Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The Pueblo of Todos Santos
 Maize cultivation in the Department...
 Tabular summaries of maize cultivation...

Title: Maize cultivation in northwestern Guatemala
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089528/00001
 Material Information
Title: Maize cultivation in northwestern Guatemala
Physical Description: p. 83-263, 8 p. of plates : ill., map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stadelman, Raymond
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Publisher: Carnegie Institute of Washington,
Carnegie Institute of Washington
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: 1940
Copyright Date: 1940
Subject: Corn -- Guatemala -- Huehuetenango (Guatemala : Dept.)   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Guatemala -- Huehuetenango (Guatemala : Dept.)   ( lcsh )
Indians of Central America -- Agriculture -- Guatemala -- Huehuetenango (Guatemala : Dept.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Guatemala
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 125).
Statement of Responsibility: compiled by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, from data collected in the field by Raymond Stadelman.
General Note: Reprint. Originally published in: Contributions to American anthropology and history, v. 6 (issued as: Carnegie Institution of Washington publication, no. 523), which contains Contributions no. 30-34.
General Note: At head of title: Contributions to American anthropology and history, no. 33.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089528
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 19833219
lccn - 43004408

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    List of Illustrations
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
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        Page 93
        Page 94
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        Page 96
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        Page 100
    The Pueblo of Todos Santos
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Maize cultivation in the Department of Huehuetenango
        Page 105
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    Tabular summaries of maize cultivation in the villages
        Page 154
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Full Text

/0' 2/'3
3-7, 0 3
015 0 13


With eight plates and one map

[Issued June io, 1940]


This report is the result of a project established by the Carnegie
Institution of Washington and the Bureau of Plant Industry of the
United States Department of Agriculture, and financed by the for-
mer. Sincere thanks are rendered to Dr. A. V. Kidder of the Car-
negie Institution and to Mr. J. H. Kempton of the Department of
Agriculture for assistance and advice tendered during the progress
of the work, and to Col. Isidoro Morales, Jefe Politico of the Depart-
ment of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, for many favors.



Origin of maize 91
Purpose of the present study 91
General description of the Department of Huehuetenango 92
Importance of maize cultivation in Guatemala 93
Agricultural laws of Guatemala 94
Land measures used in Guatemala 95
Description of the villages studied 95
Methods employed in obtaining data 99

Description of the village o01
Landownership 02
Employment of nonfamily labor 103
Types of land 103
Fertilization 104

Landownership 105
Migration of agriculturists 105
Payment of land rental Io6
Wages and hours of labor io6
Implementsused in maize cultivation 107
Preparation of land Io8
Forest land io8
Bushland Io8
Advantages and disadvantages of burning-over or burning-off brush 109
Grassland Ino
Llano IIo
Cornstalk land III
Selection of the seed III
Varieties of seed 112
Planting 13
Replanting 113
Cultivation 113
First cultivation II4
Second cultivation 114
Roasting ears 114
Pruning and topping of maize plants 115
Doubling I15
Harvesting 116
Storage of food corn and of seed corn 116


Yields per acre 117
Cleared forest land 118
Bushland 118
Grassland 118
Llano 118
Cornstalk land 119
Minimum satisfactory yield 119
Natural replacement of fertility 119
Artificial fertilization 120
Companion crops of maize 120
Crop rotations 121
Enemies of the maize plant 121
Diseases of the maize plant 122
Magico-religious rites connected with maize cultivation 123
Field labor spent on various types of land 124
Profits per hour of labor in the field 125


I. Maize production in Guatemala during the years 1933-34 129
i. Land measures used in Guatemala 130
II. Rainfall in Todos Santos during the year 1937 131
iv. Approximate schedule of maize cultivation in Todos Santos 132
v. Conversion of pounds per cuerda to bushels per acre 133
vi. Landholdings in acres per family 134
vii. Specimen ears of maize from the villages 135
viii. Varieties of beans which are planted with maize 140
ix. Companion crops of maize (other than beans) 145
x. Methods of resting lands in the various villages 147
xi. Total hours of hand field labor spent on various types of land 148
xii. Yields in bushels per acre of various types of land 149
xiiI. Profit per hour of labor on various types of land 150
xrv. List of informants 151

Santa Eulalia 155
San Mateo Ixtatan 158
San Rafael La Independencia 162
Todos Santos Cuchumatan 166
Concepcion 169
San Juan Atitan 174
San Sebastian Coatan 178
Santiago Chimaltenango 182
San Pedro Soloma 185
San Juan Ixcoy 189
San Martin Cuchumatan 193
San Miguel Acatan 196

La Libertad 200
San Ildefonso Ixtahuacan 2o4
Colotenango 208
San Pedro Necta 212
El Quetzal 216
Barillas 220
El Injerto 223
Jacaltenango 226
San Antonio Huista 230
La Democracia 234
Cuilco 238
Santa Ana Huista 242
Nenton 246
Amelco 249
San Ramon 252



,* s .-r EcE-Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Huehuetenango, Guatemala (facing page 91).

(at end of text)
S-.:'.: valley of Paiconop, Santa Eulalia; Santa Eulalia; Soloma; water conduit, El Quetzal, near Barillas.
'. ..icd slopes near La Ventosa; cultivated slopes near San Antonio Huista; Jacaltenango; gorge of Rio
.-:. een from Jacaltenango.
T .rs Santos: panorama, terraces, erosion, town.
corral near La Ventosa; ditching of soil below corral, Todos Santos; plowing, Todos Santos; wooden
w- w.
,.--w hoe, Colotenango; curved machete, San Miguel Acatan; ax and pachan, Colotenango; replanting,
.7 ,. Santos.
-. Todos Santos; cornstalk land, Todos Santos; young teosinte plants near San Antonio Huista.
L* :- varieties from the Department of Huehuetenango.
*..:-. varieties from the Department of Huehuetenango; seed corn from Todos Santos.

j* t

Huehuetenango, Guatema

L.A-.. A......
.d.. ....., --


(Drawn by R. Stadelman)



Maize or Indian corn (Zea mays), a cultivated grass
of the tribe Maydeae, is of unknown origin. It is defi-
nitely known that in its formation from whatever may
have been its ancestor or ancestors the hand of primitive
man played an important if not a major part, but the
process of its domestication is shrouded in obscurity.
Many explanations have been advanced for the origin
of maize, from the simple assumption of the primitives
that it was a gift of the gods to the more complex hy-
potheses of modern scientists. Botanists today feel that
one of the three following theories might be a correct
representation of what took place:1 (I) that maize was
developed from its ancestral form through a slow
process of selection; (2) that it arose through a muta-
tion or mutations from the ancestral form; (3) that it
is a hybrid of two or more ancestral forms. The ances-
tral form is usually suspected to be teosinte,2 the grass
most closely related to maize and of which there are two
forms, the annual and the perennial (Euchlaena mexi-
cana and Euchlaena perennis). Although these species
hybridize readily with maize and give all possible
gradations between the parents, at the present writing
no one has been able to prove that maize can be" pro-
duced from a pure strain of teosinte through any man-
ner of manipulation. Botany has been unable to explain
the formation of the maize plant as it exists today.
Archaeological evidence is even less helpful and serves
only to demonstrate that the plant existed in its present
form many centuries before the discovery of America
and was undoubtedly the dominant food crop of the
aboriginal Americans. For although the origin of maize
is still unexplained, it is now agreed that the source was
the New World, and most authorities concede that the
most likely region is northwestern Guatemala. The
chief reasons for these opinions are the lack of reliable
historical references to the existence of the plant in the
Old World prior to the discovery of the New, and the
presence of the above-mentioned maize relative in a
Wild state in Mexico and Guatemala. Among the mass
c: uncertainties regarding the early history of Indian

'Kempton, 1936, pp. 6-8.

corn the following points are worthy of credibility: that
maize has been under cultivation for a very long time;
that it was the chief food source throughout a large part
of aboriginal America and was directly responsible for
the development of the great pre-Columbian civiliza-
tions; and that it is still the most important agricul-
tural product of the New World and of some parts of
the Old.

With increasing interest in Central American archae-
ology has come need for more complete knowledge
of the cultivation of maize by the inhabitants of a re-
gion possibly significant in its domestication, in order
to.gain information regarding probable early methods
of cultivation, and comprehension of the role of maize
in the economy of the pre-Columbian peoples that in-
habited the Maya area. Thus, it is hoped that data upon
present-day practices may permit clearer understand-
ing of the past, and that such data may also be of use
for interpretation of modern economic conditions
among the Guatemalan Indians.
The original plan for the accomplishment of the
work herein reported involved a year's study of a pre-
dominantly Indian village in the Department of Hue-
huetenango, Guatemala, but with the passage of time
and the concomitant realization of the diversity of
methods of maize cultivation in the Department, the
studies were extended over the greater part of Huehue-
tenango, although residence was maintained in the vil-
lage of Todos Santos, which had for various reasons
been selected as the site for detailed observations.
The scope of these studies was such that accurate
measurements of areas and yields were not made for
more than a few fields. These, together with an analysis
of the "work books" (see p. 94), furnished the base
from which the reports of informants could be checked.
Wherever feasible, the statements made were verified
by personal observation, though those familiar with the
region will understand that native suspicion often pre-
vented access to the fields.

2 Although usually written teosinte in the literature, the accepted
spelling in Guatemala is teocinte.


Although this method of accumulating agronomic
data obviously has serious defects, it was the only pos-
sible means of surveying the region. What was desired
was an intelligent estimate of the maize economy over
a wide area rather than a meticulous accounting for a
few fields.
Further, it should be stated that the information ob-
tained was not usually elicited by direct questioning,
which too often leads to suspicion and to facetious re-
plies. The Indian "who knows his corn culture from
infancy can only be puzzled or annoyed by questions
that to him seem childish.
Every effort was made to cultivate the confidence of
the Indian and to become part of his daily existence.
Zoological specimens were purchased and medical care
was furnished and in this manner the author's quarters
became a meeting place for all the inhabitants of the
region. From the conversations held under these
friendly surroundings and as part of everyday life much
of the information reported herein was derived.
The data on maize culture are presented in tabular
form at the close of the report. This has been done in
order to simplify comparison and to conserve space. It
is the very nature of tabulations to give all the informa-
tion the same appearance of accuracy. This, of course,
is far from true in the present case and it is not intended
to imply that the data for all regions are as trust-
worthy as those regarding Todos Santos. However, the
surveys of these other areas may serve as starting points
for future studies.

The Department of Huehuetenango is one of the-
largest in the Republic of Guatemala, ranking fifth in
total area and fifth in population.3 It is situated in the
northwestern part of the Republic between the parallels
160 4' and 150 5' N. and the meridians 920 1o' and 91
5' W., bounded on the north and west by the State of
Chiapas, Mexico, on the east by the Department of El
Quiche, and on the south by the Departments of San
Marcos, Quetzaltenango, and Totonicapan, Guatemala.
Much of the region is mountainous and the axis of
the cordillera of the Andes here enters the Department
from the north and traverses more than half of it in a

a Mejia, 1927, p. 12; El Imparcial, Guatemala, July 23, 1938.
Recinos (1913, pp. I-2) states that Huehuetenango is second in area
and third in population among all the Departments of the Republic.

southward direction, when it throws off a transverse
chain eastward into the Quiche. This extremely high
system of sedimentary mountains which forms the
major part of the highlands of the Department is
known as the Sierra Madre or, more usually, the
Cuchumatan Highlands. This entire region was once
below the surface of the sea, for vast deposits of lime-
stone of various ages, some with fossils, are to be found
throughout the greater portion, as well as apparently
inexhaustible salt deposits in restricted areas. At the
time of the upheaval of the underlying azoic rocks in
the formation of the cordillera more or less as it exists
today, the continuity of the strata was so severely inter-
rupted that modern geologists encounter surprising
anomalies. Earthquakes, igneous extrusions, and vol-
canic activity in general have further complicated the
picture.4 The Department of Huehuetenango, scattered
though it be with gneisses, granite, diorites, and quartz
from the archaic upheavals, possesses in virtually all
parts a large amount of calcareous material, porous
clays, and, in the southwestern part, volcanic dust, all of
which have served, together with other readily dis-
integrable rocks, to maintain a soil eminently suitable
for agriculture.
The Cuchumatan Highlands form the most impor-
tant massive elevations in all Central America. Some of
the high peaks reach an elevation of 3,660 m. above sea
level and the bleak plateaus at 2,335-3,050 m. are in-
habited, though sparsely. Here agriculture is carried on
under inclement conditions. Away from the high cen-
tral sierra the land falls to more temperate climes, and
in the western and eastern upper quarters of the De-
partment are to be encountered low and humid rain
forests with all the accompanying Neotropic vegetation
and climate. Such extreme variation of climate leads to
the existence of manifold types of vegetation and corre-
sponding diversity in agricultural activity. Recinos has
divided the region into four altitudinal zones (which
have been slightly modified in translation from the
Spanish) :5 (i) Tierra caliente or warm regions-below
760 m. elevation. Mean temperatures from 750 to 800 F.
Characteristics: mahogany, rubber, and cacao trees,
some coffee. (2) Tierra templada or temperate regions
-from 760 to 1,520 m. elevation. Mean temperatures
from 650 to 750 F. Characteristics: liquidambar, tree

4 For a detailed account see Recinos, 1913, chs. 2 and 5, and Mejia,
1927, ch. 2.
3 Recinos, 93 p. 52.


o.. coiee. sugar cane. Beginning of wheat cultiva-
:. () Tierra fria or cold regions-from 1,520 to
m. elevation. Mean temperatures from 500 to
* :...: times falling to 32. Characteristics: firs, apple
: '. \:ajtoes. wheat. (4) Region Andina or Andean
S..,:i-above 3.050 m. elevation. Mean temperatures
:-.\ w F. and often falling below 320 with snow
during the cold season. Characteristics: Alpine.
.'.. conifers, Myrtaceae and Vaccineae. Unculti-
: l.nds. utilized only for pasturage.
M...zc is cultivated in the first three zones and is the
* ::-:al agricultural product, suffering competition
:.:with sugar cane in the lowlands and with wheat
.. extreme highlands.
i-: r.in season (invierno) in the Department of
i.:::.uctenango almost always begins in the month of
; :n all parts of the region. In a normal rainy season
S: will be a dry period (canicula)8 at midseason,
....;\ in August, for as much as fifteen days. The
.:.' .;.c then resumed, to terminate definitely in Octo-
-::: most of the areas studied. Hence a six-month
S::.. cason is the rule in Santa Eulalia, San Rafael La
::. .:ndencia, Concepcion, San Juan Atitan, San Se-
:-._:n Coatan, Chimaltenango, Soloma, San Juan
:. i. San .Miguel, La Libertad, Ixtahuacan, Colote-
.. San Pedro Necta, El Injerto, Jacaltenango, San
...:,, Huista, La Democracia, and Santa Ana
: .i .
: Nenton the season lasts a month longer, termi-
:::n November, while in El Quetzal, Cuilco, and
,:. .Ml:co the dry season (verano) does not begin until
e Ikember. In the lowland forested regions it rains
S..i\ from May to February and often longer, as in
>:. rimon. Amelco, etc.
S:: iv.pulation of Huehuetenango has recently been
S_,'.\ estimated at 214,391 individuals, of whom the
-. .:. are Indians. While these are considered to be
n:.. nient Maya stock and hence closely related
-- : themselves, it is customary to divide them into
;- (a the basis of language. Considerable variation
r-*' :: the literature regarding the classification of
S;:. .Ia tongues of Huehuetenango, but at present
'-.. most convenient to divide them into Mam,
S- i e-Ici, and Aguacatec. Each of these languages

*-t dr Ipell, known as the camiclia de San Juan, often
'. e nd ou June.
*--..t. PI, p. 125.
"- sn Guatemala to distinguish from Indians persons of
...:.-.-S S;-auih language and culture.

is more or less sharply defined from the others and, with
the exception of Chuj, each shows only superficial dif-
ferences from village to village. Recinos7 has divided
Chuj into two groups, that of Soloma and that of San
Mateo. Because of insufficient study this division can-
not be upheld nor rejected, but it appears more justi-
fiable to assume that Chuj is a single language, mutu-
ally understandable between adjacent villages and be-
coming less so between villages at opposite extremes of
the speech community. Further discussion of the range
of each language will appear below in the descriptions
of the villages which form the basis of this study.

Indian corn is the principal food of the' inhabitants
of Guatemala, the majority of whom are Indians. The
diet of the Indian is less variable than that of the. La-
dino' and is easily ascertained. Investigation in the
Todos Santos region shows that maize constitutes by
far the greater part of the Indians' diet and is often al-
most the exclusive component. Beans, squash, various
varieties of chilis or peppers, greens in season (and,
rarely, meat, potatoes, eggs, and coffee) are sometimes
added. The usual daily ration of Indian corn is about
2 lbs. per day for an adult, which is more than sufficient
to supply the daily energy requirements, as it has been
calculated to furnish some 3,480 calories.9 The corn, in
Todos Santos, is almost invariably consumed in the
form of tortillas" and bebida." Ignoring for the pur-
poses of this report the effect of such a high carbohy-
drate diet, deficient in many of the vitamins, on the
health and progress of the native population and the
possibility of substituting other cereals for maize, it re-
mains only to be noted that the Indian must have maize
and in large quantities, as the annual consumption per
adult is approximately 13 bu.
Considering the population of Guatemala to be at
least 3,000,000 (as estimated by the Government cen-
sus) and assuming for the purpose of computation that
two-thirds of the population will consume daily the 2
lbs. per capital, it appears that the annual consumption
of maize in Guatemala reaches at least 26,000,000 bu.
This figure does not include the corn fed to domestic
animals, so that it may be taken as very conservative.

Dr. Epaminondas Quintana, El Imparcial, June XI, 1937.
10 A flat circular cake made of corn paste and cooked on a dry
11 Corn paste cooked in water, sometimes with slight amounts of
other ingredients.


This amount of corn and more is produced annually in
the Republic, for only after poor harvests is importa-
tion necessary.1" Agricultural statistics in Guatemala
are notably deficient (see Table I, p. 129). According to
the figures obtainable, the entire country produced in
1933-34 slightly more than 5,000,000 bu., only about one-
fifth of the amount actually needed to sustain the popu-
lation. The fault lies not with the statisticians but with
the Indian, who is reluctant to furnish information re-
garding the amount of land under cultivation or prop-
erty in his possession, and at Todos Santos tends to re-
port a much smaller amount than he really owns, as
well as to estimate his expected yields considerably be-
low what he hopes to obtain. Hence, the agricultural
statistics art very unreliable and relatively useless un-
less the assumption is made that the Indians all over
the country falsify their reports to an equal degree,
whereupon Table I serves to compare the relative pro-
ductivity of the various Departments of the Republic.
Guatemala is perhaps even more dependent upon
maize than upon coffee, and the Department of Hue-
huetenango more so than the country as a whole. Ac-
cording to the figures given in Table I, Huehuetenango
holds seventh place among the 23 Departments of the
Republic in point of percentage of total maize produc-
tion, with 6 per cent of the total. This is doubtful in
view of the fact that the average yield per acre here
appears as 9.7 whereas in reality it is virtually the same
as the average given for the Republic, namely, 16 bu.

In view of the vast importance of agriculture to the
country, it is not surprising that the Government has
taken steps to control agriculture, assure labor, and pro-
tect natural resources. Some of the more pertinent laws
will briefly be discussed here.
i. Forestry law, Decree No. 1364, in 1925, by the Legisla-
tive Assembly.
This law sets apart forest reserves, applies restrictions to
concessionaires in the reserves, provides for forest police,
reforestation, and Arbor Day. Clearing and burning of
woods and lands belonging to the State should be done
with the following precautions:
a. A cleaned area at least 20 m. wide around the entire
area should be burned.
12 During the period of scarcity in 1937 the Government imported
corn from the United States.
is The first regulations, including the issuance of work books,
were put into effect on September 24, 1935, but the system did not
swing into action until the next year. On June 16, 1937, there ap-
peared in the Guatemalan newspaper El Impartial (p. i) a news

b. Dead and dry trees within ioo m. of the area should
be felled.
c. During the burning, two laborers should be sta.
tioned every ioo m. (four laborers on broken
ground) and provided with axes, hoes, shovels, and
d. It is prohibited to burn on windy days or in the ab.
sence of a representative of the forestry service.
Privately owned land may be burned after previous
notification of the authorities and neighbors.
On all lands it is prohibited to fell timber existing on
the tops of mountains or crests of divides within a strip
at least xoo varas (274.25 ft.) wide along the summit.
The decree also prohibits cutting or cultivating on
slopes such that the natural result would endanger the
life or property of the neighbors through probable land-
slides, etc.
2. Antivagrancy law, Decree No. 1996, May 8, 1934, by the
Legislative Assembly."s
Provides for the punishment of vagrants, among whom
are classed those laborers who are not contracted to work
on any plantation or who do not cultivate with their own
hands at least:
a. Three manzanas (5.19 acres) of coffee, sugar cane,
or tobacco in any zone, or
b. Three manzanas of maize with two crops annually
in warm regions, or
c. Four manzanas (6.92 acres) of maize in cold re-
gions, or
d. Four manzanas of wheat, potatoes, vegetables, or
other products in any zone.
3. A Presidential decree appeared later (September 24.
1935) with the object of regulating the previous law:
a. Every laborer who owns and cultivates at least to
cuerdas" (about 2.8 acres) of land but less than the
amount stipulated in the antivagrancy law is
obliged to work ioo days during the year and pre-
sent proof of having done so.
b. Every laborer who cultivates less than o1 cuerdas is
obliged to work 15o days during the year.
c. Every laborer must be provided with proof of his
status which, in the case of those cultivating the
required four manzanas, is a certification extended
gratis by the local authorities, while those who cul-
tivate less are required to obtain a libreta or booklet
which is supplied at nominal cost by the Director
of Agriculture and in which must appear the name
of the worker, data from his identification docu-
ment (Cidula de Vecindad), and the number of
days he has worked during that year. These book-
lets are to be brought up to date every two weeks
by the managers of the plantations where the men
item headlined "Vagrancy Interpreted"; it reported instructions sent
by the Minister of Agriculture to local officials. In June 1939 E.
Imparcial carried an item headed "Situation of Laborers" (SituacmC
de Jornaleros), which contained new interpretations of Decree 19o0
and of the regulations of September 24, 1935, issued by the Mi.iscr
of Agriculture. 14 These cuerdas are 40 varas square.


Those persons encountered at the end of the agricul-
S:. year with an incomplete record of labor per-
rmced during that year are imprisoned as vagrants and
o.::;ed to work on the roads, etc.

The basis for all land measures is the cuerda, which is
*. n.ime applied to both linear and square measures,
_, liv the latter. The linear cuerda consists of 25 varas,
*.:: ;i Spanish inches, and roughly equivalent to 33
a.-.;:sh inches; the cuerda, as usually used, is the area
;. .-rised within a square which measures one cuerda
.-. each side, and is equivalent to o.io8 acre (there are
.- cuerdas to the acre). Larger areas of land are meas-
a:. in manzanas and caballerias. The manzana is four
. -:as square and is thus equivalent to 16 cuerdas
:.- acres); the caballeria is slightly more than 64
.-....zanas (111.6 acres). For a comparison of these
*.:-sures see Table II.

The 27 villages and settlements which form the basis
, :his report will here be treated in order of elevation
.> .'c sea level, since maize agriculture varies mainly
.::i the climate.

Lfr.ution: 2,590 m. Population: 9,ooo in municipal-
.. mostly Indians. Area: 39,600 acres. Terrain: Paleo-
: "irmations known as strata of Todos Santos; soil
:'..narily residual laterite; well watered with small
-T:.ims which eventually reach large Ixcan River. Cli-
-.:z. Village situated near highest part of municipal-
: lands toward north descend to more temperate re-
<; .--. hats, ropes, woolens. Culture: From anthropo-
S.:il int of view, Santa Eulalia is the cultural center
: mny settlements in the region, and it seems that
* :t e ancient customs have been preserved to a large
*::. A large cave near the village is used by the
:-"-::: in their annual prophecy of the outcome of
:"'.;e activities, and sacrifices and other rites take
S-- "herc. The town is also noted for its possession of
:-ed Jol6m Conop (Head of the Village), a
a image kept in state in one of the municipal
.0:: and highly revered by all the Indians from

: -x-ily spelled Carvao by La Farge, 1931, p. 218.

leagues around. In spite of many descriptions of the
image written by persons who have or have not seen it,
no one has realized that it is evidently a Colonial image
of Jesus Christ, unfinished and much the worse for
wear and mistreatment.

