The haciendas were an outside institution that
disrupted the fundamental idea of land distribution in the Andes. As an
outside imposition, it had several consequences that can be seen even in
contemporary society. A good example of this is Jorge Icaza’s book, Huasipungo,
which will be briefly discussed. Furthermore, the lack of land as a problem
faced by the indigenous people of the region will be discussed since it
encouraged many revolutionary doctrines and movements. Carlos Mariategui’s
ideology will be included in this analysis. The racial implications of
the hacienda’s structure will also be highlighted. This will show how racist
the system imposed by the Spanish was.
The Establishment of the Hacienda
The literal definition of hacienda is an estate or owned land (Ramírez 1996, 161). However, in its native Spanish the word takes on connotations of work and production, rather than simple ownership. A more complete definition, then, might be that a hacienda is a large estate used in the production of materials. The materials produced do not necessarily have to be agricultural, though that type of hacienda is the most familiar. Haciendas can be mining, lumbering, or even something focused as glass making (Keith 1977, 1).
Socially, the hacienda is a symbol of the aristocratic status
of the owner. While the definition may imply that haciendas must
produce some form of income, to be a hacienda an estate may not depend
on the actual labor of its owner or his family. A hacendado may manage
the hacienda in the absence of an overseer or if the hacienda is doing
poorly, but if he is required to add his personal physical labor, the hacienda
loses its aristocratic status and is simply a large farm (Keith 1977, 2).
This point is a direct holdover from traditional Spanish beliefs in the social system that existed in Europe. There, the mark of wealth and social position was exemplified by a complete lack of physical effort in one’s own support; thus, the mark of aristocracy was being able to afford to pay others to do all of one’s work and to live a life of total leisure. This idea was carried over by the Spanish in the conquest and settlement of Latin America. There, large amounts of land were available for purchase or settlement, a situation that was the opposite of the Old World. Since land ownership was the mark of wealth in Europe, so too did it become in the New World. But as land was readily available in Central and South America, lower classes could “buy” their way into the aristocracy as soon as they had accumulated enough money to pay for it. In this way were merchants and craftsmen able to lose the connection that they had with the taint of working for a living and form a new aristocracy on a leveler social field than would have existed in Europe (Ramírez 1996, 162).
Like land elsewhere, the value or status attached to a hacienda is not so much dependent upon it size as it is upon location and quality. A hacienda that is in a fertile area near a large urban area holds more prestige in ownership because of its visibility and preferred location than does a hacienda high in the Andes even if it is twice the size of the first. However, between two haciendas which are roughly equal in quality and in the same general area, then the larger offers its owner more social prestige, and a chance to earn a higher income (Keith 1977, 2).
The size of a hacienda is dependent upon the land that it contains.
A hacienda is almost required to be self-supporting economically, is not
self-sufficient. In areas where the land is rich and agriculture
is easy to support, it will take less land for the hacienda to be a viable
working unit than areas where the land is poor and cannot produce as much.
In areas where the land is totally unable to support agriculture and with
no access to a market for produce, such as in the much of early Chile or
in the highest regions of the Andes, no amount of land is going to be capable
of supporting a hacienda because there is no way to generate enough income
for it to support its maintenance (Keith 1977, 2). This effect leads
to the size of a hacienda varying greatly from region to region; it could
contain only a few hundred acres, or a few hundred square miles of land.
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The Encomienda System
The encomienda was a large land grant given by the crown to early settlers in order to extract a tribute from the Indians and to spread Catholicism and Spanish culture. The hacienda system developed separately from the encomiendas, but the encomiendas were necessary in order to develop a situation in which the haciendas could form. “The main impulse behind the development of profit-making enterprises in the colonial area of the New World was the desire…to import European goods”(Keith 1977, 5). Most settlers of the New World, especially younger sons and adventurers, went there to become wealthy, particularly after rumors of gold made their way back to Europe, and to turn that wealth into a life of status and luxury; they did not intend to cut themselves off from the material culture of their homelands, nor did they intend to live the same type of life as the indigenous people. However, to buy European goods and have them shipped halfway across the world required money, and settlers wanted to get hold of as much of it as they could as quickly as possible.
There were no pre-existing commercial economies for the Spanish to exploit when they first conquered South America (Keith 1977, 5). However, there was existing wealth, especially in the areas where advanced civilizations were flourishing, like the Aztec and Inca empires. There, large amounts of precious metals were worked for use as tribute in a system of reciprocity between the ruling class and the peasant classes. Also, this system of reciprocity enabled the production of textiles and food beyond the subsistence level to exist before the Spanish conquest. These features enabled the Spanish to step in and to take over the upper echelons of the society and to extract enough income from the pre-existing power structure to satisfy both the Spanish crown and the settlers (Keith 1977, 6).
