends
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    Subject Headings:
    • Indians of Central America -- Land tenure -- Guatemala-- History -- To 1821.
    • Confraternities -- Guatemala -- History -- To 1821.
    • Indians of Central America -- Guatemala -- Government relations -- History -- To 1821.
    Abstract:
      While Indian village lands held in common have received some attention there is little knowledge of lands held by Indian individuals, or by groups within Indian society, such as confraternities. The purpose of this article is to examine these little-known landholdings and to assess why Indians pieced them together and the uses to which they were put. There is evidence that they were used for subsistence, for evasion of colonial authorities, as a bank for religious expenditure, as bases for rustling, and as yet another way for parish clergy to extract village surpluses.
    Nichols, Christopher M.
  • Solares in Tekax: The Impact of the Sugar Industry on a Nineteenth-Century Yucatecan Town
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sugar trade -- Mexico -- Tekax de Alvaro Obregón -- History -- 19th century.
    • Real estate development -- Mexico -- Tekax de Alvaro Obregón -- History -- 19th century.
    • Urban-rural migration -- Economic aspects -- Mexico -- Tekax de Alvaro Obregón -- History -- 19th century.
    • Tekax de Alvaro Obregón (Mexico) -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      This article examines incipient capitalism in a frontier town in Yucatán during the years preceding and following independence. It investigates one example in which a rural town is intimately connected to estate development. The town of Tekax, located on the southern frontier in colonial Yucatán, underwent radical change between 1780 and 1830. Political and agrarian upheaval coupled with the increasing production of sugarcane drew Spanish and Creole elites to Tekax, increased local property values, and drove the once majority Maya population into the countryside, drastically altering the ethnic distribution within this community. Inflated local property values triggered a real estate market in which the resident landholding Creole elite purchased and sold solares, or "household compounds," largely among themselves as these became the primary indicators of one's prestige in the local community. Sugarcane production drove this market; Tekax's relative isolation maintained its insularity.
    Alexander, Rani T.
  • Architecture, Haciendas, and Economic Change in Yaxcabá, Yucatán, Mexico
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    Subject Headings:
    • Real estate investment -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History.
    • Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History.
    • Entrepreneurship -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History.
    • Yucatán (Mexico : State) -- Rural conditions.
    Abstract:
      During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Yaxcabá, Yucatán, Mexico, the expansion of Spanish-American–owned cattle estates occurred in response to indigenous population growth and the implementation of the Bourbon political reforms. Although clearly described as haciendas in documentary sources, the estates demonstrate an architectural poverty that casts doubt on their ability to generate profits and their role in the transition to a market economy. This article proposes that architectural investment in rural areas may signal changes in entrepreneurial strategies before and after Mexican independence. When architecture is considered an independent variable, its economic role usefully may distinguish processes of market integration from storage of capital under tribute-based economies.
    Van Young, Eric.
  • Beyond the Hacienda: Agrarian Relations and Socioeconomic Change in Rural Mesoamerica
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    Subject Headings:
    • Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Mexico -- History.
    • Mexico -- Economic conditions.
    • Mexico -- Social conditions.



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