Elevation: 2,548 m. Population: 8,925 in municipal-
ity, mostly Indians. Area: 7o0,47i acres. Terrain: Salt
deposits (see below), forest, highly productive soil.
Climate: The village is at such an altitude that the cli-
mate is extremely cold, but this has not shortened the
rainy season, which lasts two months longer than in
most villages of this and even lower altitudes, because
of the considerable forest in the area. Much of the mu-
nicipality is temperate and even warm. Language: A
Chuj dialect. Products: Wheat and other cereals, pota-
toes, cacao, coffee, tobacco, sugar cane, reed mats
(petates), hats, woolens, and brown sugar. The salt de-
posits consist of three wells, Shul, Nanal, and Almul,
in which water with a high percentage of salt accumu-
lates and is periodically removed to be boiled down by
the Indians. These wells have been worked since before
the Conquest and the salt is famed throughout the De-
partment as having medicinal properties. The deposits
were recently taken over by the Government and rented
for $258 per month to a concessionaire who sells the
water to the people. Before the Government assumed
control, agriculture was largely neglected and it has
only recently acquired much importance. This is the
explanation of the region's forest and the fertile soil,
similar to that of Santa Eulalia. Culture: The village
is evidently very ancient and a former religious center,
to judge from the existence of a series of extensive ruins
near the town. At one edge of the village are to be
found the massive remains of the Calvario" ruins, and
on the side of the river opposite from the salt mines the
smaller but more ornate Catepan ruins. The Calvario
ruins are even today sites for religious ritual. Remarks:
Considered one of the Department's richest munici-
palities, if salaries of Government employees are a
criterion, the principal source of wealth being the salt

Elevation: 2,500 m. Population: 3,726. Terrain: Like


that of Santa Eulalia and the surrounding villages.
Climate: Most of the land is at extreme elevations,
which fact is reflected in the yields of maize and the
low daily wage for agricultural labor. Remarks: For-
merly the aldea Tajtaj of the municipality of San
Miguel Acatan. Since its pueblo status is comparatively
recent, it does not appear on most existing maps of the
Department. Inhabitants are divided regarding merits
of pueblo status and aldea status. As far as other general
considerations are concerned, most of the remarks on
San Miguel Acatan are applicable here.

Elevation: 2,400 m. Population: 5,328. Area: 25,100oo
acres. Terrain: Geological formations and soil essen-
tially like Todos Santos. Terrain extremely broken and
maize cultivation conducted on very steep slopes. Al-
though River Azul has its origin near the village, the
town is poorly supplied with water, which is drawn
from a few shallow wells. Language: Jacaltec. Prod-
ucts: Maize, wheat, sheep (on higher slopes), hats.
Remarks: During early Colonial period was an aldea
of the then vast municipality of Jacaltenango and people
are substantially the same as the Jacaltecans. Supplies
many laborers for the coffee plantations on the coast.

Elevation: 2,400 m. Population: 3,205 in municipal-
ity. Area: I,087 acres. Terrain: Mostly of Paleozoic
formation and the soil primarily residual laterite. Much
of the land at high elevations. Language: Mam. Prod-
ucts: Sheep and wool. Culture: Is one of the smaller
municipalities and of the vacant-pueblo type, as most
of the Indians live in aldeas on the mountainsides. The
Indians are among the showily clad ones of the Depart-
ment, being surpassed only by those of Todos Santos. A
group of ruins has been reported recently, hidden in
the forested area. They are unknown to archaeologists
and no mention of them appears in the literature.

Elevation: 2,300 m. Population: 4,500. Area: 32,857
acres. Terrain: Geologically, it falls within the Paleo-
zoic, with indications of Mesozoic formations. Well
watered. Climate: Varied, due to different elevations.
Language: Chuj. Products: Maize, wheat, potatoes,

16 Recinos, 1913, p. 207.

vegetables, fruits, sugar cane, sheep, cattle, hats, and
woolen goods, especially pellones.

Elevation: 225o m. Population: 1,500 in the munici-
pality, most of the inhabitants living within the village.
Area: 1,730 acres. Terrain: Most of the land of the com-
munity is above the village level, and the soil is residual
laterite. Language: Mam. Culture: Although Chimal-
tenango is now an aldea of San Pedro Necta, it was
formerly a pueblo and there are indications that it will
again acquire this status. Culturally, the people are dis-
tinct from all the neighboring villages and have to a
great extent conserved their ancient customs. They are
among the friendliest of all the Indians of the Cuchu-
matanes, but have been ignored by most writers (even
Recinos treats the village in a superficial manner), as
the town is quite self-contained, furnishes few labor-
ers for the coffee farms, ana is not important agricul.
turally or commercially.

Elevation: 2,240 m. Population: 15,000. Area: 32,S00
acres (exclusive of a grant of land of some 550 acres in
San Ramon). Language: A Chuj dialect. Products:
Agricultural products, hats, woolens, tanned hides. Cul-
ture: The many Ladinos living in the village greatly
affect the Indian customs. Many Indians are contracted
annually to work in the coffee plantations of the coast.

Elevation: 2,175 m. Population: 2,400 including the
aldeas. Area: 47,500 acres in municipality. Terrain:
Much of the land is situated at higher elevations than
the village and is of low fertility, although the region is
well watered with many small ponds and streams. Lan-
guage: Chuj. Since San Juan is at the southern extreme
of this speech community it is not strange to find that
its dialect shows considerable variation from those ot
the more northern villages, a fact contrary to the opin-
ion of Recinos.' Remarks: Was the locale of the last
important Indian uprising in the Republic. The In-
dians, on the night of July 17, 1898, massacred the entire
Ladino population of some thirty individuals, save one
who escaped to carry the news to Soloma. The retali.-
tion of the Government was prompt, and it has been


e::nmated that perhaps ten Indian lives were exacted
:: each slain Ladino. Since then San Juan has not
mounted to much.

Eie'ration: 1,830 m. Population: About 900. Area:
-*-i acres. Terrain: Much cloud forest, seldom cleared
:.r agriculture because of Government prohibitions.
C;:n:mate: Warmer and more humid than Todos Santos
,,: which it is an aldea), with correspondingly more
.rxriant vegetation and abundant wild life. Language:
.-m. Culture: Inhabitants originally came from Todos
.'.n.os. according to local legend, but have since
.-.anged greatly, even adopting Ladino clothing to a
:-.-: extent..Nearby are some extensive ruins, those of
T.:aiion and others at Chanjon.

Liberation: 1,750 m. Population: 10,955. Area: 90,500
:c< in municipality. Language: Chuj; many of the
i:: i:.ns in the village speak Spanish well. Products:
.... flour. Culture: Is one of the more progressive
::..n villages, perhaps because of the Ladino popula-
*.. Most of inhabitants are scattered in outlying settle-
:s. of which there are many. Is only village in the
;>:-artment north of Chiantla which possesses a mu-
.. l electric plant. This furnishes current for light-
.c town and operating the electric flour mill.

E.jation: 1,745 m. Population: Approximately
.:-. in the municipality, the village being predomi-
.-..:A Ladino. Area: 41,292 acres in the municipality.
r.:'n: Village is located on a flat ridge at foot of Pefia
..-na (called Pefia Roja elsewhere than in La Liber-
high and precipitous cliff of Paleozoic limestone,
S'. from the famous Boqueron, which is a deep and
--w gorge formed by the Selegua River northwest
"': village. As only in recent years has the land been
:rVniSvely tilled, it is still very fertile. Principal prod-
Maize. Remarks: Was founded in I922 at the site
S- :rmcr aldea (La Florida) of El Trapichillo, and
S:-':: w usurped the importance of the latter, which in
-.. :.., become an aldea of La Libertad.

:-..::; on: 1,700 m. Population: 8,800, chiefly Indians.
.350 acres. Terrain: Elevation varied. To north

of village rises the high mountain known as El Papal,
part of the Cuilco mountain system, which is distinct
from the Cuchumatan range. Area well watered by
many small streams. Climate: Varied and pleasant.
Rainy season is that of Department in general (from
May to October). Language: Mam. Products: Maize,
coffee, fruits, vegetables, sugar cane, peanuts, and
panela (a coarse brown sugar). Culture: Most of the
Indians reside in aldeas, the Ladinos in the town. The
Indians are industrious and many go to work in the
coffee plantations.

Elevation: 1,675 m. Population: 6,800 in municipal-
ity. Area: 1,730 acres in municipality (one of smallest
of Department). Terrain: Elevation varies consider-
ably. Soil would be very productive but for its rocky
nature, for in I902 it received some deposits of volcanic
dust from the eruption of Santa Maria. Municipality
has an abundance of water, and a saline deposit which
is mined by the Indians. Village is located near left bank
of Selegua River (here called Rio de Colotenango).
Agricultural products: Maize, beans, vegetables, pea-
nuts, sweet potatoes, yuca (cassava), sugar cane, plan-
tains, bananas, and other fruits. Culture: Most of in-
habitants are Indians and at least half of them live out-
side the village.

Population: About 4,500. Terrain: Geologically, the
region is characterized by the presence of the Santa Rosa
strata, which are Paleozoic formations. Soil is partly
residual laterite and partly yellow clay with limonite
concretions, similar to that of Todos Santos. Eruption
of Santa Maria also deposited dust here. Climate:
Variable due to differing elevations in municipality.
Language: Mam. Products: Crude sugar, maize and
other cereals, sugar cane, bananas, coffee, various fruits,
and some cattle. Culture: Is one of the cleanest villages
and is largely Ladino in character, as most of the Indian
population live in the aldeas.

Elevation: 1,435 m. Population: About 3,000 (mostly
Indian). Area: 77,820 acres in what used to be its mu-
nicipality. Terrain: Soil is very fertile, being of same
origin as that of Todos Santos; the same Todos Santos
strata are found here and in Barillas. Climate: The


aldea is situated on the edge of the humid region in
northern Huehuetenango. The rainy season usually
lasts from May to December. Language: A Chuj dia-
lect. Products: Maize, beans, sugar cane, plantains, and
some salt. Remarks: Was formerly a pueblo but now an
aldea of Barillas. The village had a short life as a pueblo,
as it was formed in I900 and then reduced to an aldea
not many years ago.

Elevation: 1,420 m. Population: Including El Quet-
zal, 10,520 according to census of 1933. It is probably
larger because many Indians live in remote areas. Area:
237,000 acres, the largest municipality in the Depart-
ment. Terrain: Extreme fertility of soil makes this one
of richest regions in Department. Area is well watered.
Climate: Temperate with heavy rainfall lasting from
May to December. Language: Chuj. Culture: A high-
way from the city of Huehuetenango to Barillas is un-
der construction, with a view to removing more easily
the products of this vast agricultural area, which has
hardly been touched. The village is mostly Ladino,
peopled with former residents of Huehuetenango. Re-
marks: Is named after the onetime President of the
Republic, General Barillas, and was made a pueblo in
1889 at the petition of residents of the city of Huehue-
tenango. The area formerly pertained to the once enor-
mous municipality of Santa Eulalia,

Elevation: 1,400 m. Terrain: Land is extremely
broken with steep slopes and vertical cliffs. Climate:
Rainy season is from May to October, inclusive. Prod-
ucts: Corn, coffee, sugar cane. Remarks: Is a privately
owned farm for producing corn for sale, and pertains
to jurisdiction of La Libertad. Large number of colonos
or resident laborers are employed by owners. Not far
away are said to exist ruins of archaeological interest,
but not even the owners of the farm have seen them,
and of course they have never been studied.

Elevation: 1,400 m. (village). Population: 4,815.
Population of village is overwhelmingly Indian and
many more are scattered throughout numerous aldeas
and settlements. Area: 64,327 acres in municipality,
which reaches to Mexican border. Terrain: Much of
the land lies at a lower level than the village. Language:

Jacaltec. Products: Maize, some wheat, beans, peppers,
peanuts, yuca (cassava), sweet potatoes, achiote (from
seeds of Bixa orellana), coffee, vegetables, sugar cane,
textile plants, hats (made by men), woven goods (made
by women), and large numbers of cattle. Culture: Com-
munity is very ancient and has always enjoyed a promi-
nent place in the Department. During Colonial period
its territory was very much greater than now, but it is
still a large municipality. Is only village in the Depart-
ment north of Chiantla which has a resident priest.
Remarks: Region is noteworthy botanically because of
presence of vast areas covered with teosinte (Euchlaena
mexicana), which is found here in many places at alti-
tudes from 600 to 1,375 m. Across River Azul, just out-
side the aldea of San Marcos, are some fairly extensive

Elevation: i,22o m. Population: 3,000 in munici-
pality. Area: 14,358 acres, exclusive of the aldea of
Santa Ana Huista. Language: Jacaltec spoken by In-
dians of outlying settlements. Products: Maize, sugar
cane, coffee, bananas, palm hats, ropes, etc. Teosinte
also occurs in municipality. Culture: Is chiefly popu-
lated with Ladinos except for outlying settlements.
Many Indians have adopted Ladino clothing, which
gives the village an aspect of being more Ladino than
it is. Remarks: Pre-Columbian ruins are scattered
throughout the area.

Elevation: 840 m. Population: 2,500 in municipality.
chiefly Ladinos. Products: Sugar cane, maize. Re-
marks: Founded in 1924 near Camojaito.

Elevation: 830 m. Population: 9,500, much of villagee
being Ladino. Area: 181,2oo acres in municipality. Ter-
rain: Village is situated on left bank of Cuilco River.
The soil, which is of surprising fertility, is mainly resid-
ual laterite with a goodly intermixture of volcanic dus:
from the eruption in 1902 of Santa Maria, near Quc-
zaltenango. This, at the time, was a catastrophe for
western Huehuetenango, as the blanket of dust de-
stroyed crops and caused many rivers to overflow. It-
now recognized, however, that this dust has been
boon. In places it was 0.3 m. deep and has since become
thoroughly worked into the underlying sandy soil, tur-


fishing a fertile medium for crops. In the municipality
there is a good deal of forest. Language: Of Mam
origin. Resources: There are mineral deposits, chiefly
copper, which today are no longer worked. Products:
Maize, sugar cane, coffee, plantains, peanuts, peppers,
vegetables, achiote, timbers, medicinal and industrial
plants, brown sugar, fish, cattle, and hats. Remarks:
Much of the frontier with Mexico corresponds to this

Elevation: 760 m. (village). Area: 35,840 acres in
municipality. Climate: Warm. Terrain: Much of area
r: municipality is at even lower elevation than village.
Products: Sugar cane, tobacco, bananas and other agri-
cultural products of torrid climates, and hats. Remarks:
Was formerly a pueblo but is now an aldea of San An-
tonio Huista. Not far from village are ruins of ancient
settlement called Pueblo Viejo.

Elevation: 740 m. (one of lowest pueblos in Depart-
ment). Population: 3,500. Area: I43,ooo acres in mu-
nicipality, making it one of most extensive in Depart-
ment. Terrain: Town is located on left bank of Nenton
River in depression surrounded by high limestone cliffs
Lating from Upper Cretaceous. Climate: Hot. Rainy
season lasts from May to November. Language: Vari-
ant of Chuj. This is curious in view of the fact that
Nenton was, during Colonial times, an aldea of Jacal-
ernango (where the language is Jacaltec), but is ex-
plained by Recinos as being due to the settlement of the
region by Indians from San Mateo Ixtatan and San Se-
bastian Coatan." Informants affirmed that their lan-
;'uage is the same as that of San Sebastian. Products:
Maize, beans, yuca (cassava), sugar cane, coffee, sweet
' toese, peppers, bananas and other fruits, cattle. Re-
.rrks: Much of the territory consists of large cattle
:-nahes. Region is richest in Department in archaeo-
*;:cal remains, many of which are unknown to the

EL'e.iion: 610 m. Population: No longer as large as
i. irmer times. Area: Area for this region, with that
: S.in Ramon, included in figure for Barillas. Terrain:

S.r-.inos, 1913, p. 205.

Is situated near left bank of Ixcan River in rain forest
region. Soil is extremely fertile because of high humus
content. Is one of most promising agricultural zones in
Republic, two crops of corn being obtained annually
from same fields. Climate: Hot and humid. The rainy
season lasts ten months; usually March and April are
lacking in precipitation. Products: Maize and sugar
cane. Since region is sparsely settled, agriculture has
not been conducted to any great extent. Remarks: Is an
aldea of Barillas. Extensive ruins at Yulwits (15 km.
from Barillas), Ixcan, etc. have yet to be investigated

Elevation: 550 m. Population: Scattered; some fami-
lies live in San Ramon and throughout the forest are
small Indian settlements. Area: Area for this region,
with that of Amelco, included in figure for Barillas.
Terrain: Similar to Amelco; humus layer is i m. thick in
places and underlying soil rich in lime. Climate: Simi-
lar to Amelco. Resources: Because of enormous latent
possibilities is one of richest agricultural regions in Re-
public; three crops of maize may be obtained annually
from the same parcel of land, although usually only two
are planted, due to animal depredations at time of third
crop. Fine timbers, medicinal plants and others of
varied industrial application, and many forms of ani-
mal life add to resources.

All the geological notes appearing herein have been
extracted from Recinos and from Mejia, who in turn
obtained them from the works of Dr. Karl Sapper,"*
virtually the only person who has made a detailed study
of the formations in the Department. Much of the other
information appertaining to the villages has been ob-
tained from Recinos and supplemented with notes gath-
ered personally. Census figures and information on
cultivations in the various municipalities were obtained
from local authorities both in the villages and in the city
of Huehuetenango. Areas of municipalities were com-
puted from data given by Recinos and in every case
where it has been possible to compare the figures with
the original municipal titles they have proven correct.
Residence was maintained in the village of Todos
Santos during a year and a half for the purpose of re-

18 Sapper, 1894, 1897, and 1899.


cording observations of maize cultivation, and all the
other localities reported upon, with the exception of
Amelco and San Ramon, were visited and information
obtained from selected informants. This information is
necessarily inexact in some respects because of the sus-
picious nature of the informants, who were for the most
part Indians. This characteristic of the Indian will lead
him to exaggerate the amount of work necessary to

produce his corn and to reduce his estimates of yields,
for he lives in constant apprehension of forthcoming
Government taxes. Nevertheless, efforts were made to
obtain approximately correct figures for the economic
computations, with a good degree of success in most
cases. Rainfall data are not available from the official
statistics as they are not recorded. Rainfall in Todos
Santos was, of course, measured accurately.


Situated at an elevation of 2,450 m. upon a sloping
r:ateau formed by the widening of the gorge of the
Todos Santos River, the pueblo of Todos Santos has
,< en been remarked for its unusual beauty of setting.
The large duster of whitewashed adobe houses thatched
w::h grass, partially hidden among the green maize
.:lds. and the towering masses of the Cuchumatan
.caks on two sides, their lesser slopes dotted with culti-
J.aed fields and herds of white and black sheep, offer a
ranorama not easily forgotten. The.city of Huehue-
::nango, only 48 km. away to the southeast, is con-
nected with Todos Santos by a rather good mule trail,
:he same trail which in times past was the main line of
, mmunication between Mexico and Guatemala.
The climate is generally cold. At the warmer seasons
i :he year the shade temperatures rarely exceed 650 F.
Moreover, during the cold and clear dry season, espe-
:aliv in the months of December, January, and Feb-
:uarv. below-freezing temperatures are. common and
uanv mornings frost is to be seen upon the ground.
During the beginning of the rainy season hail falls, to
. destructive extent in the higher land immediately
.:cund the village. The yearly rainfall will probably
: rv from 75 to Ioo cm., distributed through the months
(: March to October (see Table III).
The town lends its name to the extensive Paleozoic
icrmations which extend from here to San Andres
ialdea of Jacaltenango) and cover most of the eastern
portions of the Department as far as Soloma and San
l-an Ixcoy. Adjoining these formations and extending
westward to San Pedro Necta and north to Jacalte-
rungo a soil of reddish yellow clay with concretions of
..monite forms a large portion of the area of the munici-
r-ity. Most of the ground is sloping but inclines of as
much as 400 are cultivated; of the entire surface of the
municipality only a negligible part, either solid rock
I vertical cliffs, is really unfit for cultivation.
The town is composed of some 250 houses, most of
:.:h are clustered together within about one square
.:~c. although the municipality with its outlying settle-
-mnts covers about 59,044 acres. As San Martin Cuchu-
-'-.:n has recently been reduced from the status of a
; -blo to a mere aldea of Todos Santos, its 9,071 acres
S. ; a total of 68,145 acres to the municipality of Todos

Ck, 1909, p. 18.

Santos Cuchumatan. Although San Martin has been
populated by Indians originally from Todos Santos, the
two towns are distinct in various ways, especially in
climate, so that they do not form a natural unit. San
Martin will be considered later in this report.
Over so extensive a region are scattered some 5,000
Indians. The few Ladinos, about 125, live not only
within the village itself but most of them on the main
The Todos Santos Indians, who are tall, strong and
industrious, and furnish excellent labor for the coffee
plantations, devote their efforts at home almost exclu-
sively to sheep raising and agriculture, and maize is by
far the most important of their crops. The town might
be characterized as a village within a maize field, as
almost every house possesses its adjacent cornfield. All
indications point to this region's being an extremely
ancient agricultural community. The town existed as
a long-settled community (with the name of Cuchu-
matlan) at the time of Thomas Gage's arrival in 1630
or thereabouts and no one knows how long before this
a maize-producing people had resided here. Many of
the slopes in and near the village show crude terracing,
which is no doubt of considerable age, as these terraces
are formed gradually due to the method of cultiva-
Stion and probably were not constructed at any one time.
It is to be supposed that each terrace was once a parcel
of land, held in common but changing hands from
time to time when redistribution of the lands occurred.
Each parcel would thus retain its original boundaries,
and as the custom is to hoe the surface soil down the
slope rather than up, during the two cultivations a year
that the maize plants receive, there is a gradual accumu-
lation of soil at the lower parts of the field resulting in
terrace formations. Old inhabitants state that the drop
between terraces is noticeably greater today than it was
twenty-five years ago-and the process of leveling still
continues. This hypothesis of terrace formation is
strengthened by the observation that almost all of the
terraces in Todos Santos are to be found on the land
most desirable for cultivation, i.e, of slight original
slope and near the center of the town. Greater slopes
more distant from the village rarely show terracing.
Thus may also be explained the low, extensive terraces
reported near Comitan, State of Chiapas, Mexico."1


No doubt at one time this entire region was heavily
forested, for although certain seasons of the year are
intensely cold, the topsoil is deep and even rich where
cultivation has been at a minimum. A large extent of
cloud forest to the south of the village covering the
mountaintops at about 3,048 m. indicates that this soil
and this altitude are not unfit for the luxuriant growth
of forest. Continual inroads are being made upon this
cloud forest for building material as well as for land
to cultivate. The presence of a few large pines among
the other trees leads one to suspect that the forest is not
of great age.z2 It would probably have disappeared long
ago but for the fact that it is above the upper limit of
productive maize cultivation and only as a last resort
will an Indian go to the trouble of felling the trees for
the small amount of corn he is likely to obtain. All
land that is not in forest is or has been cultivated and
will in all probability be cultivated again and again as
long as there are Indians in Todos Santos.
Contrary to the probable former custom among the
inhabitants of Indian villages in Guatemala, the land,
with the exception of a certain amount of forest, is not
held in common. Apparently the primitive system of
communal landholding still extant among the natives
of Yucatan and certain parts of Guatemala is fast dying
out in this Department. A few of the towns, such as
Santa Ana Huista, Jacaltenango, Ixtahuacan, and San
Antonio Huista, are outstanding examples of munici-
palities still possessing a preponderant amount of land
owned in common by the citizens. San Miguel lands
are in great part privately owned, only about one-third
belonging to the municipality. Cuilco, San Juan Ixcoy,
Soloma, Chimaltenango, Santa Eulalia, and Concep-
cion have almost entirely dropped the system, while
there is said to be no common land at all in the munici-
palities of La Libertad, Colotenango, Nenton, and La
Democracia.2 In some of the villages the change from
communal to private ownership is comparatively re-
cent. As nearly as can be ascertained, the communal
system was discarded for that of private ownership
during the period of General Justo Rufino Barrios as
President of the Republic (1874-85), at which time
there was a radical change in Governmental policy
and, among other innovations and changes, the ma-

20 Cook, i909, p. 12.

jority of the communities were definitely delimited.
The communal system was continually engendering
disputes and dissatisfactions. Today in Todos Santos
one finds that each parcel of land has its legal owner
who often as not has a registered title to his property.
Such property will, of course, remain in the hands of
the owner until he disposes of it through trade, sale, or
legacy. Some of the poorer individuals may possess
nothing or only half an acre (five cuerdas), while others
may be owners of as much as ten manzanas or more
(17-2o acres). Nevertheless, every family has sufficient
for its needs-if not in lands, then in money or other
goods, for those who do not produce enough corn for
their own consumption are those who have gone to
work in the coffee plantations, where they earn enough
to buy corn for the rest of the year. Such a thing as a
person suffering starvation in Todos Santos is abso-
lutely unknown.
Nevertheless, if the Indians depended upon the area
cultivated within the municipality of Todos Santos,
starvation would be the rule rather than the exception,
for the amount of corn produced is hardly sufficient to
maintain the population even during one month, ac-
cording to informants, who also state that of the popu-
lation of the village and aldeas there are not more than
25 or 30 individuals who do not have cultivations out-
side the community as well. Nearby communities rent
their lower and warmer lands to these migratory Todo-
santeros. Some of the Indians go far from home, even
as far as the State of Chiapas, Mexico, but these usually
have taken up permanent residence there. Concepcion,
Jacaltenango, San Antonio Huista, Santa Ana Huista,
Nenton, and other towns all count Todosanteros among
their inhabitants, either as transients during the maize
season or as permanent residents. The corn harvested by
the Todos Santos Indians in these places is for the most
part sold in Huehuetenango, though some of it finds a
market even in Quezaltenango, Totonicapan, and Mo-
mostenango. Todos Santos has aptly been described as
the granary of Huehuetenango, but it must be under-
stood that only an insignificant amount of the corn sold
by these Indians has derived from the municipality of
Todos Santos.
As a general average a family of five persons may be
supplied with corn for the entire year if they cultivate

21 Virtually every village possesses an astillero or forest for ob-
taining firewood and building material.


ir.:.imum of 30 cuerdas (3.24 acres) annually. Adults
r.: caj about 2 lbs. daily in the form of tortillas and
iL.fa. li the children are not large the daily consump-
i. :.11 be about 8 lbs. with perhaps another 2 Ibs. a day
S::c dog. pig, a few chickens, etc. This means that
a year the family will consume about 36 cwt. (or
tme bu.) of corn, which can be produced on 30
-.das of ordinary land or on 20 cuerdas (2.16 acres)
cLod land. The majority of the families, however,
:.ic an excess of corn, which is sold to provide
-.v ior other essentials.