The encomiendas were developed in the decades after conquest in order to better exploit the native population (Ramírez 1996, 161). Land grants were made by the Spanish crown to the original conquerors and to the early settlers. The Spanish also took Indians lands, and rights to the land purchased by payment to Spain. As the Indian population fell due to death from overwork and European illness, the land they occupied was also sold or given to immigrants in order to further the colonization and to produce more food and supplies for the Spanish settlement (Ramírez 1996, 161). Thus the encomiendas allowed for the systematic extraction of native wealth by a single individual or group of individuals.
However, the encomiendas were dependent upon the extraction of exhaustible
resources, not production. Mining was an early source of Spanish
wealth in the Andes, and in the 1550s half of Spanish exports were in gold
(Keith 1977, 7). The supply of gold in the area was limited, though,
and the Spanish found no major discoveries of the mineral. Dependent
entirely upon known Inca mines, the level of gold exported from the region
continually lessened. The system began to falter, and by the seventeenth
century was no longer supporting the Spanish colonies.
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Development of a Market Economy
As the encomienda system began to fail, it was replaced by a system based on commercial agriculture. The same land grants that had formed the core of the encomiendas now formed the basis of the new haciendas. A change to a market economy that was based on the sale of goods or services rose as tributes continued to fall (Keith 1977, 8).
The new system was aided in its formation by the discovery of silver, especially the discovery of silver at Potosí in 1545. After the development of the mercury process of ore refinement in the 1560s and 1570s, silver rapidly became an important export (Keith 1977, 8-9). By the end of the colonial period, silver had accounted for ninety percent of Spanish export (Keith 1977, 9). In doing so, silver generated more revenue than gold had, and by its nature the mining of silver expanded the financial base of the colonies. Silver mining required more capital than was needed under the encomiendas, and well as people with specialized skills to open the mines and refine ore. This expanded the number of people who were benefiting from the mines. Where tribute had gone to a single person, or at most a very small group, in each area, now silver was paid out too multiple people in return for goods. This wider economic base meant that more money was kept in the colony for internal usage, and thus more people became wealthy within the colony itself (Keith 1977, 9). Furthermore, a network of contacts between the mining areas and commercial and administrative areas was developed because of the passage of silver, which allowed for a system of trade to form within the colonies.
Haciendas grew because of these local trade networks. Their production was geared specifically toward a local market. Because the local demand for produce, be it agricultural or another industry, was at a fixed level, the haciendas wanted to establish dominance in the area, which would allow them to set the price of their produce at any level they chose (Keith 1977, 12). Monopolies were formed in the hope of solidifying the market. Haciendas kept their own production to a limit, which ensured that supply in a closed market was low, and which would thus justify a high price due to increased demand (Keith 1977, 12).
Unlike plantations, which were set up to produce a single cash crop like sugar or coffee, the hacienda did not attempt to produce for a global market (Keith 1977, 13). By producing only for the local or at most regional market, owners relied on small amounts of capital, with none of the foreign investment that the high-capital, high-production plantations depended on (Keith 1977, 13). This small amount of income from the hacienda meant that little or no capital was expended on improvements or new technology, and as production was deliberately kept low, there was no reason to alter old or poor agricultural habits. With income so low, often the hacienda lost more money than it produced, making them expensive to own and helping to account for the high turnover rate in owners: most people could not afford the maintenance on the property for very long with no returns, especially in unstable political situations (Keith 1977, 14).
Since haciendas served a social function more than an economic one for
the hacienda owner, the haciendado, they had to have an alternative income.
Usually, the haciendados earned their wealth in some other form of industry,
and then bought a hacienda to show their status and to gain political power
as a landowner (Keith 1977, 14). In this way, much of the arable
land in the Andes was taken up by the haciendas and then not used, a situation
which prompted most of the land reforms of the twentieth century.
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Agriculture and the Hacienda
While not all haciendas were focused on agriculture, many of them were. As the tribute system of the encomiendas was failing, the Spanish took land from the Indians for farming. With a lack of markets, however, most early farming attempts in the Andes could not rise above the level of subsistence agriculture; it was not until the infusion of silver into the economy that strong enough markets developed to support local agriculture along with an aristocratic class (Keith 1977, 2).