T":rc is usually enough help within the family to do
:hc work of cultivating the land belonging to them.
ran and his two sons, even though .they be no more
youngsters in their teens, can do all the work
usarn to produce on 70 cuerdas (7.56 acres) corn
:;: would net them a considerable gain since about
i the crop could be sold.
,ose who lack sufficient help must seek outside
.*. This nonfamily labor is paid for in the form of
r.'. corn, a proportional share of the crop, or the
-. of beasts of burden, oxen, or a parcel of land.
h:e Todos Santos Indian who works in the coffee
n:anons cannot do all the cultivation. He will often
-:o leave his land after having plowed or otherwise
en it, though he may have time to plant it as well.
cLative or friend takes care of the remaining work
a: harvest time deposits the crop in a previously
:led place (usually the home of the owner). The
uncration agreed upon is almost always monetary
he "coast" worker (one who goes to the costa or
re farms) receives money in advance for his work.
usually pays about o1 cents per cuerda (92 cents per
I for each of the two cultivations given the maize
After he has done the sowing, and the harvesting
.d for at the rate of io cents per day. The reason
he different bases of rates is that the cultivation of
en parcel of land is always the same and is hence
Ln an area basis, while harvesting is variable de-
.g upon the number and weight of ears and is
Spaid on a time basis. Those who pay in corn
i. do so on a daily basis rather than per cuerda,
.'ut S lbs. of shelled corn is considered a fair daily
4- lbs. when corn is dear).
rs who own beasts of burden or oxen will lend
instead of renting them for money, with an eye

toward contracting the borrower for work in the field.
A borrower of a horse, mule, or yoke of oxen must
work two days in the field of the lender for every day
that he has used the animals.
Owners of large amounts of land and sheep may
offer a sheep in payment for labor done in their fields.
The usual rate of pay is one sheep for every to or 15
days of labor. Often a man desirous of increasing his
flock will specify that he is to be paid in sheep.
A rich landholder may rent out surplus land in order
to obtain field labor, usually receiving one or two days'
work for each cuerda he has loaned for the year. In all
these cases a day's work is considered to last from eight
in the morning to six in the evening with about half an
hour off for lunch.
Sharecropping is not customary in Todos Santos but
is practiced in the warm lowlands near Jacaltenango by
Todosanteros who have fields there. Usually the share-
cropper has to give a third of the crop to the owner of
the land and few will commit themselves to an ar-
rangement so advantageous to the landowner except in
the hot country where the yields are greater. A better
arrangement for the renter is the felling and burning
of new land for the owner, who then allows the laborer
to fell and burn an equal amount of land for his own
use. This is not the practice in Todos Santos where
there is little forest under individual ownership.
A rather unusual arrangement often made in the
lowlands near Jacalenango by the Todosanteros is to
work jointly with the owner of the land, i.e., the laborer
fells and burns, and sows the seed. The owner is re-
sponsible for the first cultivation, the laborer for the
second, and both harvest together, dividing the crop

The preliminary procedure in preparing the soil for
planting varies according to the nature of the land.
From this viewpoint land may be classified as follows:
I. Rastrojo cornstalkk land). Land in maize the pre-
vious year.
2. Llano (sod-like vegetation or land in this vegeta-
tion). It is often comparatively level and covered with
very short vegetation, usually thoroughly grazed by
sheep, of compact texture and often long fallow. (The
term "llano" is retained since "sod" is only an approxi-
3. Huatal (low bush, or land in low bush). Land

which has been allowed to lie fallow for years and with
a more or less heavy growth of bush.
4. Pajonal (bunch-grass land). This means that it
was once thoroughly exhausted with maize cultivation
and since rested for many years.
5. Montana (forest or land in forest). Not found in
Todos Santos.
6. Colchonal (land in grass called colchdn). Not
found in Todos Santos.
7. Barrial (mire), pinal (pine forest), pedregal
(stony ground), etc., not considered in this report as
they are not cultivated.

The one factor which has made it possible for the
Todos Santos Indians to possess a permanent and con-
tinuous maize culture on the same lands is fertilization.
In spite of the fact that ever since sheep raising has been
conducted in Todos Santos (certainly for a very long
time) the Indians have been using the manure and
urine as fertilizer, few outsiders have noticed the prac-
tice, although it is quite obvious. Many casual observers
have stated that the Guatemalan Indians know nothing
about fertilizers and their application. Yet fertilization,
both in Todos Santos and in other sheep-raising dis-
tricts of the country, is recognized by the Indians as the
salvation of the soil, without which the highlands
would soon become useless for maize production. The
Indian has developed the most practical and efficient
method of applying the fertilizer, for by enclosing the
sheep in temporary pens, he thus confines the manure
and urine to an area where it will be trampled under-
foot and worked to some extent into the ground.
The corral is left on the same spot for six or eight

days. In reassembling the corral on an adjacent spot,
the Indian removes only three sides, the fourth serv-
ing as one side of the new corral. If the ground slopes,
the first corral is built in the lowest corner of the field,
the successive ones following the lower edge of the
field. A new strip is then begun just above the first and
so on until the entire area has been fertilized. It is gone
over but once this way every three years. As this method
usually begins in May and ends in October (December
at the latest), which is the rainy season in Todos Santos,
precautions are taken to avoid the washing away of the
freshly deposited manure. This is accomplished by
opening in the recently fertilized ground narrow
V-shaped trenches about 12 cm. deep and about I.5 m.
apart, following the contour lines of the slope. When
time permits, the land is tilled immediately after re-
moval of the corral.
If corral construction were not begun at the lower
edge of the field (since fertilization is done during the
rainy season, when the ground is permeable, vegetation
lush, and the sheep urinate most), a dean area for the
sheep would be impossible. The corrals are formed of
slender wooden poles tied horizontally to uprights
stuck into the earth at the corners and, if the corral is
large, along the sides as well. A small opening is left
for the animals and is closed by smaller poles placed
across it. Corrals are extremely variable in size but usu-
ally measure from 2 to 7 m. on a side.
Manure 'of beasts of burden and cattle (rarely) is also
utilized. After the harvest these animals are often
turned into the fields to feed upon the dried stalks that
remain. At other times their droppings are collected
and spread over the fields near the house. The stables of
the Ladinos are thus kept clean by the Indians.


In villages where there are still communal lands and
the system is well controlled (as in San Antonio
Huista), the common holdings are divided into two
large parcels, one of which is cultivated while the other
is lying fallow and perhaps serving as pasture. In other
villages (Jacaltenango, for example) the agriculturist
selects his parcel from any locality that happens to
please him, and proceeds to clear and plant. In most
cases, making a cleared belt (ronda) around the se-
lected parcel is indication enough that the land is taken
for that year, and other planters will not encroach upon
it. In the majority of the villages the land is privately
owned and the owners often possess legal titles to their
The amount of land held by a family is extremely
variable and difficult to ascertain. The Government
statistics are unreliable as the figures are for the most
part too low. It is almost as difficult to decide this point
by direct questioning of informants, but by trying to
determine what amount of land would be possessed by
a really poor man and what amount by a rich man,
Table VI was obtained. It shows that, according to
statements of informants, Chimaltenango ranks first in
the amount of land owned per family, with an average
holding of o1.8 acres. This seems to be a considerable
exaggeration of the truth, as the amount of land per
capital is about one acre, which means that the average
family would necessarily have to consist of more than
o1 individuals, which is not the case in Chimaltenango.
These figures are further belied by the fact that not all
of the land in the municipality is arable and of the
arable land two-thirds is always lying fallow, all of
which increases the discrepancy noted above. Other vil-
lages show similar discrepancies so that the data offered
in Table VI must be accepted with caution, if not sus-
picion. According to calculations made from Todos
Santos data, any village possessing less than 1.5 acres
of arable land per capital cannot subsist upon maize
alone but must obtain money from other products or
activities or plant in other municipalities (computed on
the basis of 16.5'bu. yield per acre).
San Antonio Huista is at the foot of the list with an
average holding of 2.7 acres per family, which is barely
sufficient to maintain a family of five persons, consider-

ing that the yields in San Antonio are very good as a
rule. This small holding is no doubt due to the fact that
the land is communally owned and the holding of a
family is the amount actually under cultivation, where-
as in villages possessing little common land the holding
is much larger, as rarely is all the land cultivated simul-
taneously because of the necessity of allowing it to lie
fallow. Hence in this case the amount of land owned by
an individual must be at least twice as much as the
amount cultivated at any one time to maintain the
family. From Table VI it may be assumed that the usual
holding of a family of five is from 3 to 6 acres.

As not all of the villages have enough arable land to
support their population, a certain number of people
seek land elsewhere, as was seen to be the case in Todos
Santos. It is difficult to determine accurately the num-
ber of individuals from outside who cultivate land
within any given municipality; the information here
given is informants' estimates, necessarily inexact.
Jacaltenango attracts about 200 migratory farmers.
These have come from Todos Santos, San Miguel, Con-
cepcion, and Petatan (an aldea of Concepcion). The
Todos Santos Indians, the most numerous, have formed
four distinct settlements-Chiul, Mitsupa, Meste, and
Chapaltela-within the last Io or 15 years.
Santa Ana Huista has about 2oo tenants (ioo from
Todos Santos and Chianta; the others from San Pedro
Necta and Colotenango) paying rental on some 216
acres of municipal land.
Cuilco has 150-200 tenants from Ixtahuacan, Tecti-

tan, and La Libertad, Department of Huehuetenango,
and from Concepcion, Tutuapa, Ixcoyan, Tacana, and
Ixtahuacan, Department of San Marcos.
Concepcion has i50 tenants from Todos Santos, San
Miguel, San Juan Ixcoy, Santa Eulalia, San Martin, and
Chianta. Some of the Concepcion Indians themselves
go to Jacaltenango to plant, but not more than 15 or 20.
La Democracia has 150 tenants from San Miguel,
Colotenango, and Ixtahuacan, Department of Huehue-
tenango, and from the other Ixtahuacan in the Depart-
ment of San Marcos.
Santa Eulalia has about 75 tenants, 60 from San
Rafael La Independencia and 15 from San Miguel (in


the aldeas of Temux and Paiconop). Some of the in-
habitants of Santa Eulalia go to Barillas to plant in
October and December, and to Concepcion.
Chimaltenango has about 20 tenants from San Juan
San Mateo has a few tenants from San Miguel and
San Sebastian, who are more squatters than tenants, as
they do not pay for the land, through "right of pos-
Nenton has a few tenants from San Miguel.
San Martin has a few from Todos Santos.
San Juan Ixcoy has no tenants, but rents the high
common land to sheep herders for the summer season
at 5 cents per three sheep. Some of these Sanjuaneros
go to Concepcion to rent land.
Soloma, El Quetzal, La Libertad, and San Pedro
Necta deny having tenants, but the latter village really
has a few from Colotenango.

The common land cannot be rented. The following
arrangements apply to privately owned land.
The rate of pay for the rented land varies somewhat
from village to village, but usually amounts to 8 cents
per cuerda, or about 74 cents per acre. This is the rental
in Santa Ana Huista and Nenton, where money is the
usual form of payment.22 In 1937 Santa Ana took in
$240 from rentals on municipal lands.
Tenants in Santa Eulalia pay from 5 to 8 cents per
cuerda (46-74 cents per acre) or do all the necessary
work on an equal amount of land for the owner.
In Chimaltenango the tenants work eight days for
each io cuerdas (about an acre) of land they receive, or
pay a rental of 5 Ibs. of shelled corn per cuerda (46 Ibs.
per acre).
Tenants in Cuilco must pay 12 almudes of shelled
corn (13 lbs. per almud) for each Io cuerdas rented, or
give 12 days of labor. In either case the pay amounts to
about $1.44 an acre.
In Jacaltenango the tenants pay 5-8 cents per cuerda,
or work one day for each cuerda (nine days for each
acre), or turn over a third of the crop.
In Concepcion the tenants pay $1.oo per 12 cuerdas
or turn over a third of the crop. Or the tenant may work

22 At the time of the writer's arrival in Nenton a group of ma-

a parcel of land with the owner, in which case he clears
the huatal at his expense, works equally with the owner
in the other operations, and the two divide the crop
equally between them.
In San Antonio Huista the common land is rented to
tenants at io cents per cuerda (92 cents per acre). Pri-
vately owned land is usually rented for a day's labor
per cuerda or for 400 ears of corn per 12 cuerdas.
Tenants in La Democracia pay 50o lbs. of shelled
corn for the amount of land which can be planted with
one almud of seed, or about io-12 cuerdas. Or, if the pay-
ment is made in corn on the cob, one sonte or 400 ears
are paid for the use of the same amount of land. Colonos
or resident labor will usually rent 30 or 40 cuerdas of
land, and as the work done on the cultivation of this
is not enough to free them from their obligations to the
Government in complying with the antivagrancy law,
they will pay for the land by working 72 days for the
owner, which labor is entered in their libretas, and then
do another 28 days' work for their employer at a wage
of 8 cents per day, which labor is also noted in the book-
lets. Thus they complete the ioo days of labor exacted
by the law of those who cultivate more than io cuerdas
but less than 64.

Hand labor in the field is usually paid per nine-hour
day, although it is often paid at the same rate per
cuerda, as in most of the operations of maize produc-
tion one cuerda requires a day's labor. The usual pay
for this amount of work is either 8 or to cents. The 8-
cent rate holds in San Mateo, Concepcion, San Juan
Atitan, San Sebastian, San Miguel, Barillas, Amelco,
El Quetzal, El Injerto, La Democracia, Nenton, and
San Ramon. The io-cent rate is paid in Chimaltenango,
La Libertad, Ixtahuacan, Colotenango, San Pedro-
Necta, Jacaltenango, San Antonio, and Santa Ana
Huista. The only village paying more than these rates
is Cuilco, where the employer not only pays 13 cents
but furnishes the hoe as well. There are several.villages
paying a 5-cent rate, namely, Santa Eulalia, San Rafael
La Independencia, Soloma, San Juan Ixcoy, and San
Plowing, in those villages where practiced, is done

rimba players were hammering their instrument incessantly in pay-
ment of land rent to the municipality.


-i :m S A..,. to 2 P.m.., the longest hours oxen can
: \.kcd. The plowman almost invariably owns both
:..-.:i and plow, and charges a cover-all rate of 25
:-. r : day. This is the price in San Juan Atitan, La
i.:'r.ad. Ixtahuacan, Colotenango, San Pedro Necta,
I:; .rto. San Antonio Huista, La Democracia, and
n:-.:a Ana Huista. In Barillas and San Martin the rate
,-v cents, in Nenton 28 cents, and in Cuilco 33
-.*.: The amount of land plowed per day depends
n :he nature of the soil, the season of the year, and
' .:: hr or not the land was previously plowed. This
. ..-is considered in the Tabular Summaries of the

There are essentially six different implements in com-
w c u~.. with additional modification: plow, hoe, ma-
.-.-. pachin, ax, garavato.
Tne plow is a very primitive one, entirely of wood
%.ev for the share which is sheathed on its upper sur-
:.e: w:th an iron plate. The plow is of three pieces-a
S**; curved pole (tim6n), one end of which is tied to
:.: yoke of the oxen, the other end attached to the plow
7ccr (arado) by means of the third piece of wood
**h;h passes through and is wedged into correspond-
:-. holes in both tim6n and arado. The single handle
c< :e- plow is a continuation of the plow itself. This
:,nm of plowshare, being a simple point, flat above and
a.l cx below, does not open a wide furrow or turn
i-.r surface rubbish. The plow is used in the villages
cn:ioned under "Wages and Hours of Labor."
The only implements universally used are pachan
iad machete.
Tne hoes are of varying sizes and fitted with a head
tit 2 wooden handle, which is supplied by the pur-
.cr. They are usually of American or German manu-
:;:ue. A modification, used in Colotenango, is a piece
: r..a iron or a segment of old machete blade set into
a 'e- wooden handle at right angles. It is particularly
-.;:; :n rocky soils for weeding the maize fields. Simi-
" s 1 are the q'oxbil of Chimaltenango, the wit-
fi' o, San Miguel and the witsox of El Quetzal,
-.::cer now obsolete. The pick is here considered to
:" -m 'tiication of the hoe, and will not be treated

.- machete, the implement for cutting bush and
rci:n the fields, is a long and rather wide heavy-
-- knife for chopping single-handed. The blade is

usually somewhat curved at the extremity, but there are
numerous styles. They are of foreign manufacture. A
common modification of it is the luk, used in San
Miguel, San Mateo, Nenton, and Jacaltenango. It is
usually made from an old machete, with the point
turned around the cutting edge in the form of a hook,
and useful in cutting roots and doing other close work
in rocky soils where the machete would prove unhandy.
Similar tools are the ts'embal of Colotenango and the
waa n t/'en of El Quetzal.
The pachan or planting stick is often made of any
sort of wood, although some villages prefer special
kinds. The point is fire-hardened if not shod with iron.
The barreo'n is a modification of the pachan and differs
from it in that its iron point is flat and thin, usually
made of an old machete blade. It is best for compact
soils; the iron-pointed pachan, for rocky soil. The barre-
t6n is common in La Libertad, Cuilco, and La Demo-
The ax, of foreign make, is also bought without a
handle. It is used in all villages where there is forest to
be felled, and this includes all of them except Nenton,
La Democracia, Colotenango, Ixtahuacan, La Libertad,
Chimaltenango, San Sebastian, and San Juan Atitan.
(This should not be understood to mean that the ax is
not used for other purposes in these villages; here ref-
erence is made only to those implements utilized in
maize production.)
The garavato is a hooked stick used in conjunction
with the machete, especially in places where weeds
grow profusely, and serves to rake the cut vegetation
out of the way of the machete, which is kept in action
with the right hand.
Questioning of Indians has led to very little informa-
tion as to when these tools were adopted. In Colote-
nango it is known that in the distant past the Indians
used sticks for digging (the same statement was made
in Todos Santos); in Nenton the informants stated
that 20 years ago only the ax and luk were in general
use and that the plow, hoe, and machete were adopted
because with them the Indians obtained increased
yields with less labor; in Santa Eulalia 50 years ago the
modern commercial hoes were unknown. Apparently
certain Indian tribes of Guatemala, although ignorant
of iron, utilized in pre-Conquest times a tempered
alloy of copper and tin, as well as stone, for making
axes and hoes, according to Las Casas, Ximenez, and


Remesal.2 Even a sort of primitive plow is supposed
to have been described by the Archbishop Garcia


All but eight of the villages studied still have a cer-
tain amount of forest land which is continually being
cleared and planted. The preparation of this sort of
land is done in much the same way in all the localities.
The underbrush is first cut with machete or luk and
then the large trees felled with the ax. Branches and
small bush are then chopped down and allowed to lie
until dry, when fire is set to the whole, after a clean
space has been made with hoes around the clearing so
that the fire will not spread to the surrounding vegeta-
tion. For this work the dry season is selected in order
that the cut vegetation may dry. The clearing is done
in the month of November in Todos Santos; in Sep-
tember in El Quetzal; in October in Soloma and Santa
Eulalia; from October to December in San Antonio
Huista and San Juan Ixcoy; in October and November
in Jacaltenango; in November in Santa Ana Huista,
Cuilco, El Injerto, and San Pedro Necta; in November
and December in Concepcion; in January in San Ma-
teo, San Miguel, Amelco, and San Ramon; and during
the month of February in San Rafael La Indepen-
The amount of work necessary to clear forest land
varies as the size and number of trees present. Among
the different villages it ranges from 18 to 46 days of
work per acre. The amount of time spent in this type
of clearing is given for each village in the Tabular
Within a few days after the burning, or when the
ground has cooled, the area may be planted without
further preparation.

This type of land is the most widespread of all among
the villages studied, as it is the natural result of allow-
ing land to lie fallow. Only in San Ramon is there little
huatal, as here the land is rarely rested, being culti-
vated year after year. In all the remaining localities a
parcel of land formerly under cultivation will, when

23 Batres Jauregui, 1916, p. 398.

allowed to lie fallow several years, develop a more or
less thick growth of woody vegetation providing the
roots of this vegetation have not been killed by too deep
a cultivation. It is surprising to note how long a piece
of land will continue to spring up in bush even after
innumerable alternations of cutting and burning and
cultivation. Jacaltenango offers an excellent example
of this, for here no plowing is done and the cleaning of
the fields is done almost exclusively with machetes,
with the result that woody vegetation continues to re-
turn when the land is left fallow. In the highland vil-
lages in general and where plowing is done in particu-
lar, with rather deep cultivation with the hoe, the roots
of the woody vegetation are so damaged that before any
reforestation can begin the land is completely occupied
by coarse grasses (usually called. paj6n). The burning
of cut huatal does not seem to have any deleterious ef-
fect upon the roots of the woody vegetation.
The height reached by the vegetation in the varying
periods of fallow as observed by the different villages
depends upon many factors, such as climate and rain-
fall, fertility of the soil, degree of slope of the land, na-
ture of the vegetation, and the length of the fallow
period. Usually a huatal will reach a height of about
2 m. before it is considered ready to cut and burn again,
but in regions where the climate is more favorable or
land more plentiful (and hence longer fallow allowed
to the land) the growth may reach a height of 3 or 5 m.
(as in La Democracia).
The cutting of a huatal is done with the machete or
sometimes with the luk or similar modification of the
machete. This work requires about nine days per acre,
a practically invariable figure for the entire Depart-
ment. The work is usually begun at a later period in
the season than in the case of forest, as the nature oi
the bush allows it to dry in less time, and the object
pursued is to be able to burn the bush just before the
time of planting.
In Todos Santos bush is cut in December and burned
in January; in Santa Eulalia the taller huatales are cut
in October and the lower ones in December; in Amelco
the work is done in November, during the rainy sea-
son, and because of this the cut bush cannot be burned,
but must be allowed to rot in situ. In San Miguel the
bush is cut in November and December if the land is
to be planted in March-for the May plantings the

24 Ibid., p.. 399.


clearing of huatal is done in January and February. In
San Juan Ixcoy the work is done in the month of No-
vember or December; in Ixtahuacan in November in
the cold regions and in February in the hot; in El Quet-
zal in December; in San Rafael La Independencia and
Soloma in January; in San Mateo in January and Feb-
ruary; in San Antonio Huista and Nenton25 from
January to March; in Cuilco in January or in April,
according to the planting time; in La Libertad in Janu-
ary and February; in San Pedro Necta in February; in
San Sebastian, La Democracia, and Santa Ana Huista
in February and March; in Colotenango, Barillas, and
El Injerto in March; in Concepcion before April; and
in Chimaltenango in early April. As soon as the bush
is sufficiently dry it is burned, precautions being taken
to clear a space around the parcel so as to avoid dan-
gerous spreading of fire. Usually a group of individuals
having adjoining parcels will all make their clearings
at the same time, surround the whole with a single
cleared area, and set fire to it. In this way labor is saved
and there is more assurance of avoiding conflagrations
in surrounding territory. After burning, the land may
be planted without the necessity of tilling. The plow
seen in use by La Farge26 at San Martin was most cer-
tainly not being used in a burned clearing as such areas
are never tilled in the Department of Huehuetenango.

In April 1937 a bill to prevent clearing fields by burn-
ing was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of
Guatemala. Before the bill was finally rejected, merits
and demerits of the system were presented as follows:
I. Burning is the quickest and easiest, and hence most
economical, method of clearing the land of the rubbish of
cut bush.
2. The heat of the fire loosens the soil as a result of
steam formation below the surface, allowing the land to be
planted without previous tillage, and may free some lime
from surface rocks.
3. The fire destroys eggs, larvae, and adults of various
insects and prevents the nesting of vermin in the field.
4. The potash and other mineral salts from the ashes
form an excellent fertilizer.

25 During the very dry years some of the less luxuriant huatales
may be burned without previous cutting, a fact noted by Cook, I909,
p. 1o. 26 La Farge and Byers, 1931, p. 69.
27 According to io years' experience at McNeill Experiment Sta-
tion, Mississippi.
28 It has been suggested that the cut vegetation be allowed to lie
and rot or that it be buried as is done in the coffee plantations, plant-

5. Carbon dioxide from the combustion may be absorbed
by the carbonized roots, forming carbonic acid with the
first rains and hence enabling the solution of silicates and
6. Fragments of carbon may absorb atmospheric ozone
and thus aid in nitrification of the soil.
7. Creosote and pyroligneous acid from the smoke have
been supposed to have some bactericidal action when dis-
solved in rain water and may thus destroy organisms harm-
ful to the roots of cultivated plants.
8. Continued burning over a period of years may even
increase the content of organic material, nitrogen, and
mineral elements (potash and phosphoric acid) of the
I. Loss of nitrogen and organic material to the soil
through the combustion of the cut vegetation.
2. Loss of mineral elements from the soil on slopes due
to washing in heavy rains which come immediately after
the period of burning.
3. Destruction of large acreages of timber because of
carelessness in preventing the spread of fires, with conse-
quent reduction of water supply and even modification of
the rainfall and climate if the destroyed area be very large.
4. Latrification of days and vitrification of sands
through effect of the heat of the fire, resulting eventually in
impermeability of the soil.
This last argument is obviously false since the fires
do not last long enough or produce enough heat to de-
stroy the humus layer, much less cause such profound
changes in clay and sand. Disadvantage I is apparently
nullified by Advantage 8; Disadvantage 2, which de-
creases the value of Advantages 4 and 8, is unavoid-
able because of the nature of the terrain in the Depart-
ment, little of which is level in the area discussed in
this report. Nevertheless, the erosive effects are dimin-
ished to some extent during the cultivation of the
maize, when ridges following the contour lines of the
slope are formed along the rows. Disadvantage 3 is not
an inherent defect of the system of burning but is ob-
viously carelessness on the part of the agriculturists
and indifference of local authorities to necessary pre-
As to whether or not the Government will attempt
to eradicate the system of setting fires by enforcing
other methods of clearing land28 is not pertinent to this
report, but it may be remarked that Advantages I, 2,
and 3 are powerful motives for the common practice of

ing to take place the second or third year. Exponents of this idea neg-
lect to take into consideration the great difference between a coffee
plantation with its large and sturdy trees planted at considerable dis-
tance from each other with a shady environment, and a clearing for
maize or other cereals. In such a clearing the vegetation would have
to be cut again the second year and there would always be an an-
noying amount of rubbish to hinder the proper cultivation of maize.


burning and the only arguments likely to be considered
by the Indian.
While the destructive action of rains on cleared and
burned slopes is one of the worst results of the system
and undoubtedly causes great loss of soil fertility, it
cannot be denied that many such slopes continue to pro-
duce woody vegetation and satisfactory yields of corn.
If this were not the case, the greater portion of the De-
partment of Huehuetenango would long ago have
ceased to produce maize, as the greater portion of cul-
tivated land is far from level."2

The kind of bunch grass known as paj6n is to be
found in many of the municipalities, especially at the
higher elevations. It frequently occurs in almost pure
stands, or may be interspersed with llano or small
amounts of woody vegetation. Among municipalities
lacking in this type of vegetation (although in some are
to be found scattered patches) are Amelco, San Ramon,
Jacaltenango, Barillas, Colotenango, Chimaltenango,
El Injerto, and San Martin.
Contrary to Cook's statement30 that after the occupa-
tion of the land by coarse grasses the Indian can no
longer utilize the land for agricultural purposes, one
finds that this type of land is continually being utilized
for maize cultivation and that often the yields are very
good. Of course, the extirpation of the grass is difficult,
hence pajonal is one of the types of land which show
little profit.
There are several kinds of grasses in the Department
which often cover large areas of ground. The principal
form is the paj6n; this is not found in Santa Ana
Huista, where the grass is called paja and has a thinner
and wider leaf than the paj6n and does not form defi-
nite bunches. Another type of grass, called colch6n, is
found throughout the area from Jacaltenango through
the Huistas to La Democracia and La Libertad, form-
ing a special type of land in these latter two municipali-
ties. Its introduction is comparatively recent, and the
natives think it was brought from Chiapas by the grass-
hoppers. It receives the name colch6n ('mattress') be-
cause of the way the leaves mat together on the ground,
rendering it difficult to remove. Its eradication is fa-
cilitated by first utilizing it for pasture (Santa Ana
29 Slopes of 450 are regularly cultivated and it is not unusual to
find maize fields with a slope of almost 60o. 30 Cook, I909, p. 1i.

Some methods of preparing pajonal for planting are
very simple and inefficient but most of the villages take
great care to remove all the roots and to till the soil
well, for only in this way can the grass be kept down
during the maize-growing period. In Nenton the grass
is burned in May without cutting, and then the soil is
tilled with the hoe in June. This is the only place where
the grass does not have to be cut and dried before burn-
ing. (Colch6n in La Democracia is also burned off
without cutting, but in La Libertad it is first cut.) The
cut paj6n, if not needed to thatch houses, is usually
piled and burned when dry. Such is the practice in
Cuilco, San Antonio, El Quetzal, Ixtahuacan, San
Miguel, San Sebastian, Concepcion, San Mateo, and
Santa Eulalia. In only a few villages is the cut grass
turned under as green manure-San Pedro Necta, San
Juan Ixcoy, Soloma, San Rafael, and San Juan Atitan.
As in the case of all land preparation, the work is
begun far enough ahead of time to allow the corn to
be planted at the accustomed planting time, and this
varies from village to village and even within the vil-
lage. The amount of work required to prepare this type
of land varies from i8 to 40 days per acre. (More de-
tailed information is given in the Tabular Summaries
and in Table XI.)

Land termed llano is usually free of rubbish, having
only a short, compact vegetation owing perhaps to low
fertility of the soil and the constant grazing to which
it is subjected. It is usually soil that has been allowed to
lie fallow for more or less long periods and is hard and
compact. In Todos Santos the breaking of this type of
soil usually begins in August when the ground is soft
from the action of the rains. A second choqueo is given
it in December or January. The choqueo is usually a
plowing, as the llanos are level for the most part, and
extensive. With this simple treatment it is ready for
planting. Often it has previously been fertilized with
movable sheep corrals, discussed on pages 104, 120.
This type of land is found in varying amounts in all
the settlements except El Injerto, San Martin, Jacalte-
nango, San Ramon, and Amelco. These last three locali-
ties are further noteworthy in that here no land is ever
tilled, either with the plow or with the hoe. The seed is
planted on cornstalk land.31 Of the villages possessing
51 San Ramon and Amelco do not till, for the deep humus lave
does not require it. Jacaltenango does not till because there it is re-L


.:. Chimaltenango plants the seed without pre-
S:...c: being of compact texture this type of land
..... ies thorough tillage, often with the plow
. ::,.;n ":he hoe. Most of the villages seem satisfied
S -.' to killings of llano, as in Santa Eulalia, San
i .in. Rafael, Concepcion, San Juan Atitan, So-
, .. n Juan Ixcoy, San Miguel, La Libertad, El
S- -... larillas. Cuilco, and Nenton. In San Antonio
:- : J San Sebastian only one tilling is given. On
S. hand. three killings are the rule in Colote-
.. -. n Pedro Necta, La Democracia, and Santa
i.-.. i"-:Sa. and four in Ixtahuacan. In places where
-:._-:! killings are given the work is usually done
1 .-. : ow. (For more detailed information see the
Si: Summaries.)

*. ":-;k land (rastrojo) is that which was in maize
: a-'.:ys ear. showing remnants of trash of stalks
:- i idcr and the small hills that were formed
-. rih stalk. This type of land, if not destined to
.:- ..:.. .is prepared by plowing when circumstances
-...'..c-g. the slope of the land, the amount of land in
:-- -::;l. and whether or not the owner can afford to
V: \'e steep slopes, especially when interrupted
:- .-.. large rocks, erosion ravines, etc, are more
C;L. o,:rkd with pick or hoe, although rather steep
u Cri as much as 300, when of more uniform sur-
.-. ;ca be plowed with oxen by roughly following
-.e -.' :rs of the slope. In such a case, however, the
. -cond plowing cannot be done crosswise to the
1.i: a :s customary on more level ground. Small par-
.r.- a: an1d are worked with pick or hoe. This is also
M.e r. se of the man who does not choose to hire a
'*-:L -: c n. which would cost him 25 cents per day.
I: ..! .=-iis owning oxen and skilled in plowing will
,-.-_-*. t, plow the land of their neighbors for pay,
.a--, -nonev. The oxen are small but very well
:: h- work.
-r.:cn is to be found the simplest method of
S;-. I:'aration, for the stalks of late varieties of
r- ,' ull (3 m.) that they can be stamped down
uund and burned without cutting and pil-
S uses a similar method but here dry grass
:, : .ad over the trampled stalks to aid the fire

I --; I2 cultivation with the hoe are responsible for the
:* woody vegetation-the highland Indians who
-.an : :.-ango are prohibited the use of the hoe on the

as the stalks alone do not offer enough fuel to carry the
flames over the entire field. Most of the villages ob-
serve the custom of burning the stalks, which are first
cut with hoe or machete, then piled and burned.
Among localities where burning is seldom practiced
are San Ramon and Santa Eulalia. In Amelco the stalks
are burned at times when the weather permits (April),
otherwise they are left to rot. In many towns where
burning is the custom there are to be found individ-
uals who prefer to turn under the chopped stalks for
their fertilizing value. More elaborate methods of
rastrojo preparation include tilling of the soil, which
may be a simple hoeing at the time of cutting the stalks
or later, or may involve several plowings, as in La
Libertad, Ixtahuacan, and Colotenango. In La Demo-
cracia and Santa Ana Huista the early varieties of seed
are planted on well-plowed land whereas the later-ma-
turing kinds are planted without any sort of prelimi-
nary tillage. (See Tabular Summaries.)

Although in many Indian settlements in Guatemala,
especially in the warmer regions, a variety of types of
seed are sown, that of Todos Santos seems to be a
single variety of yellow flint, long-season corn, or at
least it was originally a single variety that has since
suffered modifications. As is customary among the In-
dians in planting maize, each restricted area has its
peculiar variety of seed which is continually planted in
that same area. Seed from 1.5 km. away is rarely
planted, especially if the two regions are at different
elevations, for it is stated that if the seed acclimated to
the area is substituted by another seed even from a
different aldea of the same village, the yield will suffer.
Hence, although the original seed of Todos Santos was
probably a single variety (one does not find here the
numerous very distinct varieties to be found in other
towns), owing to this highly specialized regionaliza-
tion, the original type has developed into many varia-
tions which may be distinguished by differences in the
reddish yellow shade of the grains, number of rows,
quality and color of the husk, size and form of ear and
grains, etc. Each aldea of Todos Santos has one or more
varieties and they are not interchangeable for seed

rented lands. In this way the community has preserved its bushland
and avoided the propagation of grassland.



Size of grain is the predominant factor in choosing
seed for planting. A small ear with large grains is pre-
ferred to a larger ear with smaller grains. At the time
of harvest seed corn is put away in a dry place, often
over the fire in the kitchen (so that the smoke will pre-
vent insect attacks), and the ears, tied together in pairs
by remaining husks, are suspended from the rafters.
When planting time approaches, which in Todos
Santos is early February32 after the Fiesta de Cande-
laria (Candlemas), the seed is shelled and examined for
soundness, only the small grains at the tip being re-
jected as unsuitable.
In most localities the seed is set apart at harvest time.
Where the custom is to husk the ears at harvest, the
selection of the seed is based on visual examination of
the grains. In a few localities such as San Miguel, Colo-
tenango, El Injerto, and urban San Mateo, where the
seed ears are not husked, the selection is made from the
largest and heaviest ears. In only a few localities is the
selection of the seed left until just before planting, and
this is done because of the insect pests common to those
areas and which would seriously damage seed corn if
it were kept stored for any length of time. Hence in
San Ramon, Amelco, and Barillas the seed is not set
apart at harvest but is selected from the stored ears
when planting time arrives. This practice is also ob-
served in La Democracia and Concepcion with regard
to the seed of the long-season varieties; the seed of early
varieties is set aside at harvest.
At least in Todos Santos the seed, if it is an appre-
ciable amount, is always the object, before being
planted, of costumbre, that is, of religious rites in the
form of a blessing. Candles and copal (prepared resin
of Hymenoea verrucosa Lamarck) are burned before
the bag or box of seed, and prayers are recited to God
and favorite saints that the seed may germinate and that
birds and vermin may not steal it from the ground. This
ceremony takes place in the house of the planter. Small
amounts of seed, i.e. a few pounds, are sown without

A full discussion of the various types of seed planted
in each village is given in the Tabular Summaries. Here

32 At elevations considerably above the village, planting occurs
about January 25 as the corn matures two weeks or a month later
than it does at a lower level. It is desirable to have all fields develop

the object is to consider briefly the more general aspects
of the varieties, of which there are at least 166, for while
the varieties can be grouped into classes, no two are
exactly alike, each kind having its peculiar adaptations.
The number of varieties is to be found as follows:
Jacaltenango 22; Concepcion, La Democracia 12; La
Libertad ii; Santa Ana Huista, Cuilco, San Antonio
Huista, San Miguel 8; San Mateo 7; San Rafael, So-
loma, San Martin, San Juan Ixcoy, Nenton 6; San Juan
Atitan, San Sebastian, Chimaltenango, Ixtahuacan 5;
San Pedro Necta, El Quetzal, San Ramon 4; Santa
Eulalia, Colotenango, Barillas, El Injerto 3; Amelco 2.
Of these varieties of seed corn a collection of 135 ears
was made from the various localities (pls. 7, 8). In most
instances the Indians name their seed corn according
to color and on this basis the maize of the region may
be divided into white, yellow, red, black, and pinto
(or spotted).
Each of these classes based on color may be divided
into groups according to the texture of the grain.
Among the 135 sample ears collected 40 are white.
In the flour corn most of the grain consists of soft
starch. One variety is found in Soloma and the other in
Barillas, grown by Ladinos. One variety of sweet corn
(3) from Santa Ana Huista is known as Crespo be-
cause of the wrinkled appearance of the grains. 4 from
San Ramon is a dent corn possessing a very high pro-.
portion of soft starch. 5-27 are classed as dents because
of the high percentage of soft starch in the crown, al-
though many of them do not show indentation. Be-
tween flints and dents it is difficult to distinguish as
there are a number of ears of intermediate character,
but 29-40 may be classed as flints.
Of the yellow ears 41-45 are dents, 46-60 intermediate
between dents and flints, and 61-85 are definitely flints.
Among the red ears 86-88 are dents, 89-96 are inter-
mediate, and 97-o02 are flints.
Only 8 specimens of black ears were obtained: zo3
and 104 have characteristics of dent corn, whereas the
remainder are flints. Black corn is not really black, but
a dark purple.
Of the spotted corn there are varieties which show
intermixture of two or more of the above four colors.
ii1-122 are dents and intermediates between dents and
flints; 123j-35 are primarily flints.

together, for early crops are subject to thievery in the roasting-ear


It is to be noted that white and yellow varieties pre-
dominate with 30 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively,
of the total number of samples; pinto follows with
about 19 per cent, then red with 12 per cent, while only
6 per cent of the ears are black. The white corn is usu-
ally preferred for making tortillas although it is said
that the yellow is more nourishing. As a rule, flints are
planted more extensively in cold regions, and dents,
especially the white dents, in warmer areas.

Three ears of corn are expected to give i lb. of shelled
corn although some single large ears may yield a
pound. The amount of corn required to plant one
cuerda depends upon the distance apart of the hills and
the relative size of the grains, but 2 lbs. per cuerda
(18.4 lbs. per acre) is considered the average.
In Todos Santos the seed is carried to the field in a
moral, or small henequen sack, slung from the shoul-
der. With a long pole or pachan the end of which, if
not of iron, has at least been hardened in fire, a hole is
opened to a depth of about 8 cm. With the pachan still
in place but inclined to one side, the sower tosses ex-
actly five grains into the hole, removes the pole, and
with its point covers the seed. The work is usually done
by several persons working together, facing in the same
.direction and one row apart. They plant across the
upper edge of the field, if it is sloping ground, then
start back, thus working from the top of the field to the
bottom and more or less following the contour lines of
the slope. Hills are spaced about 0.6 m. apart, as are the
rows, although there is much irregularity, especially if
the ground is full of rocks. One man can ordinarily
plant from three to four cuerdas (04 acre) per day.
The method of planting followed in other localities
in Huehuetenango is almost identical with that de-
scribed for Todos Santos. The only variations are that
in some places a barret6n is used for opening the soil
instead of the pachan, and the number of grains and
distance apart of the hills depend upon local condi-
tions. Usually five or six grains are planted with the
object of securing five stalks to each hill, but in a few
places seven or eight or even twelve grains are sown.
This is because many of the grains are lost through ani-
mal depredations. Hills with more than the accustomed
five stalks are not thinned to that number.
The planting distance varies from 0.5 to 1.5 m., usu-
ally being from 0.8 to i m. The time required to plant

an acre of ground varies with the distance at which the
hills are spaced, but for purposes of computation of
costs in the Tabular Summaries, 26 man-hours per
acre has been considered to be the usual time required.
Planting seasons vary slighdy from village to village.
There are often two recognized periods for planting
the maize, called the dry season planting (siembra de
verano) and the rainy season planting (siembra de
invierno). In the first case, the seed is planted in the
months of February and March, before the end of the
dry season, while in the second case the planting oc-
curs just before the expected rains or after the first
rains. This is usually considered to cover the period
from April to May. Further details are to be found in
the Tabular Summaries.

As all of the planted grains do not sprout it is neces-
sary to replant. The time elapsing between planting
and replanting varies from a few days to three weeks,
depending upon the soil, climate, seed, etc. The farmer
waits only long enough to be able to note which mats
lack the desired number of plants, which means that
the shoots need then be only a few inches above ground.
The required number of grains are then planted a few
inches to one side of the original planting. At times it
has been necessary to replant two or three times, when
birds, animals, and insects have happened to be numer-
ous and hungry.

The number of cultivations given the maize plants
varies from one to four, according to the locality and
the type of seed. The only locality where a single culti-
vation is the rule is San Ramon. The fourth cultivation
is equally rare, being done only in Chimaltenango with
a certain variety of seed planted on llano. The usual
number of cultivations is two, as in the localities of
Amelco, Nenton, Santa Ana Huista, Cuilco, La Demo-
cracia, San Antonio, Jacaltenango, Barillas, San Pedro
Necta, Colotenango, Ixtahuacan, La Libertad, San Juan
Ixcoy, San Rafael, and Concepcion. In most cases the
rule is to use the hoe, especially in the first cultivation.
The machete is sometimes used in the second when the
object is merely to cut the weeds and leave them on the
surface of the ground. Sometimes the machete is used
exclusively for both cultivations, as in San Antonio,
Jacaltenango, and Santa Ana Huista. In this latter place


the machete is replaced by the hoe in the second culti-
vation only when early-maturing maize is planted, as
this type must be hilled because of its slender stalk.

In Todos Santos, about the middle of April the weeds
in the field have reached such a size that the first
cultivation (limpia 'cleaning') is necessary. The plants
are then about 20 or 25 cm. tall and the weeds not more
than half that. The weeds are cut through their roots
with hoes and the soil overturned to a depth of o1 or
15 cm. Smaller particles are thus turned under but no
serious effort is made to bury large masses of vegetation.
This cultivation is begun at the lower edge of the field
and carried across the full length of the row.
As the worker holds the hoe handle almost parallel
to the ground, the necessary back-bending is reduced to
a minimum by facing uphill. Thus the topsoil is
gradually moved from the upper parts of the slope to
the lower, tending to level the slope and form terraces,
as previously explained. Much of the earth and weeds
is heaped in rows about the bases of the young plants,
helping to support them and also reducing rain-water
runoff and erosion. Definite hills are not formed about
the plants until the second cultivation. Weeding re-
quires about one day per cuerda.

With the generally abundant rains at this period of
the year the maize plants grow rapidly and the weeds
are not far behind. The second cultivation in Todos
Santos is usually done in June and July. At this time
the earth is hilled up about the plants to a height of
perhaps 15 cm. in order to protect them from the winds
expected in late July and August. These hills are small
in comparison with those in the cornfields in and about
Huehuetenango, which are 0.6 m. in diameter at their
bases and 25 cm. high. However, wind is not often an
important factor in the destruction of the cornfields in
Todos Santos.
At about this time, when the maize plants are a
meter tall, the second costumbre connected with maize
cultivation is observed. Several leaves are removed from
a few of the plants and with them are made tiny ta-
males, usually of bean paste, which are offered in the
church with lighted candles, burning copal, and prayers
for the welfare of the corn. As in all these more im-
portant rites, the date is fixed by the shamans, who con-

tinually keep a modification of the old Maya 20-day
count and select the propitious day for each ceremony.
Three cultivations are the rule in El Quetzal, So-
loma, San Mateo, and Santa Eulalia, the first two being
done with the hoe and the third consisting of little
more than weeding with the machete. The remaining
villages give either two or three cultivations, accord-
ing to the kind of seed. Depth of cultivation varies.
When the machete is used the weeds are merely cut at
ground surface; with the hoe they may be cut in the
same way, but in many localities the earth is tilled at
the same time and some effort made to bury the weeds.
Usually the hoe does not go deeper than 5 or 8 cm. in
the first cultivation" and less during succeeding ones
(although some will go as deeply as Io or 15 cm.). The
general technique of cultivating or cleaning the field
is as described for Todos Santos and the time required
to clean an acre is virtually a constant for the whole
Department, being about nine days. As this topic of
cultivation is too variable to be discussed fully here, it
is included in the Tabular Summaries.