Three types of hacienda emerged. One type was the ranch. Here the owner of the hacienda had title only to the land on which he could build the main house and outbuildings, along with corrals and other structures necessary for running livestock (Ramírez 1996, 162). The setup was similar to that of the ranches of the American Old West. Land was claimed for a certain person’s herds, but not owned. Pastureland remained common property, though one person claimed the use of most of it. A second type of hacienda was a mixed farm, which combined the production of crops and livestock (Ramírez 1996, 162). While it was more labor intensive than ranching, and required more capital, a mixed farm could also produce more income, dependent upon the amount or marketable goods the hacienda produced. The third type of hacienda is the specialized farm. Basically a plantation, they required huge amounts of capital and a large labor force to run. They grew only specialized crops, such as sugar, rice, cacao, or wheat, which usually involved some form of processing before being market-ready (Ramírez 196, 162). All three forms derived their labor force mainly from the local Indian population through a system of debt peonage, with the labor of salaried Spanish, creoles and mestizos, and mulattos in positions requiring more skill or higher wages (Ramírez 1006, 162). Where Indian populations were low, such as along the coast, because of depopulation from disease and migration, African slaves were brought in (Keith 1976, 56). Since most of these areas were tropical, the slaves often worked the plantations. The high numbers of black slaves that were common in the Caribbean were never employed in the Andean regions, however, because of the cost involved in buying and transporting them.
Before the Spanish Conquest, the main agricultural products of the Andes were maize, potatoes, and coca; llamas, alpaca, and guinea pigs were the staple kinds of livestock for both food and wool (Stern 1982, 4). The Spanish brought along horses and pigs at the time of conquest. Goats were first imported in 1536, and cattle in 1539 (Keith 1976, 56-7). Sheep were also imported in the sixteenth century. European crops were not introduced as soon as livestock, but wheat, grapes, olives, and cotton were eventually imported and grown on both plantations and haciendas (Keith 1976, 55). Those areas with a tradition for herding llamas and alpacas quickly adapted to herding sheep and cattle, and the highlands continued to be grazing lands (Stavig 1999, 13). Because of the poor quality of soil, the highlands of the southern Andes remained especially important to raising stock; ranches did not develop there until late in the eighteenth century, and most of the livestock were the cameloids of the Indians (Stavig 1999, 13).
Haciendas were very large in part because of the poor returns
on agriculture, especially in highland areas where grazing meant large
numbers of acre for every animal owned. Also, the value of land was
slowly rising, less for haciendas than for plantations, but enough that
owning a large portion of land was worth something economically (Keith
1977, 21). Furthermore, by putting a monopoly on land ownership and
creating a scarcity of Indian land, the small labor force that was in place
was not divided further, and wages were not an issue (Keith 1977, 22).
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The Hacienda after the Colonial Period
The haciendas continued to expand and develop throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. After most of the Andean nations gained their independence from Spain in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the haciendados gained more and more political power, and despite the need and demands for massive land reform by the lower classes, private haciendas were excluded from land reform policies until the mid-twentieth century (Jacobson 1997, 128). During the nineteenth century, more and more land was bought by the elite from the Church and other land was seized by the haciendas for expansion. By the 1950s, the tension that had been brewing over land ownership and labor among the Indians was boiling over. Revolts and warfare broke out all along the Andean region as peasants organized against the landowners. One of the best known revolts was the 1952 MNR Revolution in Bolivia. Soon after the revolt, peasants took over the land of the haciendas, and the new government issued radical reform policies. Other countries have undergone similar policies, including the 1969 Agrarian Law enacted by President Juan Velasco Alvarado in Peru.
Today vast tracts of land are still consolidated under one owner in the Andes. However, the rural lower classes are still fighting to break the hold of the haciendas over the land, and violence continues. Meanwhile in other areas the old haciendas have been turned into tourist attractions and resorts for the European and North American tourist markets.
Jorge Icaza's Huasipungo tells the story of an hacienda in Ecuador. The reader receives a glimpse in to the different viewpoints of those involved in the workings of the hacienda, ranging from the land owners to the huasipungeros to the inhabitants of the local town. Icaza gives the reader a clear idea of the unethical motivations of the white-mestizos who are most concerned with their profit. Consequently, their treatment of their employees is characterized as particularly brutal and inhumane. There are numerous descriptions of beating the indios, some of whom are actually killed as a result.
The poltical statements made throughout the book are somewhat controversial.