The time of appearance of the roasting ears or elotes
depends upon the kind of seed planted, the climate of
the locality, the weather conditions, etc. (see Tabular
Summaries). In Todos Santos from about the end of
July roasting ears are obtainable and are highly prized
as an article of diet by those who have subsisted upon
tortillas for almost a year. At this time the costumbre
del elote, or rite of the roasting ear, is held. A hundred
or more ears are picked, if the family has a good deal
of land planted, and are boiled in water. Friends and
relatives are invited to partake of the feast, which is
something of a gastronomic orgy. Several of the ears
are taken to the church and offered with candle- and
copal-burning in gratitude to God and favorite saints
for having allowed the plants to develop without mis-
hap. This is one of the few occasions when the Todo-
santero gives thanks to his God for benefits received,
as most of their prayers are petitions, and even the
gratitude expressed at this time is diluted with prayers
asking that the ears may be allowed to continue to
maturity. Often a small piece of a roasting ear is left in
the church for the soul of each deceased relative. These
offerings are often augmented with small amounts of
bebida and other edibles. Their ultimate destination is
in the hands, or rather mouths, of the ishkweles, young


lads who are commissioned to serve as caretakers of
the church and "convent," and who take advantage of
these gifts to God and the dead. If the offerer, in a mo-
ment of carelessness, turns his back upon his oblation
and an ishkwel seizes it, the worshipper has no re-
course, for the boy is only exercising his right-which,
after all, is about the only compensation he gets for his
year of service as caretaker of the building.
This is the lay worship practiced at this time. Among
the shamans a turkey is sacrificed on top of a certain
mound in the ruins of Tujcumanchun" (in the village)
and its blood is mixed with copal and burned in braziers
before the cross in the ruins and those before the
No definite percentage of the crop is allotted for con-
sumption in the roasting-ear stage, as this is purely an
individual matter. There are some who dispose of the
entire crop at this time, if they have only a small amount
of maize planted, while others, after having consumed
the 1oo or 150 ears in the costumbre del elote, will there-
after eat a few a day for as long as they last, making no
great inroads in the amount of the final harvest. As
roasting ears are so palatable they are subject to depre-
dations by sneak thieves who rarely take the precaution
of destroying the stalk. The farmer, therefore, upon
picking the elote, will cut down and chop into bits the
remaining stalk so that he can readily discern the
stripped ones and tell at a glance if he is being robbed
of roasting ears. Indians have been known to place
charges against those who have stolen a single ear and
the culprit is fined or jailed if the irate farmer does not
see fit to pardon the theft.
In the other villages studied, roasting ears do not
form a major article of diet except in time of famine.
Ordinarily a few are consumed by the owners of the
fields or are sold in the markets, but the vast majority
of the ears are left to mature.

In Todos Santos, in September or a bit earlier if the
individual has need of money, some of the green leaves
are stripped from the plants below the ears and sold
for fodder. This is considered beneficial rather than

88 This is the closest approximation to the correct Spanish spelling.
34 According to an old shaman, this costumbre del elote' formerly
did not exist, but one year a strong wind destroyed the plants. The
following year a rooster was sacrificed in order to avoid a similar
occurrence, but the wind again destroyed the milpas. The following
year a sheep was sacrificed but to no avail. At last a turkey was
sacrificed, and that year the wind did no damage. While it is difi-

detrimental to the plant but it is really just an economic
measure. The same applies to topping, done when the
corn has hardly begun to dry, usually late in Septem-
ber. The tops are sold as fodder if not saved by the
owner for the same purpose. Many do not top at all
and others surreptitiously top the plants of milpas not
belonging to them. Topping is practiced in Chimalte-
nango by a few, in San Miguel, Ixtahuacan, Colote-
nango, San Pedro Necta, Cuilco, and Nenton. The re-
maining villages do not top as a general practice.
Removal of the lower leaves is not always done, even
in those regions where it is customary. When done, it
may be for the purpose of obtaining fodder for beasts
of burden or with the intention of aiding the ripening
of the ears. This latter idea is prevalent in Santa Eulalia,
San Mateo, and a few other localities. Often it is with
the idea of allowing ventilation of the plants; again,
the pruned leaves are left in the furrows to decay and
furnish fertilizer.
Among villages that prune for the purpose of obtain-
ing fodder are San Rafael, Chimaltenango, Soloma,
San Miguel, Ixtahuacan (also for fertilizer), Colote-
nango, San Pedro Necta (also for fertilizer), Barillas,
Jacaltenango (rarely), and San Antonio. The pruning
usually is done during the second cultivation, or when
the plants are tasseling, or when in the roasting-ear
stage. A unique practice is that of pruning during both
cultivations, as in Cuilco. Pruning is not done at all in
Concepcion, San Sebastian, San Juan Ixcoy, Amelco,
Santa Ana Huista, Nenton, San Ramon, and El Quet-
zal. This is often because of no need for fodder due to
scarcity of animals to eat it, but in El Quetzal it is con-
sidered definitely harmful to the plant. In San Juan
Atitan the plants are pruned only if the leaves show
signs of wilting from root rot. Here the pruned leaves
are left to rot in the furrows. (It must be stated that
although some villages deny pruning, green maize
leaves in season can always be obtained for fodder by
anyone who will pay for them.)

Doubling is practiced only in the warmer and more
humid regions, and not in Todos Santos. As its name

cult to date the origin of this custom, it is certainly post-Conquest be-
cause of the mention of the rooster and sheep, and is probably com-
paratively modern, as the reason for its observance is still remem-
bered. Customs whose raison d'tre is unknown to the Indians are
explained merely by the statement, "It is customary to do so ever
since the world was born."


implies, it consists in doubling the stalks below the
dried ear so that this will remain point downward, thus
avoiding the entrance of water as well as minimizing
the attacks of birds, especially parrots and parakeets. It
is done only in Ixtahuacan, Ciilco, Nenton, and in the
warm regions of Jacaltenang?. It is also done in Santa
Ana Huista if the farmer wishes to plant a new crop
before harvesting the old, be the new crop maize or
tobacco. The object of doubling in this case is to avoid
shading the new plants. Doubling is limited to small
and medium-sized maize plants; really tall plants can-
not be doubled, for the ear is located so high up on the
stalk that if doubled the ear would touch the ground
and be easy prey to marauding animals.

In Todos Santos the majority of the crops are har-
vested in November. Some, however, are begun in
October; others, in late December, depending, as al-
ready stated, on the planting and the altitude.
A hill containing five stalks will often produce seven
or eight ears, but it is commoner to find only one large
ear to a stalk. Stalks that produce three ears really ren-
der little corn because of the small size of the ears. Har-
vesting is done by the familiar method of husking
wherein the ears are stripped of their covering, only one
or two husks being left attached to the shank. These
serve to tie the ears in pairs for hanging. The husked
ears are carried in a morral which, when filled, is taken
to the large cargo net or red and carefully packed in it
so that the ears will not slip through the meshes of the
red. Corn on the cob is thus measured in redes, one of
which will weigh about 125 lbs., of which some 1oo lbs.
is grain. Using a pair of redes and a beast of burden,
one man can harvest about two cuerdas (one-fifth acre)
per day, but a day's work is generally calculated in
terms of four full redes (375-500 lbs.). The distance
from cornfield to domicile, of course, influences greatly
the amount that can be harvested and transported daily.
There are two methods of harvesting in use in the
Department, husking (described above), and snap-
ping. When the ears are snapped, they are merely torn
from the stalk. Often the greater portion of the shank
and a few of the outermost husks may be removed, but
the ear retains its natural covering. Husking is the usual
practice in cold climates and is the rule in Jacaltenango
(temperate parts), El Quetzal, San Pedro Necta, Colo-
tenango, San Juan Ixcoy, Soloma, Chimaltenango, San

Sebastian, Concepcion, San Rafael, San Juan Atitan,
San Mateo, and Santa Eulalia.
Snapping is done in San Ramon, Cuilco, San An-
tonio Huista, and Jacaltenango (warm parts).
In many localities both practices are current, depend-
ing upon the size of the ears. The small ears are husked,
as they are destined to be consumed first, while the
large ears are left in the husk, as they are to be kept and
consumed only when the small ears have disappeared.
The small ears (mulcos) are not counted; the large
ears are the ones that go to make up the sonte of 400
ears by which corn is measured in many districts of
the Department. For this reason, such large ears are
variously termed mazorcas de cuenta, mazorcas flori-
das, etc. Localities in which both methods are in use are
Amelco, Nenton, Santa Ana Huista, La Democracia,
El Injerto, Barillas, Ixtahuacan, La Libertad, and San
The usual amount (which is measured in redes in
the field) will be about 200 lbs. of shelled corn, although
in the highlands it is often less.
Chimaltenango offers the only example noted of
communal harvesting. Neighbors are called on to help,
and usually are in sufficient number to complete the
harvest in one day.

As a general rule, in the highlands the ears are tied
in pairs and hung from the rafters within the house.
the seed corn being given extra care in that it is hung
over the kitchen corner where the smoke will protect
it from insects; in the lowlands the ears are usually
cribbed, little care being taken to pile or stack them
uniformly. In the highlands cribbing is also done when
the quantity of corn is too great to permit hanging all
of it. In San Ramon the corn is rarely stored as it is
ruined by insects within two months. It is sold or sent
to other places. Cribbing is the practice in Nenton,
Amelco, Santa Ana Huista, Cuilco, La Democracia,
Jacaltenango (also hanging), El Injerto, Barillas, El
Quetzal, San Mateo, La Libertad, and San Miguel.
Hanging is the custom among the villages of San Pedro
Necta, Colotenango, Ixtahuacan, San Juan Ixcoy, So-
loma, Chimaltenango, San Sebastian, Concepcion, San
Rafael, San Juan Atitan, and Santa Eulalia.
San Mateo and San Miguel are exceptional in that, be-
ing Indian villages, the corn is nevertheless cribbed.
In San Mateo the seed corn, however, is hung. Among


the above-named villages where hanging of the corn
is the accustomed method of storage, it should be noted
that in some of the towns the Ladinos will crib their
corn instead of hanging it, as in Soloma and Ixtahua-
can. In Cuilco the seed corn is immediately shelled and
placed in sand to conserve it from insects.

Recently cleared forest land is the most productive.
This will give annual corn crops for eight or ten years3"
without "resting" or fertilizing, with an average yield
of 200 lbs. of shelled corn per cuerda, or 33 bu. per
acre,36 during the first five years. By the end of a dec-
ade the land is virtually exhausted and is allowed to
rest and develop second growth (huatal) for three
years. This huatal is then cleared, burned, and planted
to two or three crops more, the first crop producing oO1-
150 lbs. per cuerda (16.5-24.8 bu. per acre) which yield
falls off rapidly. It is then allowed to grow bush for
another three years, whereupon another series of crops
can be obtained from it. Sooner or later the woody
vegetation, because of the damage done to its roots in
cultivation, etc., can no longer compete with the in-
vading bunch grass, which finally excludes all other
growth. Grassland is allowed to remain untouched for
several years, for it will rarely produce more than 25-
50 lbs. per cuerda (4-8 bu. per acre) unless it has been
in grass for 15 or 20 years, when it may yield 100-150
lbs. (16.5-24.8 bu. per acre). While in warmer climates
the grasses are soon replaced by woody vegetation on
temporarily abandoned land, it appears that at the alti-
tude of Todos Santos this process is very slow, for land
that has been in grass for 30 or 40 years shows little in-
dication of such beginning reforestation. Certain grass-
lands are kept in grass by the Indians to insure a con-
stant supply of roofing material for their houses.
The above remarks on yields apply to unfertilized
lands. Land which is fertilized with the movable sheep
corrals is never allowed to lie fallow more than one year
in three and produces corn with an average yield of
100 lbs. per cuerda (16.5 bu. per acre). One such fer-
tilization is sufficient for two crops. On rare occasions
the second crop is larger than the first.
The land about the houses of the village, one might
say in the yards or patios, is never rested to restore fer-
tility, for it is the land which produces most and with-

35 Considered excessive by some informants.

out great labor. It is continually being fertilized with
garbage, excretions of the animals, fowls, and people
living on the site, and frequent applications of horse
and other manures. Such land gives a yearly yield of
150-200 lbs. per cuerda (24.8-33 bu. per acre).
Really poor land will yield only 12 or 15 lbs. per
cuerda, but if the owner has no other recourse he will
cultivate it until the yield falls to a mere 8 or io Ibs. per
cuerda (about I.5 bu. per acre). This is so much less
than the actual cost of working the land that it must
be allowed to lie fallow if the owner has no sheep with
which to fertilize it. After a three-year period it may
give another crop of 35-50 lbs. per cuerda (5-8 bu. per
acre). This same land, if fertilized with sheep, may
then yield from 75 to 1oo lbs. per cuerda (12.3-16.5 bu.
per acre).
From the above it is to be seen that no land is ever
abandoned in Todos Santos. Through lack of fertili-
zation, a parcel of land may be left unused by its owner
for as much as 20 years or more, but it is eventually
cultivated again. This same parcel, upon changing
ownership, may fall into the hands of one who possesses
many sheep, in which case it is rapidly brought back
into production.
In the greater portion of the Department of Huehue-
tenango the usual yield of lands under cultivation is
1oo lbs. of shelled corn per cuerda or I6.5 bu. per acre.37
Certain lands will produce only half that amount
whereas really rich soils will give three times that
amount. In the highland villages with predominantly
Indian population the estimates of yields from various
types of land seem to be very exact; the Indian knows
just how much he is likely to get from any particular
parcel of land. In communities where Ladinos are nu-
merous, and especially where the yields are greater than
in the highlands, informants were often not capable of
determining the exact yield of land on the basis of types
(i.e., forest, huatal, llano, pajonal, rastrojo, etc.) but
merely gave figures for usual yields of all types consid-
ered as a whole. Thus, in Ixtahuacan, El Quetzal, and
El Injerto it was stated that any type of land, when
good, may be expected to yield 25 bu. per acre. In Nen-
ton all lands are considered more or less equal with a
production of 21 bu. per acre when good, in Amelco the
yield is considered to be 33 bu. on an average, while in
San Ramon, the most fertile region of all, the expected

86 Computed at 56 lbs. to the bushel. 87 Ibid.


yield is 50 bu. and half this amount would be thought a
poor crop. In Cuilco the yield to be expected from the
land is based on considerations of the slope (a factor
also recognized in many other villages) and although
the usual yield of all lands is considered to be 33 bu. per
acre, steep slopes will not produce more than 16.5 bu.
whereas the flat land at the foot of extensive slopes may
yield 40 bu. In the following sections will be discussed
the usual yields obtained from the various types of land
in those villages where type of land is recognized as in-
fluencing the yield of maize.

This type of land is usually the most productive of
all. It is surpassed only by plots in the solares or yards
of the houses (described below) but these latter are
always of limited extent. Forest land has been un-
touched for agricultural purposes for varying periods
of time; rarely is the forest less than 50 years old, espe-
cially in the highlands where growth of large trees is
very slow. Usually the forest is of indeterminate age
("It has always been there," say the informants). Natu-
rally, such land is usually humid and has a deep humus
layer accumulated through the years, which renders it
extremely fertile for short periods. As a rule a cleared
forest area, is planted for four or five consecutive years,
whereupon the land must be "rested" or allowed to lie
fallow, during which time new woody vegetation
springs up. Under exceptionally good conditions forest
land may last 8 or even io years before it has to be rested.
Usually it is found that the first crop from such newly
cleared land is low in yield (10-15 bu. per acre), a fact
generally explained by the imperfection of the burning
of the cut vegetation or the presence of many roots in
the ground. After the first year the yields increase rap-
idly for two more years, then begin to decline until the
original low yield is reached, whereupon the land is
rested. As an average over the years, this type of land
produces 22-33 bu. per acre in the temperate and cold
regions of the Department. Only in San Juan Ixcoy did
the informants affirm that only 16.5 bu. could be ex-
pected from this type of land.

This type of land is perhaps the commonest of all. In
the majority of the communities studied, a parcel of
land after being "exhausted" through maize cultiva-

tion will, when allowed. to lie fallow, develop a new
growth of woody vegetation unless the roots of this
vegetation have been destroyed. Bushland is a very prof-
itable land to work, since the yields are usually good
and the labor involved is little (about nine days per acre
for the preparation). In almost all the localities studied
(except those mentioned under "Yields," above) the
yield is I6.5 bu. per acre. In San Antonio Huista the
yield is twice this amount, being equal to that of mon-
taiia or forest land. This is because the growth reaches
great size in that municipality. In Concepcion the yield
is the same, unless the land be at an extreme angle of
slope, in which case it amounts to but 16.5 bu. The
usual yield in Santa Ana Huista is 25 bu.

As a rule this land is less productive than bushland,
perhaps because of faulty preparation. The elimination
of the grass roots is laborious and not many farmers
will spend the necessary time on the work. As a result,
the maize plants often have to compete with the returi-
ing grass, with a corresponding reduction in yield.
Nevertheless, grassland in the vicinities of San Mateo,
San Juan Atitan, Soloma, San Miguel, and San An-
tonio Huista produces the standard yield of 16.5 bu.
per acre. In the communities of Santa Eulalia, San Se-
bastian, San Juan Ixcoy, and San Pedro Necta the yield
is only 12 bu., and falls to o1 in San Rafael La Inde-
pendencia. The grasslands of Santa Ana Huista are re-
ported to yield 40 bu, but this type of grass is -paja
colorada and not paj6n, or bunch grass. Santa Ana
pajales are well tilled, as they receive three plowings.

This type of land is the most adaptable to artificial
fertilization since the vegetation is short and non-
ligneous, and corrals are easily constructed and moved
from place to place. When unfertilized, the yield varies
from Io to 40 bu. per acre with a usual yield of 16.5 or
slightly less. The 4o-bu. yield is found only in Santa"
Ana Huista, where the land is thoroughly plowed.
When fertilized, llano will usually almost double its
productivity. In San Juan Atitan fertilization is held
responsible for increasing the i2-bu. yield of unferti-
lized llano to 40 bu. The more common yield of fer-
tilized llano is 16.5-25 bu. These yields are treated more
fully in the Tabular Summaries.


This land requires little labor in its preparation.
As it was in maize.the previous year or two, it is only
to be expected that the yield will be slightly less than
the yields given for the other types of land. This is sub-
stantially the case and in the various communities one
finds a customary yield of 16.5 bu. per acre. An excep-
tion is the case of rastrojo en solar or cornstalk land
surrounding the dwellings of the people. These lands,
being close to the house, receive much care and all sorts
of rubbish and dejecta are spread over it, so that not
only are the yields exceptionally high but also there is
rarely any necessity of allowing the land to lie fallow,
and it is planted year after year. Yields of this type of
land vary from 25 to 45 bu. per acre.

This is an extremely variable quantity as it depends
upon the population of the community, the available
lands and their relative fertility, and the value of a day's
labor. In San Juan Ixcoy the conditions are such that
the Indian will not cease to cultivate the land until its
production falls to about Io lbs. of shelled corn per
cuerda (1.6 bu. per acre), which is the lowest satisfac-
tory yield observed among all the localities studied.
Usually a yield of 25 Ibs. per cuerda (4.1 bu. per acre) is
considered the least satisfactory yield. This holds in
San Mateo, San Sebastian, Soloma, San Miguel, Colo-
tenango, San Pedro Necta, and San Juan Atitan. While
this yield is usually considered to be an indication that
the land must be rested, the Indians of San Juan Atitan
will plant it another year with the hope of getting more
the next time. In San Rafael the minimum yield is 20
lbs. per cuerda or 3.2 bu. per acre.
More exacting are the villages that consider 50 lbs.
per cuerda (8.2 bu. per acre) the least amount worth
while, namely, La Libertad, San Antonio, Nenton,
Chimaltenango, and Santa Ana Huista. While in most
of these towns the land producing no more than this is
then allowed to lie fallow, in Santa Ana it is planted
one more year.
In El Injerto 60 lbs. (9.9 bu.) per unit area is con-
sidered the least satisfactory yield, while in Concepcion,
Ixtahuacan, El Quetzal, and Jacaltenango (communi-
ties possessing large tracts of land and of good quality)
the minimum satisfactory yield is regarded as being
75 lbs. per cuerda or about 12.3 bu. per acre.
Table XII has been compiled from the Tabular Sum-

marines for the purpose of comparing the yields obtained
in different villages from the same types of land.

To be distinguished from the artificial fertilization
of land is the natural replacement of fertility, or the
acquisition of fertility through means not primarily
dependent upon the efforts of man. Man, by allowing
land to lie fallow, merely lets Nature take its course,
and uncultivated forms of vegetation begin to occupy
the land. All of this vegetation is less exacting of the
soil than is the maize plant and many species will re-
place elements necessary for future maize cultivation.
Legumes play an important part in this replacement of
fertility, especially as regards the nitrogen. Beans are
almost always cultivated with the maize and in fallow
land will continue to thrive without care, although the
farmer receives little benefit from the few beans so
produced. Leaves and detritus in general from the
vegetation on the land tend to form humus, and the
thickness of the growth serves to reduce erosion.
Riverbanks are sometimes benefited with alluvial de-
posits and lowlands in general are continually receiving
natural fertilizer from the slopes above. A notable ex-
ample of fertile lowland is to be seen in the aldea Pai-
conop of the municipality of Santa Eulalia. Here is a
fertile valley surrounded by steep mountains, the sides
of which are seldom cultivated but which continually
furnish nourishing material to the area below through
the action of percolating rain water. These wheat and
maize fields are seldom allowed to lie fallow and the
yields are exceptionally good.
The maize fields also obtain some fertilizer from the
weeds destroyed during the cultivations as well as the
crop residues, such as roots and stalks of the plants or
ashes from the latter and from the burning of the
woody vegetation.
Table X shows the various systems of resting lands in
the communities. As a general rule, lands are cultivated
during two or three years and then left fallow for four,
five, six, or seven years. In a few cases certain types of
land are cultivated for a period longer than the time
they are left fallow, as in San Mateo, San Martin, Ba-
rillas, La Democracia, Cuilco, Santa Ana Huista,
Amelco, and San Ramon. Other villages rest the land
for a period equal to the time it was under cultivation,
as San Rafael, San Juan Atitan, La Libertad, Colote-
nango, Cuilco, and San Ramon. Lands in Chimalte-


nango are rested in rotation-each family has three
parcels of land, each of which is cultivated in turn for
two years, hence each parcel is rested four years. Cer-
tain lands in La Democracia, Cuilco, Amelco, and San
Ramon are never allowed a fallow period.

Fertilization with animal manures is a widespread
practice in the Department of Huehuetenango as well
as in the entire Republic of Guatemala. Many lands,
such as those in the humid lowlands, do not require it,
but the Indians of the highlands must resort to animal
manures in order to maintain their fields in productive
condition. There are three methods in use for the fer-
tilization of land with animal manures: corral, stake,
and spreading.
The first method, which has been described under
"Maize Cultivation in Todos Santos," is typically In-
dian, as the Indians are often sheep herders as well as
farmers, and the corral system is the only effective way
of utilizing sheep manure. The Ladinos in some places
have adopted the method but use cattle and horses in-
stead of sheep.
The second, or stake, method is used only for cattle
and beasts of burden, and is a Ladino practice. The
animals are tied to stakes with short ropes not more
than 2 m. long and left overnight for varying periods.
The third method is primarily Ladino although
plantings in the yards of the houses are fertilized in this
way by Indians as well. The animal manures are col-
lected from the stables, etc., and either spread uni-
formly over the area to be fertilized or a small amount
placed in each hill.
The first two methods are preferable because the
urine of the animals is not lost to the soil.
The corral method has been described in treating
of fertilization in Todos Santos. It is virtually the same
in all the villages, as the time the corral is left on each
site is a factor which varies more in accordance with
individual practice than with community custom. Usu-
ally the corral is left from four to eight nights on the
same spot. Villages employing the corral method for
fertilizing with sheep are El Quetzal, San Pedro Necta,
San Miguel, San Juan Ixcoy, San Sebastian, Soloma,
Concepcion, San Rafael, San Juan Atitan, San Mateo,
and Santa Eulalia. It is worthy of note that in the
typical Indian village of Chimaltenango there are no
sheep with which to fertilize.

The stake method as well as corrals for large animals
is utilized in La Libertad, La Democracia, and Cuilco.
In the latter two towns fertilization is employed only
to bring certain poor spots up to normal production,
and it is not a generalized practice. In Colotenango and
Ixtahuacan all three methods are in use, but without
sheep, which are not raised in these municipalities to
any great extent. An idea may be gained of the approxi-
mate value of fertilization in these villages by the fact
that in Colotenango a parcel of land is considered to
require the presence of 36 animals per acre during one
month; in Ixtahuacan, for the spreading method, 4 or
5 tons per acre or 3 or 4 lbs. per hill are considered

The usual crops planted with maize are beans, chila-
cayote in the cold regions, and ayote in the warmer re-
gions (the last two are types of squash). Sometimes
peppers, tomatoes, anise, potatoes, giiisquil (squash),
and inedible gourds (for utensils) are planted as well,
according to the desires of each community.
The beans are of two main types, the large kidney
bean, usually called chamborote, and the small black or
red bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). The method of plant-
ing the beans varies from village to village. There are
two principal methods, however-the beans are planted
either in the same hole with the corn or between the
rows. Climbing varieties are usually planted in the hill
as the vine must have support. In regions where beans
bear heavily it is customary to leave a variable number
of poles at the time of cutting the huatal and at plant-
ing time the beans are planted at the foot of the poles.
Bush varieties of beans are usually planted apart in a
bean patch, but if planted with maize must neces-
sarily go between the rows. Table VIII lists the varieties
of beans planted with corn in the various localities.
Yields of beans are apparently uncertain and few in-
formants were capable of stating a definite quantity, as
some years the plants bear well and again almost the
entire crop may be lost through heavy rains at the
flowering period, etc. The best yields of all are those of
Cuilco where a good yield is considered to be about 900
lbs. per acre. These are pole varieties and the yield is
exceptionally high, as pole varieties ordinarily yield
less than bush varieties, and the greatest yield for the
latter type is the 450 lbs. per acre at Jacaltenango. The
average yield of beans may be said to be about 200 lbs.


per acre, although one variety in San Sebastian was
said to produce only I0-50 lbs. per acre. Chimalte-
nango also records low yields, 25-30 lbs.
The squash types, chilacayote and ayote, are, after
beans, by far the commonest companion crops of
maize. From two to four seeds are planted for each
mat, of which there may be from io to 90 per acre, and
the growing plants send out runners (guias) which
spread over the whole field. Yields vary from 90 to 450
of the fruits per acre, depending upon the rate of plant-
ing as well as the conditions of growth. Usually the
yield is about 200 per acre.
The only locality on record where it is customary to
plant potatoes in the same field with maize is San
Mateo Ixtatan. They are planted between the rows of
maize five days after this has been planted and are har-
vested before it in July and August. If the ground is
very hard, they are left until after the maize harvest.
In the majority of the communities the effect of these
crops accompanying maize on the yield of the latter is
ignored or denied, but in Concepcion and Jacaltenango
it is estimated that beans and other incidental crops in
the maize field will reduce the yield about 20 or 25
per cent.

Only in three communities was crop rotation noted,
to wit, San Mateo, San Sebastian, and Santa Ana
Huista. The former two practice a maize and wheat
rotation and the latter a maize and tobacco, or maize,
tobacco and beans. In San Mateo the usual rotation is
as follows: maize during three years, wheat during one
or two years, fallow two or three years, maize another
three years.
In San Sebastian the maize-wheat rotation is prac-
ticed by those who own little land.
In Santa Ana Huista maize is planted first, then
tobacco planted between the rows of maize in Septem-
ber (near the maize harvest period) after the maize
plants have been topped and doubled. After the maize
harvest the stalks are laid down flat between the rows
of young tobacco plants. After the tobacco harvest the
maize stalks are burned together with the plant resi-
dues from the tobacco and the field replanted with
either maize or beans.

As in Todos Santos, maize fields all over the Depart-

ment are subject to attack by various forms of animal
life which damage the maize planting in all stages of
growth from the as yet ungerminated seed to the ma-
ture and dry ear. For the sake of convenience these
creatures may be divided into four groups: birds, mam-
mals, reptiles, insects.
Of the first group are many common birds such as
the crow, quail, boat-tailed grackle senatee or clari-
nero), parrot, jay, and various species of sparrows, gros-
beaks, and seed-eating birds in general. Most of them
confine their attacks to the newly planted seed but the
parrot will also eat the roasting ears and the dried ears
as well. The crow will at times pull off and carry away
roasting ears. The distribution of bird life is a subject
that will not be taken up here; it is sufficient to state
that while the parrot is a lowland bird and the crow
frequents the highlands, the remaining species, or their
counterparts, are omnipresent. The use of traps, scare-
crows, poisoned seed, and blowguns (cebratana) and
noise making in the fields either with or without fire-
arms are the means used to combat the birds.
In the second group appear a varied number of ani-
mals such as the rabbit, squirrel, skunk, fox, coyote,
dog, deer, raccoon, pizote or coati-mundi (Nasua na-
rica L.), rats of many species, mole, peccary (both col-
lared and white-lipped), cotuza or guatusa (Dasy-
procta punctata Gr.) and tepescuintle or paca (Caelo-
genys paca L.). Of all these, the last two are found only
in the lowlands of the Department, the collared pec-
cary ranges as far up as San Martin Cuchumatan, the
remaining species frequent the highlands as well as the
temperate and lowland regions. Only the coyote seems
to be limited to the cold highlands where sheep raising
is conducted.
The squirrels, raccoons, pizotes, and rats will re-
move the seed from the ground. The young shoots are
eaten by rabbits, deer, and peccaries. The greatest dam-
age is done in the roasting-ear stage, for only the rabbit
will not eat roasting ears and this only because of its
inability to climb or pull down the stalk. Damage from
animals is not very important in the highlands-the
deer is destructive, but more so in the potato and bean
patches than in the maize field. It is quite different in
the lowlands where these animals abound and, at times,
entire maize fields are destroyed. The peccaries rank as
prime offender for they run in herds and can finish a
maize field in short time. Next in importance are per-
haps the raccoons and pizotes. The usual method of



protecting the planting is to stand guard there during
the night. Traps are set for the smaller animals and
sometimes the seed is poisoned. The dogs of the owner
are often tied at the edges of the field to frighten off
marauding animals. If not tied they, too, would eat the
roasting ears.
The only reptiles which attack maize are lizards,
which dig out the seed. Many Indians claim that the
lizards eat seed and fine rootlets, but as these lizards
are insectivorous, this claim is doubtful. They are prob-
ably seeking insects which are the real seed-eaters.
Lizards are controlled by the burning of the cut bush
or cornstalks, which destroys hiding places.
There are numerous kinds of insects that attack
maize, many of them unrecognized by the Indian, who
is cognizant of only the more destructive ones. Perhaps
the most destructive insect is the gallina ciega, a white
grub or larva of a beetle (Melolontha sp.). This larva
lives in the ground and attacks the roots of the maize
plant, usually when it is about to tassel. In certain
years the damage done is very great. This beetle is
found all over the Department but its presence was
denied in Chimaltenango and the Nenton informants
did not know it. It is rare in La Democracia. Inform-
ants in Soloma and San Mateo stated that this pest
was most destructive in the drier years and that it died
out after heavy rains.
Among worms with a rather widespread distribu-
tion is a small blackish or brownish specimen which
attacks the roots, flower, and roasting ear. This worm
is known as lem in the Chuj dialects of San Rafael,
San Sebastian, San Juan Ixcoy, Nenton, San Miguel,
and El Quetzal. The earworm known as xem in So-
loma is probably the same. The lem attacks beans as
well as maize. In Concepcion, La Libertad, and Ixta-
huacan is to be found the coralillo, a small reddish
worm which attacks the seed, roots, and flower. Among
other worms may be mentioned the a ai of Nenton
which is a small white worm which attacks roots and
flowers of maize; the small yellow or white root worm
called s-kolga s in Colotenango; the earworm known
as toii in San Pedro Necta; the green earworm called
matno? in San Miguel; a brown earworm at El In-
jerto; a white one at El Quetzal; a spotted earworm at
Jacaltenango; a stalk borer and some earworms at San
Antonio Huista and measuring worms at Santa Ana
Huista. It should be noted here that in 1936 a horde of
inchworms descended upon San Antonio Huista, Jacal-

tenango, and Nenton, destroying the maize plants in
great numbers. They even ate the colch6n grass, which
seems to have been the only feature of their visit which
left an agreeable memory in the minds of these people.
Since that time they have not reappeared.
The lowland villages suffer more field damage from
various kinds of ants than from worms. They are a
factor in maize cultivation in Cuilco and Barillas. The
former town has another species of ant as well, the
leaf-cutter or zompopo, which destroys any kind of
green leaves. It is also a common pest in Amelco.
The grasshopper (chapulin), a dreaded menace in
the Republic, has not appeared in recent years in the
Department. The last plague was in the region of Jacal-
tenango and the Huistas. The date is uncertain, as the
Jacaltenango informants agreed upon 1924 as the prob-
able date, whereas the San Antonio informants stated
it was around 1922 and in Santa Ana Huista it was
thought to be 1927. There can be no doubt that it was
a single plague, not three.
In all regions of the Department, but less in cold
areas, moths (polillas) and weevils (gorgojos) attack
stored corn.
Aside from the ronda or cleared space made around
the fields in Santa Ana Huista to avoid entrance of
inchworms and the more or less lackadaisical pluck-
ing of a few worms from the plants, no effort is made
to combat the insect pests. The Government is trying to
interest the farmers in the destruction of the gallina
ciega but with little success, as the work of extermina-
tion is complicated and arduous.

Only two diseases of the maize plant are recognized
in the Department. One is smut, which attacks the ear
in an early stage of its development, and the other is
the so-called argenfo, a wilt or root rot attacking the
roots of the plant before or just after the ears have ap-
peared. Two forms of argefio are distinguished in some
places, the black and the yellow, and these are appar-
ently distinct diseases. The yellow is found over the
entire region studied, the black only in Santa Ana
Huista, Cuilco, La Democracia, Jacaltenango, and
Colotenango. The black argefio is the worse form. It
begins at the top of the plant and prevents its tasseling,
then works downward, turning the plant black, caus-
ing it to fall rotten to the ground. The yellow argefio
commences at the lower leaves, which gradually turn


yellow and dry as the disease progresses upward. Ap-
parently it is favored by humidity, as the informants
of Concepcion say it is worse in fields at the edge of
forest, those of San Sebastian say it is worse in Septem-
ber and October (period of heavy rains), those of Santa
Ana Huista affirm it is worse in July (heavy rains),
those of San Antonio state it is caused by extreme wet-
ness or extreme drouth, the informants of Ixtahuacan
say that night rains are especially dangerous, and those
of San Mateo have described the disease as a cloud that
comes up from the ground. In Santa Ana Huista it has
been noted by some that it is worse in very clean fields
and that its effect is ameliorated if the weeds are al-
lowed to grow up in the month of July.
The disease is known as sox or so >x among the Mam
groups and as ts'ap among the Chuj villages (modified
to 'ts'aup in San Mateo and 'ts'a:up in Nenton).
Only in San Antonio Huista have the inhabitants
evolved a method of combating the argeiio and their
ingenuity is surpassed only by their ingenuousness:
some 'of the wilted leaves are placed at a crossroad
where a pregnant woman is sure to pass or, this fail-
ing, a naked child is led around the field.
Smut is rarely an important disease in the region. It
is very rare in the lowlands and becomes increasingly
noticeable with an increase in elevation. Whether this
is due to the increased cold of the higher regions or the
relatively greater paucity of the soil, informants were
unable to decide, but in Concepcion, a village at 2,399 m.,
it was stated that higher aldeas in the same municipal-
ity showed a greater incidence of smut than lands
nearer the village.
The disease is known as tfo '1 among the people of
Mam speech and as kokon in San Mateo, qoxom in
San Rafael, xoxom in San Miguel, qoqom in Barillas,
El Quetzal, and Amelco, qoqon in Nenton, tfikinte
in San Sebastian, o0onitf in Concepcion, ul de la
milpa in San Antonio, and as buba to Ladinos in gen-
eral. No effort is made to combat it nor indeed is any
method known.

Given the vast importance of maize to the present-
day inhabitants of northwestern Guatemala and to their
ancestors, it is not surprising that so important an occu-

8s In Todos Santos at least, only the twenty day-names are in use,
the numbers having disappeared.

pation as the cultivation of the santo maiz should pos-
sess great religious significance and be attended with
elaborate rites. It is surprising to find that in many of
the villages these customs are no longer observed, or at
least informants are ashamed to talk about them. The
mere statement in this section that a village apparently
no longer observes the former rites connected with
maize cultivation should not be taken as a definite de-
nial of the existence of such customs. A longer stay in
any of the villages so qualified would very likely bring
to light a number of maize rituals, moribund perhaps,
but still observed by a few of the old die-hards.
The exact date for the observance of the maize rite
is selected by the shamans or Prayer Makers alcaldess
rezadores), who in turn are governed by the calendar.
This calendar is a survival of the old Maya day count,
consisting of twenty day-names used in conjunction
with numbers running from one to thirteen.38 Certain
day-names, especially when they occur with certain
numbers, are considered especially propitious for maize,
and the maize rites always take place on one of these
days. The most elaborate ceremonies were recorded
from San Juan Atitan and are strikingly similar to
those observed in Todos Santos. They may be briefly
described as follows:

Ist costumbre:89 Performed just before planting. Candles
are burned in the home and in the church, and prayers
said for the seed.
2d costumbre: Performed at the time of the second cultiva-
tion. Tamales of bean paste are made, utilizing some of
the leaves of the maize plant for the wrapper, and left in
the church with burning candles and prayers.
3d costumbre: Performed at the roasting-ear period. Feast
held in the house and cooked ears left in the church with
burning of candles and copal, and prayers.
4th costumbre: Performed at harvest. Blood of a sacrificed
rooster is burned with copal in a brazier (pichacha) be-
fore the church. Prayers are said.
5th costumbre: Performed at time of opening the corncrib
where the largest ears are stored (after the small ears
have been consumed without ceremony). Candles and
copal are burned, both in the home and at the church.
One or two ears are left in the church before the image
of San Juan.

The name applied to each of these costumbres is
t-pom iti? which means literally 'the corn's copal.'
Candles are burned inside the church but the copal is
burned outside before the cross, for the visiting priest
has forbidden its use within the church.

39 Costumbre is the Guatemalan term for any Indian religious rite.


The Chimaltenango ceremonies are somewhat simi-

Ist costumbre: Performed just before planting. A hen's egg
is broken into the burning copal, and candles burned as
well, with prayers for the proper germination of the
seed, etc. The rite is performed both in the home and
before a small wooden cross erected in the maize field.
2d costumbre: Performed at the time of the second cultiva-
tion. Prayers in the church and same burning of egg in
copal, and candles.
3d costumbre: Performed at harvest. Burn egg in copal
before the same cross in the milpa and again at the spot
where the harvested ears are to be piled preparatory to
carrying them home.
4th costumbre: Performed at time of opening the corncrib.
Burn blood of a sacrificed rooster with copal. Prayers
that corn may last as long as possible.

The ceremonies are conducted by the head of the
family, who observes a period of continence before-
hand. This abstinence from sexual intercourse is an
important and necessary prelude to many costumbres
throughout the Department and the alcaldes reza-
dores, who are continually "making costumbre" for the
good of the village, must observe complete continence
during their year in office.40
The name applied to the maize rites in Chimalte-
nango was given by the informants as t-'pomal Lin
which means the same as the grammatically more cor-
rect t-pom iiL of San Juan Atitan.
San Mateo also observes four costumbres:

Ist costumbre: Seed subject to prayer before planting.
2d costumbre: At time of first cultivation. Candles and
prayers in the church.
3d costumbre: At time of second cultivation. Tamales made
of pork and turkey, and friends and relatives invited to
4th costumbre: At harvest. Another fiesta characterized
by drinking of ceremonial bebida of corn paste and
chocolate in water. Candles and prayers in the church.

The first and fourth costumbres are designated xa ?at
in the dialect, the second is distinguished by the Span-
ish term rezal, and for the third no name exists. The
people merely refer to it, saying, "We are going to eat
Three ceremonies are conducted at Colotenango:

ist costumbre: Performed just before planting. Candles
burned and prayers said, in the church.
2d costumbre: Performed at time of making the hills dur-

40 Only elderly men are selected as alcaldes rezadores.

ing the second cultivation. Candles and prayers in maize
field and church.
3d costumbre: Performed at harvest. Two ears left in
church before the image of the Virgen del Trdnsito,
patron saint of the village. Candles and prayers.
Three ceremonies are also held at San Pedro Necta,
at planting, at the second cultivation, and at harvest.
For many of the other Indian villages data were not
obtained for other than the planting ceremony. In Santa
Eulalia and San Miguel the seed is not taken to the
church, but the alcaldes rezadores pray for the welfare
of the maize. In San Mateo the seed is prayed before in
the home with burning of copal and candles made of
resin from a species of pine. In Jacaltenango the usual
practice is to pray in the home or in the field. Some burn
candles and copal. In San Antonio Huista candles are
burned in the fields and the same practice is observed
in Santa Ana Huista. In Nenton a few Indians still
burn candles and copal before the seed in the home,
but the custom is said to be disappearing. In San Juan
Ixcoy a few ears are taken to the church and the al-
calde rezador says prayers. The informant from El
Quetzal (himself a shaman) denied the existence of
any sort of ceremony in that community, and in Con-
cepcion only a few observe any sort of rite.
An interesting note from Soloma is the recognition
of three periods during which the seed may be planted:
siwil, first planting, a period of twenty days beginning
after Candlemas, followed by tap, a second twenty-day
period, and terminated by 6ja kwal, a third period of
five days. The significance of these periods was not
learned. In Soloma the seed is blessed by the priest as
well as by the alcalde rezador.
In San Rafael, San Sebastian, La Libertad, La Demo-
cracia, and Cuilco the customs are said to be nonexist-
ent. This is not strange in the latter three villages, con-
sidering the Ladino influence.

From the Tabular Summaries has been compiled
Table XI which indicates the'total number of hours of
hand field-labor per acre spent on the cultivation ot
each type of land in the villages. It is to be noted that the
type of land requiring the greatest amount of labor
for the production of corn is fertilized llano, with a total
labor expenditure of 640 hours per acre as an average
for all the villages studied. Next comes forest land or


KC.:w-. with 535 hours, then grassland with 520. The
o mrqu:ring the least amount of labor in the produc-
,p maize is bushland, with cornstalk land a close
sn .i. The latter in many cases is the least laborious of
I ~s to work, but the average is raised by the fact
:-. many villages this type of land is tilled as a sepa-
Sccration after the cutting of the stalks.

T.:: XIII has been compiled from the tables marked
:-.:he Tabular Summaries of the villages, and from
e. i b seen that the lowest profit per hour of labor
t,, be o.2 cent, in the cases of grassland cultiva-
: anta Eulalia and unfertilized plowed Ilano in
S:r-ango. Other instances of very low gains are also
:and grassland is responsible for most of them
: t '\ of land, although often producing quite sat-
: yiclds, requires a great deal of labor in its pre-
.; i' preparation. The highest profits per hour of
: r uil from the cultivation of plowed (and un-
r-..:l llano in Santa Ana Huista, cultivation of
land in the yards of the houses, and cultiva-

tion of any type of land in the humid tropics (San
As a general average, maize cultivation in the De-
partment may be said to produce a profit of two or
three cents per hour of hand field-labor. It may also be
seen that in those villages where comparisons are pos-
sible, fertilization, even involving as it does more time
per acre, shows an increased profit per hour over culti-
vation of the same kind of land without fertilization.
This consideration of profits per hour or, in fact, any
kind of profits derived by the Indian from maize culti-
vation is open to the criticism that the Indian does not
consider costs and for him the important figures would
be those given in the H tables of the Tabular Sum-
maries under the heading "Value of Crop per Acre."
For to the Indian it appears more profitable to work the
land that yields the most per acre regardless of the
amount of time required to prepare the land for plant-
ing. This is because most of the Indians have very little
land and are easily able to cultivate it even though it
cost them as much as 500 or more hours per acre to
produce a crop of maize.


pIs [if:.nc, A.
.: L Amenrica Central ante la historic. Guatemala.
Vi. Vgruuon affected by agriculture in Central America.
L'S. Dept. Agriculture, Bur. Plant Industry, bull. no.
s.5. Washington.
*- I I H.
Ma. azlur. the plant-breeding achievement of the American
Indan. Vol. 1 Old and New Plant Lore, Smithsonian
Scwntific Ser. Washington.
Maizt as a measure of Indian skill. Univ. New Mexico
bull., Oct. 15. Albuquerque.
I*,. O. and D. BYERS
k; Tr c Year Bearer's people. Middle Amer. Res. Ser., No. 3.
Nrw Orleans.

1927. Geografia de la Repdblica de Guatemala. 2d ed. Guate-
1913. Monografia del Departamento de Huehuetenango, Re-
piblica de Guatemala. Guatemala.
1894. Grundziige der physikalischen Geographie von Guate-
mala. Gotha.
1897. Das nbrdliche Mittelamerika. Brunswick.
i899. Uber Gebirgsbau und Boden des nirdlichen Mittel-
amerika. Peterm. Mitth. Erg. 27, No. 127. Gotha.




(Adapted fromstatistics in the Revista Agricola, Vol. III, No. 1, Jan. 1935)

Departments Acres cultivated Yield in bushels Production,% Bu. per acre

Alta Verapaz



San Marcos


Santa Rosa



El Quiche



El Progress




El Peten




Baja Verapaz
































































































349.597 J 5,085 .816 99.99 Average: 14.5

349,597 5w085 a816 99.99 Average: 14.5


(The vara is equivalent to about 33 English inches)

Square varas Cuerdas Manzanas Caballeria Equivalents

1.0 1089 sq. in.

625 1.0 0.108 acres

10,000 16 1.0 1.736aores

645,816 1,033.3 64.58 1.0 112.12aores







19-7 Jan. Feb. lar. Apr. lay Jun. July Aug. Sept. ot. Nov. Dec.
Total rainfall for th r: hes
_ 5



19 7 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. lay Jun. July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Total rainfall for the :rear: tZ.l inches


Operation Date Days after planting

Planted Feb.15 0

Replanted Mar. 15 30

First cultivation Apr. 15 60

Plants tassel May 30 105

Second cultivation Jun.30 135

Roasting ears Jul. 15 150

Harvest Nov. 15 270


(Computed at 56 pounds to the bushel)


Pounds per ouerda Bushels per aore

25 4.1

50 8.2

75 12.5

100 16.5

125 20.6

150 24.7

175 28.9

200 33.0

225 37.1

250 41.3

275 45.4

300 49.5

25 lbs. per

cuerda = 4.1555978 bu.
per acre.