Due to Icaza's white-mestizo background, it is not always clear whose side
he is on. At times, he almost takes a pity-approach to the "dumb
Indians" subjected to the hacendado's cruelty. Regardless of this
debate, Icaza's novel allows many to read the horrific oppression the huasipungeros
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A Feminist Perspective of haciendas
The hacendado/huasipungero relationship was oppressive and abusive for
all of those who were bound to the land owners. For women, this situation
was amplified to an even greater extent. Huasipungo exemplifies such
treatment. Although this book supposedly makes a statement about
the horrible treatement of the huasipungeros,, Icaza does little in the
way of paying attention to the treatment of women. In the very beginning
of the book we see an example of he way in which Cunshi is treated by her
husband. Soon after proclaiming his passionate love for his wife,
he quickly alters his mindset and proceeds to rape her. "Nothing had happened
to her; she hadn't betrayed him; she hadn't been violated. And in
spite of the truth of her excuse...he felt inside - a desire to sate the
passion with bites and blows, made him cry out, 'Liar!'" (Icaza, 24)
Some might say that his behavior is due to the anger he has about his marginalized
position on the hacienda. However, such anger does not justify beating
and raping one's wife. Cunshi is not a person of which he can take
out his aggression, especially in such a violent manner. Feminist
de Beauvoir writes, "But when woman is given over to man as his property,
he demands that she represent the flesh purely for its own sake" (de Beauvoir,
157). Andres sees Cunshi as his property.
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A Philosophical perspective
"Representation of the world, the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute myth."(de Beauvoir, 143).
The treatment of Cunshi in Huasipungo exemplifies an issue every woman has to face - living in a patriarchal society. "Woman is disclosed first as wife in the patriarchate, since the supreme creator is male" (de Beauvoir, 151). According to de Beauvoir, the patriarch has created a "myth of woman." This phrase entails the duality of how men perceive women as Everything and Nothing at the same time. It also addresses the limited roles men allow women to play in the world. Such sentiments are evident in Andres's actions. One moment Cunshi is his savior from the horribly cruel world of the hacienda. "Before all things, then, she will be called upon for youth and health, for as man presses a living creature in his embrace, he can find enchantment in her only if he forgets that death even dwells life" (de Beauvoir, 157). The next, Andres takes the liberty of treating her as nothing.
groups that play a role in the Haciendas
Four major groups interact in the life of the hacienda. These are the hacendado and his family, the capataz (cholos) , the Indians, who ironically are the majority, and the priest (Catholic church). Each of these groups had a different role and a different status quo. As the pyramid bellow shows, the hacendados were at the very top while the Indians where at the bottom, prestige, privileges, and rights decrease from the top to the bottom.
Usually the hacendados did not live in the hacienda. The lived in Quito or another city and only came to the hacienda few times a year. This shows that the haciendas were not the primary source of revenue to the landowners. Hacendados had nice houses were they had many Indian servants. Basically the haciendas were a place were the hacendados went to rest.
Priests (the Catholic Church)
Priest enjoyed a lot of benefits in the haciendas. Their influence and power was based on the Indians fears and superstitions. The priests’ wealth was based on all the tides that he received.
The Indians were converted to Catholicism by the Spanish. Catholicism mixed with the Indian religion and occupied an important role in the haciendas. As we see in Huasipungo, often, priests abused the Indians as much as the hacendados did. The fer of God’s punishment made the Indians very vulnerable and dependent on the priests.
Cholos are people that want to eliminate all their ties to the Indians and want to join the white society. This desire is based on the complex that Indian is bad and white is good.
In order to belong to the white society cholos often denied their Indian background and treated Indians in very derogatory ways. Cholos usually got the paid jobs in the haciendas and were the ones that ran the haciendas. Their economic conditios was modest but not as bad as the Indians’ economic situation. As Icaza shows in Huasipungo, cholos were usually very cruel and abusive. Policarpio, Pereira’s capataz treats Indians as bad, if not worst, than Pereira. Through out the novel Policarpio always reffers to the Indians in a very derogatory way.
In the hacienda dinamics we see two different classes abusing and exploiting a third class. The perceptions that hacendados (white/mestizo landowner) and capataces (cholo) had regarding the Indians were bad. The Indians were seeing as ignorant, lay, not trustworthy, etc. This is clearly shown in Policarpio’s expression, “Yes, you cannot forget that these people are difficult, lazzy, full of supersticions, and suspicious (Icaza, pg. 72).”
As a consequence Indians were exploited, enslaved, and abused by cholos
and whites. They had the hardest jobs in the haciendas and were not
paid . Indians had what is called a huasipungos and eternal debts
to the hacendados that kept them tied to the haciendas. Huasipungo
means: huasi = casa and pungo = puerta (Icaza, pg. 71). This
piece of land that the hacendado gave the indian in exchange of his labor. I tusually was the worst land of the hacienda. Here Indians had their home and the cultivated the land fo their own benefit. The huasipungos were worked late at night while all the work in the hacienda was done.
Indians were considered a part of the hacienda. If an hacienda was sold it ws sold with all its Indians (Icaza, pg. 73). Men, women, and children were “owned” by the hacendados.
A typical day for a Huasipungero
He/she gets up before the sun rises in order to start with his/her job. He /she has a big family.
He/she eats a tortilla or less than that for breakfast.
Men and women work in the fields ((plowing, take care of the crops, harvest, etc), the hacienda house (maids, cooks, nannies, etc) take care of the animals, and do other jobs related to the hacienda. Indians will usually eat lunch at the hacienda.
Late at night they will return to their huasipungos to eat there and to take care of their huasipungos.
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The 1964 land reform movement of Ecuador altered class relations
in a variety of manners. From an obvious standpoint, The lower class
was no longer serf-like in position to the upper class hacienda owners.
The upper class no longer had the legal ability to oppress the lower class
groups in the way they could with the hacendado./huasipungeros relationship.
However, this by no means changed the upper class perceptions of Indians
and peasants. Indians are still considered dirty and worthless to
many white-mestizos. Much of the land is still owned by the upper
class. Researcher Emily Nett states:
"Household service is an institution in the feudal and semi-feudal societies in Latin America, jst taking one geographical area of underdevelopment, and as such it fulfills certain functions, especially stabilizing ones" (Nett, 439).
This once legally feudal relationship has manifested itself in other
parts of society such as the one between servant and employer. Nett
also points out the differences between this type of relationship and ones
that have existed in the past. Servants can now "bargain for the
sale of their skill rather than for what sometimes amounts to the sale
of their presence in a household or shop" (Nett, 438). Although economic
prestige of have a servant continues, servants are no longer bound to their
employers and have many more opportunities to become skilled at a trade
than their ancestors were able.
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The case of Chimbarazo's Land Movement
During a political land movement in the province of Chimbarazo,
"Chimbarazo's indigenous peasants challenged the post-reform capitalist
order based on the collaboration of private agricultural enterprises and
the state" (Korovkin, 44) However, only a small percentage of land has
actually been transferred to the peasants. Despite this low number,
Chimbarazo's endeavors can still be viewed as politically successful -
"a struggle to organize local development in accordance with their needs
and cultural values" (Korovkin, 45). The events associated with this
struggle show a political dualism that exists throghout the country.
"...Ecuador lays claim to its population's rich diversity at the same time
as avoiding the land distribution question, which is so central to indigenous
identities and politics" (Radcliffe, 70). While there is a movement
to recognize Ecuador as the multi-cultural country that it is, it appears
to be selective in what aspects of indigenous and peasant culture it wishes
to address. Land is a powerful facet of upper class Ecuadorian life,
and giving it up to the "indios" would mean accepting them as equals, worthy
of the same respect as the upper class. It would also legitimize
their more communal way of life, which for many "categorically divides
indigenas from white-mestizos" (Colloredo-Mansfield, 89).
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As time has gone on, many lower class indigenous groups have become
more noticed than before. "To some extent, this organizational explosion
demonstrated the extraordinary vitality of the indigenous communal tradition,
rooted in the pre-colonial past as well as the colonial and hacienda experiences"
(Korovkin, 29). In the last two decades, this vitality has taken
on a new meaning in the realm of indigenous and peasant politics for the
rest of the country. On August, 11, 1997:
"thousands of indigenous and campesino women and men dug ditches and hauled trees across Ecuador's major roads. The coordinated uprising halted transport for 48 hours and sent a forceful message to President Alcaron about the power of popular conviction" (Sawyer, 44-45).
Such movements have continued to persist to the present day. This
coup of this past January demonstrated an even greater sense of the "power
of popular conviction" within the lower class Although this was not
a permanent success, it does show an increasing amount of action indigenous
groups are willing to do against the capitalist society that marginalizes
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The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador ( CONAIE)
"CONAIE is part of the historic struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples and to build a plurinational state. It is an autonomous indigenous organization, independent of political parties, or any state, foreign or religious institution" It functions at the local, regional and national level to bring indigenous people together to fight for their social, political and economic rights.