(Informants statements)


Village Maximum Minimum Average

Santa Eulalia 15 0-1 5

San Mateo 10-20 0-1 2-4

Todos Santos 10-20 0-1 4-5

San Rafael 10-20 0-1 4-5

Conoepoion 30-40 2-3 5-7

San Sebastian 1-2 7

Chimaltenango 20-30 7 10.8

Soloma 5 1.5 2-3

San Juan Ixooy 2-3

San Martin 30-40 1-3 5-9

San Miguel 8-10 5-7

La Libertad 1-2 3-5

Ixtahuaoan 4 0-1 2-3

Colotenango 10 3

San Pedro Neota 20-50 3 7-9

El Quetzal 50-150 5 7

Barillas 5

Jaoaltenango 6-10 1-1.5 4

San Antonio H. 3

La Democraoia 20-30 1.5 7

Cuiloo 5

Santa Ana Huista 20-25 5

Nenton 7-8


(Spanish names are capitalized)

No. & Name of Variety Locality Duration Kernel type Adaptations


1 Salpor Barillas 6 mo. Flour All lands

2 Salpor Soloma 9 Fertilized solar

3 Crespo Santa Ana HE 4 Sweet Plowed land or
damp roza

4 Blanco San Ramon 4 Flour (7) All lands

5 Tejar Jaoaltenango 4 Dent Warm regions

6 oqep Lxau Jaoaltenango 4 Warm regions

7 Tejar La Libertad 6 Temp. regions

8 Blanco Barillas 6 All Lands

9 Breve blanoo Santa Ana H. 4 Plowed land or
damp roza

10 Blanoo San Antonio 4 Lowlands

11 te wav Nenton 4 In the village

12 Chiapaneco Cuiloo 4 Warm regions -
roza on slopes

13 saq xal San Martin 11 April planting

14 Cuarentano amarillo Santa Ana H. 3 For rozas

15 Cuarentano San Miguel 3 Warmest regions

16 Colima Cuiloo 4 -

17 saq b:au San Martin 6 Dry season planting

18 saq Hal Jaoaltenango 9 Cold regions

19 sax sat San Juan Ixooy 10 "

20 saq Hal Concepcion 9 Lowest regions

21 Tegua blanoo Santa Ana H. 6 For rastrojo

22 Blanoo San Antonio H. 6 Higher regions

23 Costeflo Nenton 3 In the village

24 saq nal San Miguel 8 Temp. regions

25 saq xal Chimaltenango 10 Warm regions in
_rainy season

TABLE VII (continued)
No. & Name of Variety Locality Duration Kernel type Adaptations

26 Costefo. La Libertad 6 mo. Dent Temperate regions

27 saq sat Sol ma 9 Fertilized solar

28 Cuarentano blanoo Santa Ana H. 3 Dent-flint For rozas

29 Cuarentano Nenton 3 Flint In the village

30 s-k al Colotenango 6 Near village

31 saq t-wits San Juan At. 10 Temperate regions

32 saq xal San Juan At. 8 Warm regions

33 'aqal San Pedro N. 10 Cold regions

34 qoq iit' San Martin 6 Dry season planting

35 'aqal blanco La Libertad .10 Coldest regions

36 saq sat q' an wa9 Conoepoion High regions

37 saq sat Solama 9 "

38 saq 'aqal Chimaltenango 10 High regions, in
dry season
39 saq nal El Quetzal 7 Fertile soil

40 nime9 saq sat q'an wa7 Conoepcion 7 Higher regions


41 jex tit Jaoaltenango 9 Dent Cold regions

42 Tegua La Democracia 7 Roza or rastrojo

43 Tegua oriollo Santa Ana H. 6 For restrojo

44 Cuarentano La Libertad 3 Warm regions

45 q'an b:au Jacaltenango 8 Warm regions

46 kokh j'in Colotenango '6 Intermed. Near village

47 tj'-k-wa' Ixtahuacan 6 Narm regions

48 qoqh jin San Pedro N. 5 Warm regions

49 Breve amarillo Nenton 4 Near village

50 kokh fi9n Colotenango 6 Near village

51 Chimbo La Libertad 3 warmest regions

52 kokh q' ex wa9 Jacaltenango 9 Cold regions

53 nime9 kokh q'ex wa7 Concepoion 11 :armer regions


TABLE VII.(continued)

. & ame of Variety Locality Duration Kernel type Adaptations

:ec~- amarillo Santa Ana H. 6 mo. Intermed. For rastrojo

kek waO San Sebastian 10 Above village

aq' an 1 Ameloo 6 All lands

papa q'ex wa9 Conoepoion 10 Lower regions
' ex wat San Rafael 8 Below village

nir-e q' ex wal Jaoaltenango 9 Cold regions

A-arillo de af~o Santa Ana H. 6 For rastrojo

us wa' San Mateo 8 Flint Colder regions

K 3 i;im San Rafael 5-6 Cold regions

aptfon Soloma 9 In the aldeas

patfrn Solama 9 n In the aldeas

*' an set San Miguel 10 Coldest regions

-' an nal El Quetzal 7 Preferred variety

Linex k' an sat Soloma 9 Village & aldeas

q'an nal San Rafael 9 In the village

nineS famaltin Conoepoion 8 Colder regions

peflok Chimaltenango 10 Warm regions in
rainy season

S' an Li' San Martin 11 April plantings

% aex 'an sat Soloma 9 Village & aldeas

q' an sat San Juan Ixooy 10 Village & aldeas

'nifte famaltin Conoepoion 8 Coldest regions

us waB San Mateo 7 Colder regions

SBwa' Colotenango 9 Cold regions

an sat q' an wa' Conoepcion 7 Colder regions
'nijte kokh q' ex wa Conoepcion 11 Wamer regions

an xal San Pedro N. 10 Cold regions

Sk wat Colotenango 9 Cold regions

qa-h wa' Ixtahuacan 6 Cold regions

Kokh nal San Mateo 7 Edges of village




No. & Name of variety Looality Duration Kernel type Adaptations

83 q' an nal or q an sat San Mateo 7 mo. Flint In & near village

84 q'an t-wits San Juan At. 10 Temperateregions

85 q an nal Santa Eulalia 7 or 10 Village & aldeas


86 xun kmna Cuiloo 4 moo Dent Warn regions on
levels hilled
87 tf-kl-wa Cuiloo 4 Warm regions on
level; killed
88 xnn kanas La Demooracia 4 "

89 kekh wae San Miguel 8 Intermed. Temperate regions
90 q'an nal or q' an sat San Mateo 7 In & near village

91 nimax qaq wau Chimaltenango 10 -

92 s-k al Colotenango 6 Near village

93 kakh tfin San Rafael 9 Cold regions

94 kokh q' ex wae Conoepoion 11 Warmer regions

95 tfaq tfSi San Sebastian 10 Near village

96 kakh tjin San Miguel 8 Temp. & oold areas
97 kjak t-wits Ixtahuaoan 6 Flint Cold regions

98 kak tjin Solana 9 Near village
99 kjak t-wits Ixtahuacan 6 Cold regions

100 kakz tfin San Rafael 9 Cold regions

101 kakx tfin San Rafael 9 Cold regions
102 qax tfin San Juan Ixooy 10 -

103 kekh tfitam wa? San Miguel 8 Dent Warmer regions

104 q' ex tfitam wae Jaoaltenango *

106 Negro San Antonio H. 6 Flint Colder regions

.106 a'ex sat Hal Conoepeion 9 Warmer regions

107 'aqal negro La Libertad 10 Colder regions

108 ki ex sat San Rafael a

109 Negro San Juan Ixooy 10 Temperate regions

San Juan At.


Lqaq xo*l

10 "

Temperate regions




No. & Same of Variety Looality Duration earnel typ daptations


111 Pinto San Antonio L. 4 mo. Dent Wawr regions

11 ax e ii San Martin Dry seaan alpal

113 a-k* al Colotenango 6 Interned, Near village

114 ta ib nal. San Iiguel 6 : Preferred -iarit

115 koldkh fin Colotenango ear village

U16 tf-,-il S- an Sebastian 10 loquil lands

117 saq l I mtahuaoan I: War.-regions in
S. I.; rainy- season
118 nlne* q'* ez a Conoepoion .- 0 -. a regions -.

119 i tfita San Sebastian -

120 t' ib sat -aq al Jaoaltenango 9' Gold' region

" : -* '. ;J ..-.
121 ts'ib sat aq Wal C" COnoopoint m 9 ~- m regions

122 &oY1 tIahuaean 6r regions inT

123 nimex ta* ib sat- nal fan' afel 9 i . n the village
124 'aqal r. thn n 611 .. Cold region in
dry season
*-." ,':' .'. \.-- .. + I r-" .. .. -. - -- + Ir o a e.. o 'i. i
125 Jamaltin Jaoaltenanigo '9 '..In the village
126 ts ib.- sat Santsa lia 7 10_ Vi age l a-ldea

127. .q'anal Santa Jlalia or 0 .. V llage & alde s
128's tib aat San Juan Iboy O j .. : :-..
" '+- ". ... ++ + "+:" .e
129' tsib at nal San Rafael 9 Cold regions
130 qa4h w' .tahuao S Cold regions
1 a> 2 ". ^ ,-. . .- .... -. -... ts* -*.^ .
131 t'-ib sat Santa Eulala 'or 10 ; village &ald

152 ts' ib sat San Sebastian 5 mo, .In the -village

133 ts ib nal M Qiietzal 7 Fertile oils

154 ta'S;b sat SolOm .9 ertil ed solar
135 ta' ib nal San Mateo 8-9 Colder regions


(Spanish names are capitalized)
Village Variety Method of planting Yield, Ibs.: acre

2 beans to every other
Santa Eulalia Chamborote hill of maize. Har- 250 to 350
vested with the corn

nibax tut Planted at base of
(Chamborote) poles left in field

q an tut (yellow) One bean in each hill

kokh huim tut
San Mateo (small black,bush) 5 beans to each mat 400 to 500

kotak tut (small black
SAll beans in
in q'itf
(large yellow) San Mateo

'awas (broad bean) harvested with corn

mimex up:al
(Chamborote) One bean in each hill 225

xir up:al
San Rafael (Chamborote) One bean in each hill 225

Chiquito 450

kutf All varieties except
Chamborote planted two
if hup:al beans in every other
hill of maize
pa xai
Bush varieties yield 450
Concepcion k, ots
Pole varieties yield 140
kax telax

nine jat
(Chamborote) Planted at base of poles 140

nimax tfen
(Chamborote) One bean in each hill 90 to 100
San Juan Atitan
kok tjen
(small blaok) Apart from maize

tfak' 0, ith early variety maize;
(small, pole) One bean in each hill
San Sebastian
p 'oos With late variety maize;
small black) One bean every 2-3 hills 10 to 50



(a ct-rtnued)

Village Variety Method of planting Yield, lb.: acre


gqaq ts'ul
sallyl black pole)

Chamborote negro

kjakx tix
(red, pole)

(it, (large yellow)

One bean to each hill

At base of poles

25 to .10

Soloma up:al Two beans to each hill 225

mimex up:al
San Juan Ixcoy Two beans to each hill 225 to 450
qoq up:al
(small blaok)

ko9a up:al
(small black)
Two beans to each hill 100
anon up:al
(small black bush)

patal omon
San Miguel (red, bush) All varieties of San
Miguel beans are
nimex up:al harvested with the
(Chamborote) corn or just before

ponkaH up 3al

Sax tela.
red, pole)

All varieties planted
Ixtahuacan kjakh tfen and harvested at
(red) same times as maize

pajo t~on
(string bean)

TABLE VIII. (continued)

Village Variety Method of planting Yield, lb. : acre

saq tren

eqx t'fea
All Colotenango
q'e? tfif qok varieties planted
Colotenango (bush/ at same time as All varieties
maize and harvested yield about
is qok tjen just before corn 225 pounds
(red or black,

ti s-kal tfen One bean in each hill

is 'kumit One mat of 4-5 beans
(red, pole) to each 4-5 hills

nime up:al One bean to each hill
(Chamborote) or mixed with corn Both varieties
El Quetzal yield about
maon up: al 225 lbs. per acre
(small, bush)

maq tfen One bean to each 3-4
(Chamborote) hills of maize

tjlak tsJul
(small black,
San Pedro Neota pole)

si-t' (yellow

Zoq liq Not planted in the
(black bush) milpa, but apart

On slopes, sown at
San Antonio H. Frijol de los Santos base of poles; on
level ground, one
Frijol de San Miguel bean to each hill

One bean to every
Cuilco Blanco other hill. Harvested 900
just before corn (good)

El Injerto isitj 450


TABLE VIII. (continued)

ge Variety Method of planting Yield, Ib.: acre
nimex jat


.s DeJocracia

pa xai (pole)

kax tela '(pole)

ts'ul telaY (pole)

q*ex tfinap:ul

ts'ib tfinap:ul

aoon (bush)

cq k'al tsaik

kax oaon (bush)

k'os (bush)

saq hup:al
(white, bush)

gqex ton (bush)

nime q' ex tJlnap:ul

hup:al polin (bush)

Sanmiguelito (bush)

Colorado (pole)

Blanoo (pole)

Negro (pole)

Colorado (bush)

Blanoo (bush)

Negro (bush)

Pulga (bush; very

Climbing varieties
planted at base of
poles left for the
purpose when cut-
ing the huatal

All varieties sown
and harvested at
same time as corn

i I

All varieties
yield about
450 lbs. per acre

Beans mixed with seed
corn (only pole varieties)

Harvest with maize

A _______________________________




Village Variety Method of planting Yield, lbe: acre

Pie de palama
(red, pole)

de Pasoua (small
black, pole) Pole beans planted
one bean to each
Santa Ana H. Colorado 3 or 4 hills of
(red, bush) maize Bush varieties
yield about
Negro oriollo 225 Ibs. per acre
(black, bush) All varieties
harvested at same
Uvita (bush) time as maize

Pinto (bush)

atik ab:al
Sred, pole) At base of poles
Nenton 270
kohim tut Both varieties
(black, bush) harvested before
the corn

(oontinu ))


". Vegetable Method of planting Yield, fruits:aore

Chilacayote About 90 mats of 4 seeds
^ Eulalia each per acre. Harvested 180 to 270
Ayote at same time as corn

Similar to above, but
Ayote fewer mats per acre
M. Rateo
Planted between rows of
maize five days after
Potatoes corn planting. Harvested
July-August, or else
after corn harvest

Le. F.afael Chilacayote Similar to San Mateo 180 to 450

Chilacayote 10-15 mats per acre.
Harvested after corn 90 to 100
Ayote 40-60 mats per acre.
Harvested before corn 200 to 300

-&z Juan Atitan Chilacayote Same as in Todos Santos

;:.:ale'nango Chilaoayote Same as in Todos Santos

Chilacayote Same as in Conoepoion

* >-.L a Ayote

Tomato Rarely planted

Chilaoayote Similar to Sta. Eulalia
I JAn Ixooy
Ayote _270 to 550

Chilacayote 35 mats per aore;
harvested after corn 180 to 200



_Gisquil _____________ __




TABLE IX. (continued)

Village Vegetable Method of planting Yield, fruits:aore



Colotenango Chili



San Pedro Neota Chilaoayote

Barillas Ayote

Chilaoayote 15 mats per acre with

El Quetzal Ayote 2 seeds to each mat


El Injerto Chilaoayote


Chili Seed scattered over
Jaoaltenango Anise

Ayote 30 mats per aore

Gourd 30 mats per aore

Watermelon 30 mats per acre 50

Chilaoayote 40

Ayote 10 mats per acre 250 to 500

Sown when maize in
San Antonio H. Chili roasting ears; .
harvested in July

Sown with ohili and
Tomato harvested in February

La Demooraoia
Tecomate (inedi-
Sble gourd) ____

Cuiloo Ayote

Santa Ana H.

Nentan Ayote 10 mats per acre -
3 seeds to each mat

(Showing years in maize and years left fallow)

Huatal Llano (unfert.) Pajanal
In maize Fallow In maize Fallow In maize Fallow

Santa Eulalia 2-3 4-5 3 4-5 2-3 4-5

San Mateo Ix. 3 4-5 3 2 3 2

San Rafael 2 2 3 3 3 4

Todos Santos 2-3 3 2 1* 1-2 5-20

Conoepoion 3 4-5 4 5 2 7-8

San Juan Atitan 4-5 4-5 2 Many 2-3 Many

San Sebastian 2 4-5 2-3 5-6 2-3 5-6

Chimaltenango 2 4 2 4 -

Soloma 2-3 4-5 2 10-15

San Juan Ixooy 3 10 2-3 3-4 3-4 6-7

San Martin C. 3-4 2-3 -

San Miguel A. 4 6-7 3 4-5 2-3 5-6

La Libertad 3-4 3-4 3-4 3-4 -

Ixtahuaoan 3 4 3 4 3 4

Colotenango 3 3 3 3 -

San Pedro Neota 2 3-4 2 3-4 2 3-4

El Quetzal 3 4 3 4 3 4

Barillas 3-4 1-2 3-4 1-2 -

El Injerto 2 3 -

Jaoaltenango 2 3-4 -

San Antonio H. 2 3-4 2-3 3 2 3-4

La Demooracia 2 6 Always None -

Cuiloo 2-3 2-3 Always None 2-3 2-3

Santa Ana H. 4 6-8 4-5 2-4 -

Nenton 1-2 3-4 2-3 3-4 3-4 3

Ameloo 2-3 2 -

San Ramon 1 1 -

* Fertilized during this fallow year.

NOTE: In San Ramon many
every year.

lands are never rested, producing two or three crops



Village Montana Huatal Pajonal Rastrojo Rastrojo Hand-tilled llano
ordinary in yards fert. unfert.
Santa Eulalia 710 389 620 389 506 -

San Mateo 839 351 642 393 423 517

San Rafael 328 570 411 608 487

Todos Santos 313 479 313 313 -

Conoepoion 646 314 296 332 616 462

San Juan Atitan 312 554 411 537 463

San Sebastian 403 555 322 345 486

Chimaltenango 246 236 204

Soloma 691 383 454 371 508 602 -

San Juan Ixooy 672 470 719 589 820

San Martin C. 317 359 -

San Miguel A. 470 355 443 360 441 571 402

La Libertad 365 344 530

Ixtahuaoan 435 518 462 -

Colotenango 350 363 815 -

San Pedro Neota 326 393 329 356 690 573

El quetzal 584 418 460 418 501

Barillas 330 -

El Injerto 410 327 .

Jaoaltenango 425 251 248 -

San Antonio H. 537 288 427 275 427

La Democracia 226 -

Cuiloo 377 -

Santa Ana Huista 414 313 -

Nenton 329 448 282 -

Ameloo 413 330 275 -

San Ramon 348 265 265 -

Average, eaoh type: 535 338 520 345 393 640 459


Village MontaEa uatal Pajonal Rastrojo Rastrojo Hand-tilled Plowed
ordinary in yards llano llano

fert. unfert fert. unfert.
Sta. Eulalia 29 16.5 12 16.5 -

San Mateo Ix. 29 16.5 16.5 16.5 25 16.5 -

San Rafael 12 10 25 25 10 -

Todos Santos 16.5 16.5 16.5 29 16.5 16.5

Concepoion 33 16.5 20 45 25 20 -

San Juan At. 21 16.5 29 40 12 40 12

San Sebastian 16.5 12 16.5 25 16.5 -

Chimaltenango 16.5 12.5 16.5 -

Solana 25 20 .16.5 16.5 33 16.5 -

San Juan Ix. 16.5 12 12 16.5 16.5 -

San Martin C. 16.5 16.5 -

San Miguel A. 33 16.5 16.5 33 25 12 -

La Libertad 16.5 16.5 16.5 16.5

Ixtahuacan 25 25 25 -

Colotenango 16.5 16.5 16.5 12

San Pedro N. 16.5 12 16.5 25 22 16.5 22 16.5

El Quetzal 25 25 25 25 25 -

Barillas 16.5 16.5 16.5

El Injerto 25 25 25 -

Jacaltenango 22 16.5 14 -

San Antonio H. 33 33 16.5 25 16.5 25

La Democracia 16.5 15 33

Cuilco 33 33 33

Santa Ana H. 33 25 33 40

Nenton 21 21 21 21

Amelco 33 33 33 -

San Ramon 50 50 50 -



Rastrojo Rastrojo Hand-tilled Plowed
Village Montana Huatal Pajonal ordinary in yards llano llano
fert. unfert. fert. unfert.
Sta. Eulalia .014 .015 .002 .015 .009 -

San Mateo. .017 .017 .006 .014 .024 .009 -

San Rafael .015 .004 .029 .017 .006 -

Todos Santos .018 .018 .04 .012 -

Conoepoion .02 .02 .029 .067 .014 .015 -

San Juan At. .028 .007 .04 .03 .033 .006 .055 .012

San Sebastian .014 .003 .02 *034 .01 -

Chimaltenango .026 .018 .034 -

Solana .015 .024 .015 .02 .03 .01 -

San Juan Ix. .008 .009 .004 .01 .006 -

San Martin C. .022 .019 -

San Miguel A. .03 .017 .012 .017 .033 .017 .008 -

La Libertad .014 .014 .006 .013

Ixtahuacan .021 .016 .019 .019

Colotenango .014 .009 Loss .002

San Pedro N. .017 .006 .02 .032 .006 .005 .009 .007

El Quetzal .015 .024 .021 .024 .019 -

Barillas .019 .02 .02

El Injerto ..025 .034 .027 -

Jacaltenango .018 .026 .02 -

San Antonio H. .023 .053 .01 .04 .01 .051

La Denooracia .032 .02 05

Cuiloo .035 .034 .04

Santa Ana H. .033 .033 .06 059

Nenton .027 .017 .032 .033

Amelco .036 .047 .06 -

San Ramon *07 .097 .097 -

Average .025 .027 .009 .028 .035 012- .012 .024 .03


Village Name of informant Age Raoe

Diego Mateo 75 Indian

Santa Eulalia Mateo Esteban 54

Juarez Diego 53

Bartolo Mateo 40

San Mateo Ix. Mateo Hernandez Andres 36

Mate6 Perez Felipe 25 "

Pascual de Pasoual 25 "

San Rafael Mayores of Intendenoia Mopl. U

Amado Figueroa 46 Ladino

Concepoion Mateo Ramirez" 30 Indian

Juan Ramirez 20

Laureano Salad 45 "
San Juan Atitan
Jose Domingo 35 "

Domingo Martin 61 "

San Sebastian Felipe Gaspar 59 "

Nicolas Miguel Garcia 54 "

Gregorio Martin 46 "
Jose Clotilde Lopez 32 "

Salvador Juan 70
Maroos Eulalio 70 "

Pedro Bautista 63 "
San Juan Ixcoy
Gaspar Tercero 63

Juan Lucas Martinez 78 Ladino

Luis Roldan 72

La Libertad Onofre San Mayor 64

Rosalino Martinez 45

Pedro Tomas 45 Indian

TABLE XIV. (oontiaed)

Village Name of informant Age Race

Ismael Ordofiez 54 Ladino

Adrian Herrera H. 51

Ixtahuaoan Alejandro Ganez M. 48

Joaohin B. Oohoa 40

Bruno Herrera 79 "

Margarito Rios 68 "

Colotenango Pasoual Domingo 64 Indian

Diego Morales 58 "

Domingo Morales 37 "

San Pedro Neota Martin Ruis 35 "

Pedro Sanohez 27

Francisco Sebastian Ramon 59
El Quetzal
Pablo Diego 42 "

Barillas Leopoldo Noriego 59 Ladino

El Injerto Rogelio Aguirre 28 "

Antonio Cardenas 62 Indian

Jaoaltenango Manuel de Jesus Camposeco 55 "

Juan Matias 33 "

Martin Velasquez 78 Ladino

San Antonio H. .Iginio Morales Salazar- 72 "

Francisco Camposeco Morales 60 "

Pedro Castillo Monson 63
La Demooraoia
Manuel de Jesus Argueta 55

Isidoro Hernandez 73

David Cifuentes 68
Jesus Velasquez 61

Jose Domingo Figueroa 60

TABLE XIV. (continued)

Village Name of informant Age Race

Felix Castillo 52 Ladino
Santa Ana H.
Filameno Hernandez 28

Sebastian Perez 77 Indian

Nenton Andres Ordofiez 70

Gaspar Daningo 37

Amelco Francisco Juan Gaspar 50

San Ramon Jose Elias Herrera 27 Ladino



The cultivation of maize in the region of northwestern Guatemala as herein

reported is summarized in tabular form for each of the twenty-seven localities

studied. Each of these summaries is composed of eight tables:

A. Preparation of land for planting.

B. Varieties of seed and their characteristics.

C. Planting.

D. Cultivations.

E. Harvest.

F. Replacement of fertility.

G. Yields in bushels per acre.

H. Production cost per acre and profit.

In the formation of the H tables the following assumptions have been accepted:

1. That the seed corn used for planting costs nothing.

2. That the work of making a ronda around an area to be burned is
too variable a factor to utilize in computation and may be

5. That the work of replanting is always 25 percent of that of

4. That in sheep fertilization the corral is rebuilt four times on
each cuerda and four man-hours of labor ara spent each time it
is rebuilt.

5. That a bushel of corn weighs 56 lbs.

6. That corn is worth one cent per pound.



Elevation above sea level 8,500 feet.

Population 9,000.

Total area of municipality 39,600 acres.

Duration of rainy season fran May to October, inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per acre

Underbrush out with machete
Montafa and trees felled with ax October 83 249 332

Burned when dry February

Cut with machete and Tall bush in
Huatal burned when dry October: low 83
bush in Dec.

First tilling (hoe) October
Llano 166 4 83 249
Second tilling (hoe) Jan.- Feb.

Uprooted and tilled (hoe) October
Pajonal 249 4 83 332
Burned and tilled (hoe) February

Tilled with hoe; stalks
Rastrojo turned under or burned February 83
if large & numerous



Harvested Duration Adaptation

August October 7 mo.
in village Sub-varieties for
or or village and each
December aldea
September in aldeas 10 mo.