Attempting to guarantee lower class political rights, CONAIE has become more and more vocal in the past decade. "The Indian Uprising of June, 1990, and the Indigenous March by OPIP in April of this year, which was supported not only by the indigenous communities in Ecuador, but by the general public" was only the beginning of a long line of movements that have occurred throughout the 1990s.
CONAIE is constantly attempting to preserve indigenous land rights,
for they are aware that much of the land owned by indigenous peoples has
resources the upper class wishes to obtain.
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Jose Carlos Mariategui and Haciendas
As we have already seen, land has a special ancient tie with the Indian cultures of the Andes. The Moche, the Caranqui, and finally the Inca all considered the land mother god and they felt a intimate connection with it. When the Spaniards came they altered this relationship and left the Indians landless.
After the Colonial period, once the Spaniards were expelled from the Andes, the land did not return to the Indians but stayed in the hands of Crioles and mestizos who perpetuated the hacienda system. However, the Indian’s desire to recover their mother earth never left their minds. This desire will be one of the greatest forces behind the many revolutionary movements and uprisings that have taken place all through Latin America. The land issue permeated every nation and different ideologies. One of the thinkers who included the importance of land to his ideology was Jose Carlos Mariategui. Mariategui (1894-1930) is regarded as one of the most important socialist thinker of Peru. His works inspired not only Castro and Che Guevara but also, the Shining Path, and other guerrilla movements through out Latin America.
A key theme in Mariategui’s ideology is what he calls the indigenous question. In Mariategui’s own words, “The indigenous question is identified with the land question. The ignorance, backwardness, and misery of the indigenous people are, we repeat, merely the result of their subservience. The feudal latifundium maintains the exploitation and absolute domination of the indigenous masses by the landowning class.” Then, if the hacienda system is to be blamed for the bad socio-economic condition of the Indians, this system must be abolished.
Mariategui described the relationship among Indians and hacendados
as a relationship of servitude and sometimes slavery. During Mariategui’s
time, Indians in the haciendas did not receive any pay at all or received
really bad wages. Now a days, things have not completely changed
and we could still find traces of the old haciendas. Still,
the majority of the land remains in the hands of whites or mestizos and
the labor force is mainly made up of Indians. As during the hacienda
system, these Indians are badly paid. However, they still work for
the landowners since they do not have any other source of revenue.
Then, the Indians are trapped inside this system. The Indians do
not have any more the debts that kept them tied to the hacienda.
Now, they keep working n the haciendas because they do not have any other
choice (jobs are scarce in the countryside).
Recognizing the poor conditions of the Indians in the haciendas, the governments passed different laws which tried to protect them. However, as Mariategui points out, “ The rights established in labor legislation are not recognized. There is no law other than the owner’s on the hacienda.” In Latin America we have a phrase which in this case certainly proofs to be true, “the law is for the poor,” and in the case of the haciendas, it was made by the rich. While the rich step over the law, the poor have to abide under it. For many years the laws that protected the Indians were not respected by the hacendados. Since the Indians were alienated from every area of society and they did not have a political voice of power, the hacienda system was easily perpetuated.
Mariategui gave extremely importance to the land issue. Different
revolutions through all Latin America strengthen the importance of the
issue. The Mexican revolution was in great part the consequence of
the Indians desire to reclame the land that belongedto their forebears.
Emiliano Zapata one of the most important leaders of this revolution fought
until his death for land for the people. For him, as for many other
Mexicans, the revolution was about returning the land to its old owners.
Another important case is the Guatemalan revolution which was leaded by General Jacobo Arbernz. Anbernz was specially concerned on the Indians class. He wanted to distribute land among the Indians. In order to do so he implemented an agrarian reform, which was to take away from the landowners only the land that was not been used. However, in many cases the peasants got back communal land that had been taken away from them long time ago. By 1954, more than 138 thousand peasant families had benefited from the Agrarian Reform. The majority of this people were Indians (Guatemala: Memoria del Silencio, 1999).
The same is true in the Andes where Indians still want all their land back. As explained above, the land issue is one of the key issues that the CONAIE addresses in Ecuador, the same is true in Peru and Bolivia.
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Paises y Cultura (Countries and culture)
Click on this image if you want to go to a website were you can read and hear Indian songs in Quechua.
If you want to learn quechua words click on this link. Quechua lessons
Jacobson, Nils. 1997. “Liberalism and Indian Communities
in Peru, 1821-1920,” in
Liberals, the Church and Indian Peasants: Corporate Lands and the Challenge of
Reform in Nineteenth Century Spanish America, ed. Robert H. Jackson, 123-70.
Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.
Jacobson explores how politics relate to the Indian population as workers and landowners in the century following Independence. He looks at both the national debates between politicians and intellectuals and the taxes and labor issues faced by the Indians to gauge the effect the liberal government had on the indigenous population.
Keith, Robert G. 1976. Conquest and Agrarian Change: The Emergence
of the Hacienda
System on the Peruvian Coast. London: Harvard University Press.
Keith looks at coastal Peru and the changes that Spanish conquest brought about in the area. He looks at agriculture on the coast from Pre-Columbian times to the seventeenth century from the aspects of different kinds of agriculture.
Keith, Robert G., ed. 1977. “Introduction,” in Haciendas and Plantations
American History, 1-35. New York: Holmes and Meier Publications, Inc.
This chapter served as an introduction for a book Keith edited that focused on the comparison of the two main types of Spanish colonial agricultural practices—the hacienda and the plantation. It serves very well as an introduction to both forms of production in terms of their economy, land, profits, and social structure. The essays in the book deal with Central America, Brazil, and the Caribbean, but the Introduction applies equally well to nearly all Spanish colonial areas.
Ramírez, Susan E. 1996. “Haciendas,” in Encyclopedia
of Latin American History and
Culture, Vol. 3. 161-3. New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan.
This entry offers a very brief overview of the hacienda in Latin America. It focuses on the formation, significance, and the current issues about haciendas. However, as it is an encyclopedia article, it does not cover the topic in any depth, but should be read as a starting point for basic knowledge.
Stavig, Ward. 1999. The World of Túpac Amaru: Conflict, Community,
and Identity in
Colonial Peru. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Stavig offers an in depth examination of social constructions and institutions in Peru after it is fully under Spanish authority. By focusing on the daily lives of individuals, he shows how Spanish and Indian communities and cultures affected each other and caused rebellion.
Stern, Steve J. 1982. Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish
Huamanga to 1640. London: University of Wisconsin Press.
Here Stern looks deeply into the Spanish conquest in terms of its effect on Peru and how it sparks the creation of a colonial society. Including economic and political discussion, Stern shows the changes in Andean culture through the changes in one community.
Icaza, Jorge. Huasipungo: The villagers: a novel, Carbondale. Southern Illinois University Press, 1973,c1964.
I chose to write about this book for a few reasons. This book gives a fictional example of the real-life situations that went on at the haciendas. For those who are looking to get a glimpse into those events, Huasipungo offers this information in the form of a novel. It also gives solid examples of the issues different groups on the hacienda had to face. The experiences of Indian women differ greatly from the hacienda owner.
Beauvoir, Simone de. The second sex, New York, Knopf, 1968, c1952.
De Beauvoir's theory offers compelling insight for the treatment of women on the hacienda. Many of her proposals are demonstrated in the way Andres treats his wife Cunshi. Get theory also offers further explanation as to why Andres treats Cunshi in such a brutal manner
Korovkin, Tanya. "Indigenous Peasant Struggles and the Capitalist Modernization of Ecuador:Chimbarazo, 1964-1991." Latin American Perspectives, Issue 94, vol. 24, no.3, May 1997, 25-49.
Korovkin's analysis offers one way in which the post-land reform has affec ted the indigenous peoples of Ecuador. She also presses the notion of the difference between economic and political success. The example of Chimbarazo shows how land continues to be an issue of power, social class, politics and economics.
Radcliffe, Sarah and Sallie Westwood. Remaking the Nation: Place, Identity and Politics in Latin America, London. Routledge, 1996.
Radcliffe's analysis supports the notion that land continues to be a huge issue in Ecuador between the lower and upper class. Her comments offer concise insight into such concerns, which is helpful for a web site for the public
Klein, Herbert S. Haciendas and Ayllus:Rural Society in the
Bolivian Andes in
the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Stanford. Stanford University Press,
This book gives a synopsis of precisely what the title states
- a documentation of rural society in the Bolivian Andes in the 18th and
19th centuries. It draws principally from the local notarial records
of the province of La Paz and the padrones de indios, which were special
censuses carried out by the colonial Bolivian government. More than
anything, this book gives solid, straightforward information based upon
the sources it draws from. It presents a nice overview
of the history of the hacienda in previous centuries and expands upon the nature of the relationship between the government, politics, economics and the Indian. I think this book will be helpful because it possesses a vast base of information about the haciendas in Bolivia. This will prove useful for a webpage, because I find it important to give the general public a decent-sized history of our topic before delving into applied theory or more specific information. I also think that the primary sources the author is using are reliable sources, or at least offer the perspective of the government during the time periods.