Roasting ears

SANTA EULALIA (continued)


Distance Man-hours per acre (in-
cluding replanting, 25%)

30 to 40 in. 26


Planting time First cult'n Second oult'n. Third cult'n Man-hours per acre

February Mid-April, Late June, September,
ruahoed hoed with machete
83 4 83 4 42 = 208
Mah April, hoed Late June, August,
March hoed with machete


Variety Seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day

Husked. Stalks Ears tied in pairs
stamped down if and hung from raf- 2 redes of earw or
All kinds no beans in field. ters in dwelling. about 120 Ibs. of
Animals loosed in Seed corn hung shelled corn
field to feed over kitchen corner


Type of land Method Man-hours per acre

Lies fallow 4-5 years after 2-3
Huatal years in maize. Ashes of woody Included in A, above
vegetation once every 6-8 years.
Crop residues

Lies fallow 4-5 years after 2-3
years in maize. (W'ith 10 years
Pajonal fallow may produce four crops). Included in A, above
Ashes of grass once every 6-8
years. Crop residues

Lies fallow 4-5 years after 3
years in maize. Green manure
Llano turned under once every 7-8 Building corrals: 25
years. Fertilized with sheep
corrals once or twice every
7-8 years. Crop residues

Ashes or humus of stalks of pre-
vious crop. Green manure from
Rastrojo weeds during cultivations. Solar Included in A & D, above
receives rubbish and dejecta


SANTA EULALIA (continued)


Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Montaia 20 33 29

Pajonal 8 16 12

Huatal 8 20 16.5

Llano 8 20 16.5

Rastrojo 8 20 16.5


(Cost of 9


hours labor = 8 cents)

Type of land Total man-hours Total cost Yield in Value of orop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu.:acre per acre p.aore hour labor

Montaia 710 $6.31 29 $16,24 $9.93 $.014

Huatal 389 3.46 16.5 9.24 5.78 .015

Pajonal 620 5.51 12 6.72 1.21 .002

Llano 506 4.50 16.5 9.24 4.74 .009

Rastrojo 389 3.46 16.5 9.24 5.78 .015



Elevation above sea level 8,360 feet.

Population 8,925.

Total area of municipality 170,471 acres.

Duration of rainy season from May to December inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per acre

Underbrush out with machete
Montana and trees felled with ax. January 83 4 249 = 332

Burned when dry March

Cut with machete Jan.- Feb.
Huatal 83
Burned when dry March

First tilling (hoe) Early Jan.
Llano 166 83 = 249
Second tilling (hoe) Late Feb.

Cut with machete, piled,
burned and earth hoed January
Pajonal 249 4 125 = 374
Second tilling (hoe) March

Stalks cut with machete
Rastrojo and soil tilled (hoe) January 42 4 83 = 125

Stalks burned in heaps February


Name & Number Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptation

saq pok

q an nal or

q'an sat (90,

kokh nal (82)




7 mo.

I I t




7 mo.

_ _ _ J 1. 4.1

us wa9 (61,

ts'ib nal(135) March August Nov. Dec.

q! ex wal

saq tfitil

8-9 mo.

In or near the

Outskirts of village

Aldeas, cold regions



Variety of seed No. of grains Distance Man-hours per acre (in-
per hill eluding replanting, 25%)

66 inches on
rich soil:
All kinds 6 or 7 33 inches on 26
poor soil


Planting time First cult'n Second oult'n Third cult'n Man-hours per acre

Apr. May. June, hoed, Hilled 15
February Shallow hoe- shallower days after 83 r 55 4 55 = 193
ing than first 2nd. oult'n

August, Late Sept.
March June, hoed hoed Weeds out 83 ; 55 4 46 u 184
with machete


Variety seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day

Food corn husked. Cribbed.
All kinds Seed corn snapped, In aldeas, 3 redes of ears or about
husked only in seed corn hung
aldeas over smoke 150 lbs. shelled corn





Type of land Method Man-hours per acre

Lies fallow 4-5 years after 3 years
Huatal in maize. Ashes of woody vegeta- Included in A, above
tion once every 7-8 years. Crop

Lies fallow 2 years after 3 years in
Llano maize. Green manure turned under Included in A, above
once every 5 years. Crop residues

Lies fallow 2 years after 3 years in
Pajonal maize. Ashes of grass once every 5 Included in A, above
years. Crop residues.

Ashes of stalks of previous crop.
Green manure from weeds during cul-
tivations. Crop residues. Crop
Rastrojo rotation: Included in A, above
Maize 3 years
Wheat 1 or 2 years
Fallow 2 or 3 years
Maize 3 years

When fertilized every 2nd year with
sheep corrals gives one crop every Building corrals: 74
2 years


Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Montaila 12 33 29

Huatal 12 25 16.5

Llano 12 33 16.5

Pajonal 12 33 16.5

(ordinary) 8 20 16.5

Rastrojo (sheep
fertilized) 25 50 33

Rastrojo in solar 25



Type of land Total man-hours Total cost Yield in Value of crop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu.:acre per acfe p.aore hour labor

Montafia 639 $5.68 29 $16.24 $10.56 $.0165

Huatal 351 3.12 16.5 .9.24 6.12 .0174

Llano 517 4.60 16.5 9.24 4.64 .009

Pajonal 642 5.71 16.5 9.24 3.53 .0055

Rastrojo 393 3.49 16.5 9.24 5.75 .0146

Rastrojo 529 4.70 33 18.48 13.78 .026
(sheep fert.) 529 7

Rastrojo in 423 3.76 25 14.00 10.24 .024



Elevation above sea level 8,200 feet.

Population 3,726.

Total area of municipality .--. (no data)

Duration of rainy season from May to October, inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per acre

Underbrush out with ma-
chete and trees felled February
Montaia* with ax 83 4 249 = 332

Burned when dry April

Cut with machete January
Huatal 83
Burned when dry February

First tilling (hoe) November
Llano 166 4 83 249
Second tilling (hoe) January

Uprooted with hoe and November
thoroughly tilled
Pajonal 249 4 83 s 332
Second tilling with hoe February,
before planting May or Aug.

Stalks out with hoe &
Rastrojo burned in heaps. Then January 125
tilled with hoe

* Rarely cultivated. ,


Name & number Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptation

q'an nal (68)
February Late August November 9 months For lands in the
nimex ts' ib sat village
nal (123)

ts' ib sat nal February Late August November 9 months In aldea Ixoanao
(129) _________

kokx 'i (93, February Late August November 9 months Aldeas Jolombits
100, Ma) J and Incut

k ex wa9(58) May October January 8 months Below village

qoq iJ'm (62) Augst November Jan.- Feb.

kex sat (108)

5-6 mo. In aldea Ixcanae





No. of grains,
per hill

5 or 6


-I 36in.

- I I

6 or 6

17 in.

Man-hours per .aore (in-
cluding replanting, 25%)

(59 hrs. used in ocmpu-
62 tatian of oosts)


PlInting time First cultivation Second cultivation Man-hours per aore

february May. Shallow Late July. Same as 85 4 83 z 166
hoeing first. Not hilled

say August. Same as October. Same as 83 ; 85 a 166
above above

AIaust September. Same October. Same as 83 4 83 : 168
as above above

Sariety of seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day

Tied in pairs and
l11 kinds Husked hung from rafters 2 redes of ears or about
in house, seed 150 lbs. shelled oorn
oorn apart


as village

1 colder parts




Type of land Method Man-hours per acre

Lies fallow 2 years after 2
Huatal years in maize. Ashes of Inoluded in A. above
woody vegetation anoe every
4 years. Crop residues

Lies fallow 3 years after 5
Llano years in maize. Green manure
(unfertilized) turned under onoe every 6 Included in A, above
years. Crop residues

Fertilized with sheep corrals
during one year fallow, oul-
Llano -tivated 2 years, then lies
(fertilized fallow two years half of which
with sheep) time it is being fertilized. Building oorrals: 74
Green manure turned under once
every four years. Crop residues

Lies fallow 4 years after 3
Pajonal years in maize. Green manure Inoluded in A, above
from grass onoe every 7 years.
Crop residues

Ashes of stalks of previous orop.
Green manure from weeds during
Rastrojo cultivation. Fields near Inoluded in A & D, above
dwellings receive rubbish and




Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Huatal 8 16.5 12

Pajonal 6 16.5 10

Llano (fert.) 16 29 25

Llano (not 6 186. 10

Rastrojo in 16 33 25
solar or yards


(Cost of 9 hours labor =


5 oents)

Type of land Total man-hours Total boost Yield in Value of orop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu. aore per acre p.aore hour labor

Huatal 328 $1.82 12 6.72 $4.90 $.016

Pajonal 670 S.17 10 5.60 2.45 .004

Llano (fert.) 608 3.58 25 14.00 10.62 .017

Llano (not 487 2.71 10 6.60 2.89 .006

Rastrojo in 411 2.28 25 14.00 11.72 .029


Elevation above sea level 8,040 feet.

Population 4,990.

Total area of nunioipality (less that of San Martin) 59,044 aores.

Duration of rainy season from May to Ootober, inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per aore

Cut with machete Deoember
Huatal 83
Burned when dry January

First plowing August
Llano 56
Second plowing Deo. Jan.

Pajonal Grass uprooted with September 249
hoe and soil tilled

Stalks piled and
burned after plow- 17 hours plowing or
Rastrojo ing land or tilling Jan. Feb. 85 hours hand labor
with hoe


Name of variety Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptation

1i February Late July November 9-10 o. Sub-variety for
eaoh locality


Name of variety No. of grains Distanoe Man-hours per aore (In-
per hill oluding replanting, 25%)
i 5 24-36 inches 37



Planting time First cultivation Second cultivation Man-hours per acre

Mid-April. Plants June-July. Plants
February 10 inches tall, 3 feet tall, weeds 83 83 166
weeds 5 inches, 1 foot, hoed under
hoed under

Variety seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day

Husked. One Tied in pairs and
All kinds husk left hung from rafters 3 redes of ears or about
on for in house, seed corn 300 lbs. shelled corn
tying over kitchen corner


Type of land Method Man-hours per sare

Lies fallow 3 years after 2-5
Huatal years in maize. Ashes of Included in A, above
woody vegetation once every
5-6 years. Crop residues

May lie fallow for long
Pajonal periods after 1 or 2 years in Included in A, above
maize. Ashes of grass.
Crop residues.

Lies fallow one year after
two years in maize. Fer-
Llano tilized with sheep corrals Building oorralst 48
during fallow year. Crop

Ashes from stalks of pre-
Rastrojo vious orop. Green manure
frame weeds during oulti- Included in A, above
nations. Crop residues.
Fields near houses receive
rubbish and dejecta.



Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Huatal 10 20 16.5

PaJonal 8 20 16.5

Llano 8. 20 16.5

Rastrojo 8 20 16.5

Rastrojo in 20 35 29


(Cost of 9 hours' labor a
boost of 6 hours' plowing


10 oentsi
a 25 oents)

Type of land Total man-hours Total cost Yield in Valde of orop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu.:aore per aore p.aore hour labor

Huatal 513 $3.61 16.5 $9.24 $5.63 $.018

Pajonal 479 5.32 16.5 9.24 3.92 .008

Llano 334 5.34 16.5 9.24 3.90 .012

Rastrojo (or- 334 5634 16.5 9.24 3.90 .012
dinary, plowed)

Rastrojo (or- 313 3.61 16.5 9.24 6.65 .018
dinary, hoed)

Rastrojo in 313 3.81 29 16.24 12.63 .04



Elevation above sea level 7,870 feet.

Population 5,328.

Total area of municipality (less that of Petatan) 25,100 acres.

Duration of rainy season from May to October, inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per oare

Underbrush out with November
machete and trees to
Mantafta felled with ax December 85 332 a 415

Burned when dry Feb.- March

Cut with maohete Nov. for breve
Buatal and burned when 85
dry Feb. for afo

Uprooted and tilled
Paj nal with hoe Nov. Deo. 332

Heaped grass burned De. Jan.

First tilling, hoe Early Oct.
Llano 166 4 85 = 249
Second tilling, hoe Late Oct.
Bestrojo Scraped with hoe &
for afo or stalks out, heaped March 83
lte varieties and burned

Lastrojo Deeply tilled and
for breve or stalks out (hoe) & February 83
early varieties burned

CONCEPCION continuedd)


Name & number Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptatian

saq sat q'an wa
(36) Maroh Early August September 8 months These are breve,
short season or
q'an sat q'an wa early maturing
(77) March Mid-August Octobes 7 months varieties of maise.

nimer saq sat For the higher and
q'an wat (40) Maroh Mid-August October 7 months colder parts of the
iean--------- municipality.
nifte famaltin
'74) March Late August November 8 months About one-fourth
of all maise planted
nimet famaltin is breve.
(69) March Late August November 8 months

saq Hal (20) May Early October February 9 months These are de aflo,
long' season or
ta' ib sat saq late maturing
Sal (121) May Early October February 9 months varieties of maize.

q'ex sat Hal For the lower and
(106) May Early Ootober February 9 months more temperate parts
of the municipality.
nine, q ex wa'
(118) May Late October Maroh 10 mo. About three-fourths
of all maize planted
papa q' em wa9 is de ado.
(57) May Late October Maroh 10 mo.

kokh q' ez wa
(94) April Ootober March 11 mo.
nif(e kokh q(f e
waf (78) April October Maroh 11 mo.

ninety kokh q' ex
wa9 (53) April Ootober Maroh 11 mo.



Variety seed No. of grains Distance Manhours per aore (in-
per hill eluding replanting, 25%)
Early maturing 5 or 6 30 to 40 in. 26
20 for computation
Late maturing 5 or 6 60 inches 15 of oosts


Planting time First cultivation Second cultivation Man-hours per aore

May or June. Plants July or August.
12 inches tall,weeds Plants 6 feet tall,
Maroh 6 inches. Cut with weeds 8 inches, 83 4 85 = 166
hoe or machete. Not out with machete.
tilled. Rarely tilled. Not

June or July. Plants August or September.
18 inches tall,weeds Plants tasseling &
April or 6 inches, out. Soil 6 to 9 feet tall, 83 4 85 = 166
May not tilled weeds 1 foot. Not
usually tilled.


Variety of seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day

Husked in Hung in house to
Early the field dry as it is still 5 redes of ears or about
raining at harvest 375 lbs. shelled corn

Late Husked Cribbed




Type of land Method Man-hours per aore
Lies fallow 4-5 years after 3
years in maize. Ashes of
woody vegetation onoe every
Huatal 7-8 years. Crop residues. Included in A, above
(In higher land, plant 2-3
crops of wheat after cutting
huatal, then 5-6 orops of

Lies fallow 5 years after 4
Llano years in maize. Green manure
(unfertilized) turned under onoe every 9 Included in A, above
years. Crop residues

Corral left on each site 3
Llano (sheep days during rainy season or
fertilized) 8 days if in dry season. Soil Building corrals: 148
tilled with hoe after removal
of corral Tilling included in A, above

Pajonal Lies fallow 7-8 years after
(rarely planted 2 years in maize. Ashes of
to maize; kept grass once every 9-10 years. Included in A, above
in grass for use Sometimes fertilized with
in thatching sheep corrals if no other
houses) land available.

Ashes of stalks of previous crop.
Green manure fram weeds during
cultivations. Fields near Inoluded in A, above
Rastrojo houses receive rubbish and
dejecta all year round.

Never lies fallow if ferti-
lized every year with sheep Building oorrals: 148



CONCEPCION (continued)


Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Montafla 20 40 33

Huatal (n 20 40 33
level ground)

Huatal 4 20 16.5
(on slopes)

Llano (unfert., 15 25 20
temperate region)

Llano (fert., 20 SO 25
cold regions)

Rastroj) 15 25 20

Rastrojo (fert. 20 30 25
with sheep)

Rastrojo in 30 50 45

(Cost of 9 hours' labor
(Cost of 6 hours' plowing

= 8 cents)
= 25 cents)

Type of land total man-hours Total boost Yield in Value of orop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu. acre per aore p.aore hour labor
Montafla 646 $5.74 33 $18.48 $12.74 $.020

Huatal(level) 514 2.79 33 18.48 15.69 .050

Huatal(slopes) 314 2.79 16.5 9.24 6.45 .020

Llano (unfert.) 462 4.11 20 11.20 7.09 .015

Llano (fert.) 616 5.48 25 14.00 8.52 .014

Rastrojo (ord.) 296 2.63 20 11.20 8.57 .029

Rastrojo (fert.) 450 4.00 25 14.00 10.00 .022

Rastrojo (solar) 332 2.95 45 25.20 22.25 .067



Elevation above sea level 7,870 feet.

Population 5,205.

Total areaof municipality 1,087 acres

Duration of rainy season from May to October, inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per aore

Cut with machete January for Feb.
Huatal and burned when planting: Feb. 85
dry for March plant-

Grass out with
hoe Mid-September

Tilled and grass
Pajonal turned under (hoe) Early October 166 4 83 4 83 a 552

Tilled with hoe Late December

First tilling(hoe) Early September
Llano 166 4 83 249
(hand-tilled) Second hoeing February

First plowing November
Llano (plowed) 2Firt p g N r 8 4 14 = 42
Second plowing February

Stalks out and
soil tilled with November
Rastrojo hoe. Some burn 83 4 83 166
(hand-tilled) stalks

Second hoeing February

First plowing November
Rastrojo 28 4 14 p 42
(plowed) Seoond plowing February


SAN JUAN ATITAN (continued)


Name & number Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptation

saq zal (32) March Ootober November 8 months Warm parts rosas

saq t-wits (31) February August December 10 mo.
Planted in tilled
q'an t-wits lands in
(84) February August December 10 mo. temperate regions

gqaq xonl
(110) February August December 10 mo.

qaq waT March November February 11 mo. Cold parts) rosas


Variety seed No* of grains Distanoe Man-hours per aore (in-
per hill oluding replanting, 25%)

All kinds 5 or 6 30-36 in. 26


Variety seed Firsk oult'n Second oult'n Third oult'n Han-hours per acre

June. Plants July. Plants October. Plants
8 inches tall 40 inches tall 6 feet tall &
saq xal & weeds same. & weeds 8 in. tasseling,weeds 83 4 42 4 45 = 168
Hoed under Hoed under 16 inches tall.
Weeds hoed under

June. Plants Sept. Plants
3 feet tall, 5 feet tall,
qaq wa* weeds 8 in., weeds 8 in., Not done
hoed under Hoed & hilled
85 4 85 a 166
May. Plants June. Plants
All other 3 feet tall, 5 feet tall,
varieties weeds 8 in., weeds 8 in. Not done
hoed under Hoed & hilled

SAN JUAN ATITAN continuedd)


Variety seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day
Tied in pairs and 4 redes of ears or about
All kinds Husked hung from rafters 300 lbs. shelled corn
in house, seed
oorn apart


Type of land Method Man-hours per acre
Lies fallow 4-5 years after 4-6
Huatal years in maise. Ashes of woody Inoluded in A, above
vegetation onoe every 8-10 years.
Crop residues.
Cultivated 2-3 years then left
Pajonal fallow. Llano usually appears Inoluded in A, above
as degrassing is thorough.
Cut grass is hoed under

Lies fallow many years after 2
Llano (unfert.) years in maise. Green manure Inoluded in A, above
and orop residues

Corrals left 3-4 days on each site
Llano (fert.) during fallow year, then planted Building corrals: 74
to maise 2 years. Green manure
and orop residues

Never left fallow. Green manure
Rastrojo (solar) from cultivations; rubbish and Included in A, above
dejecta all year round


Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Huatal 15 25 21

Llano (unfert.) 8 15 12

Llano (fert.) 50 50 40

Pajonal 12 25 16.5

Rastrojo (solar) 15 33 29

SAN JUAN ATITAN continuedd)


(Cost of 9
cost of 6

hours' labor = 8 cents;
hours' plowing = 25 oents)

Type of land Total man-hours Total boost Yield in Value of orop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu.:aore per aore p.aore hour labor
Huatal 312 $2.77 21 $11.76 $8.99 $.029
Pajonal 554 4.92 16.5 9.24 4.32 .008
Llano (hand-
tilledan er. 465 4.11 12 6.72 2.61 .006

Llano (hand-
tilled, fert.) 587 4.77 40 22.40 17.63 .033

Llano (plowed 256 3565 12 6.72 3.07 .012

Llano played 330 4.31 40 22.40 18.09 .055

Rastrojo in
solar, hand- 411 3.65 29 16.24 12.59 .031

Rastrojo in 287 S93 29 1.24 12.51 .045
solar, plowed

Elevation above sea level 7,550 feet.

Population 4,500.

Total area of municipality 32,857 acres.

Duration of rainy season front May to October, or slightly later.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per aore

Huatal Bush out with maohete or Feb.- Mar. 166
luk and burned when dry

Pajonal Grass out and soil tilled January
with hoe
Burned when dry February
Llano Tilled once with hoe January 249

Stalks out with machete,
piled and burned, then Mar. Apr. 83
in village) till soil
with hoe

Rastrojo loquil River lands not
tilled for fear of in- March.
during roots of woody and 42
vegetation: stalks out April
and burned in heaps



Name and number Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptation

ts' ib sat (132) May September Late Oct. 5 mo. Lands in village

tfaq tfin (95) May Nov. Dee. Feb. Mar. 10 mo. Near village

kek wa* (55) May Nov. Dee. Feb. Mar 10 mo. Above village

tSflzil (116) May Nov. Dee. Feb. Mar. 10 mo. Below town (Xoquil)

k' i tfitam
(119) No data




Locality No. of grains Distanoe Man-hours per aore (in-
per hill eluding replanting, 25%)
Xoquil 5 66 inches 15
l17 for catputation
All others 5 40 20


ipe land & First oult'n Second oult'n Third oult'n Man-hours per aore
variety need

ts'ib sat on 20 days after 60 days after 120 days af-
leands long planting. planting. ter planting.
under oulti- Shallow hoe- Shallow hoe- Weeded with 83 4 83 4 42 a 208
ration ing ing machete or
ts'ib sat on Same as above Same as above Not done 83 4 85 a 166
more recent

All other kinds Late June to September.
on recent early July. Shallow hoe- Not done 85 4 85 a 166
lands Shallow hoe- ing


Variety seed Method Storage Amount harvested per day

Tied in pairs and
All kinds Husked hung from rafters in 5 redes of ears or about
house, seed corn a- 160 lbs. of shelled corn




Type of land Method Man-hours per acre

Lies fallow 4-5 years after
Huatal 2 years in maize. Ashes of Inoluded in A. above
woody vegetation onoe every
6-7 years. Crop residues

Lies fallow 5-6 years after
Pajonal 2-3 years in maize. Ashes Included in A, above
of grass onoe avery 7-9
years. Crop residues

Lies fallow 5-6 years after
being in maize 2-3 years(on
Llano slopes) or 4-5 years (on Included in A, above
level ground). Green ma-
nure and crop residues.
Often fertilized with sheep

Ashes of stalks of previous
orop. Green manure from
Rastrojo weeds during cultivations. Included in A & D, above
Wheat rotation at times.
Fields hear dwellings re-
oeive rubbish and dejecta


Type of land Poor Excellent Usual

Huatal 12 29 16.5

Pajonal 8 17 12

Llano (unfett.) 12 29 16.5

Rastrojo (ord.) 10 25 16.5

Rastrojo (solar) 20 50 25




(Coat of 9 hours labor "


8 cents)

Type of land total man-hours Total cost Yield in Value of orop Profit Profit per
of labor of labor bu,:acre per acre p.aore hour labor
Huatal 403 $3.58 16.5 $9.24 $5.66 $.014

Pajonal 555 4.93 12 6.72 1.79 .003

Llano (unfert.) 486 4.52 16.5 9.24 4.92 .01

Rastrojo (ord.) 322 2.86 16.5 9.24 6.58 .02

Rastrojo (solar) 345 2.18 26 14.00 11.82 .034


Elevation above sea level 7,390 feet.

Population 1,500.

Total area of municipality 1,730 aore.

Duration of rainy season from May to October, inclusive.


Type of land Method Season Man-hours per aore

Huatal Cut with maohete and Early April 42
burned when dry

Llano Planted without pre-
vious preparation

Rastrojo Tilled with hoe and March 42
stalks burned


Name and number Planted Roasting ears Harvested Duration Adaptation

'aqal varieties s
Dry season
q an aqal Mar. 15 September Dec.- Jan. 10 mo. planting in high-
er and colder
saq 'aqal (38) regions

aq wa? varieties

q' an t-wits Rainy season
planting in lower
saq zal (25) Apr. 15 Deoember Early Feb. 10 mo. and warmer regions

pafiok (70)

nia qaq wa No data


Type of land No. of grains Distance Man-hours per aore (in-
per hill eluding replanting, 25%)

Higher, poo- 8 40 in. 20
er soils

Lower, richer 6 66 in. 13

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