Ramírez, Susan E. Provincial Patriarchs: Land Tenure
and Economics of Power in
Colonial Perú, Albuquerque. University of New Mexico Press, 1986.
This book delves into the issues of land starting with the colonial
period in Perú. In her introduction, Ramírez makes
it somewhat apparent that she has drawn upon a myriad of sources before
writing this book, which can many times
prove to make a book much more thorough and insightful. She divides the book into three parts: Conquest Society and the Institutionalization of Spanish Domination to 1594, Landed Society and the Development of the Great Estates and
Social Consequences of Economic Stagnation and Decline. There is also a plethora of illustrations throughout the book. I think this book will compliment Klein's book, as it goes into some more specific issues, such as the
Sugar Book in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. She also dedicates a good-sized portion of the book to conclusions to be drawn from all of the information/data she has presented earlier in the book. There are a variety of
charts and tables dealing. It appears as though she wishes to stress the conclusion of landowners' power throughout the centuries in Perú, as the title implies. I also think this book will be useful for the purposes of scanning illustrations onto the web site.
Singelmann, Peter. Structures of Domination and Peasant Movements
America, Columbia. University of Missouri Press, 1981.
This book discusses domination and peasant movements across Latin America and not just in the Andean movements. Singelmann structures his book around different theories of power, economics, politics, social relations (and many more) and uses examples from different countries to show how the theory comes to reality. I think this book will be most useful for the theories he explains. It gives me an opportunity to pick and choose which theories or areas of the hacienda on which on I want to focus. He also includes an extensive bibliography, which I can use to find more sources. I also think he explains theories in a way that is accessible to the general public, which is important for a web site (one of his first chapters deals solely with the major dimensions of exchange theory).
José Carlos Mariátegui, The Problem of the Indian (1928)
From José Carlos Mariátegui, "The Problems of the Indian," Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1971), 22-30. This document was coded by Marc Becker. This website presents one of Marategui's writings related to the land issue in the Andes. Mariategui identifies land as a key issue that needs to be highly considered since " The problem of the Indian is rooted in the land tenure system of our economy."
Mariategui sustains that in order to solve the Indian problem, land needs to be redistributed since the ownership of land by the few is the root of the Indian problem. Mariategui argues that as long as the hacienda system prevails, the Indians will be oppressed and will live in poverty.
Regarding the gamonales, or feudal lords (hacendados), Mariategui stated,
"Gamonalismo necessarily invalidates any law or regulation for the protection
of the Indian. The hacienda owner, the latifundista, is a feudal lord.
The written law is powerless against his authority, which is supported
by custom and habit.Unpaid labor is illegal, yet unpaid and even forced
labor survive in the latifundium. The judge, the subprefect, thecommissary, the teacher, the tax collector, all are in bondage to the landed estate. The law cannot prevail against the gamonales."
The solution that Mariategui gives to the Indian problem is to redistribute the land. This will eventually foster ideologies against the sytem which stressed the land problem and were the cause of the various Agrarian reforms that took place.
7 Tests of interpretation of the Peruvian reality
Jose Carlos Mariategui
This essay supports the last essay. It provides further information regarding the land problem.
Mariategui, Jose Carlos. The Heroic and Creative Meaning of
Socialism. Selected Essays.
Edited and translated by Michael Pearlman. Humanity Books, NeW York, 1995.
This recolection of Mariategui's essay was the primary source that I used for writing about
Mariategui and haciendas. A key theme in Mariategui’s ideology is what he calls the indigenous question. In Mariategui’s
own words, “The indigenous question is identified with the land question. The ignorance, backwardness, and misery of the indigenous people are, we repeat, merely the result of their subservience. The feudal latifundium maintains the exploitation and absolute domination of the indigenous masses by the landowning class.” This theme is more developed through parts
of this book
Icaza, Jorge. Huasipungo (Villagers). Libresa, Quito,
By now, we are all very familiar with this book where the traditional stereotypical hacienda
life and power relations are described. The books needs to be considered since it shows the
steotypes that people have about the entire hacienda system and the people that play a role
in the system. This book will help us further the discussion regarding the racial discrimination
against the Indians.
Conaie Website, http://conaie.nativeweb.org/brochure.html
Deutschmann, David,editor. Che Guevara Reader. Ocean
Press, New York, 1998.