THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
OF AN ECUADOREAN INDIAN COMMUNITY
FRANCISCO JAVIER GANGOTENA GRANIZO
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1974
Among the people who have taught me about life and its
hardships some indios of Ecuador deserve particular gratitude.
Special thanks should be reserved for the Galte"os, whose friendship and collaboration made my four months of field work a humanistic training period.
I owe a great debt to the members of my family, not only for their constant moral support, but for their interest, criticism, and concrete advice for my research as well.
I would like to acknowledge several people who have been of inestimable value in assisting me in writing this thesis. Special gratitude should be kept for Sue Hewes who spent long and patient hours tabulating data collected in the field and later typing the first draft.
Beth Ferris and Tom Johnson deserve my gratitude, not only for providing me with valuable criticism, but for correcting the grammar and spelling of the thesis.
A final word of appreciation is reserved for Professors Paul Doughty, Martha Hardman, and William Carter for their comments and encouragement during the final stages of the thesis preparation and for their services on my Reading Committee.
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I must admit that ever since I first heard of Galte (1) -some twelve years ago -- the peasants of that region have held an attraction for me. Six years later my first field experience took me to the village of Palmira, Chimborazo, at the foot of Galte. Many times I found myself staring up at the cold and arid slopes of Galte on those Andean afternoons. Those slopes, according to the inhabitants of Palmira "encircled the rebellion of the Indians." The after-dinner chats during my stay in Palmira frequently were highlighted by stories about the uprisings of the Galtenos, the dangers of venturing alone.on their roads,and above all, about the life and "miracles" of one of their leaders called el Coronel (the Colonel).
These experiences raised a series of questions for me. I wanted to know more about the Galteos' history and deeds, and even more, I wanted to understand how an Indian group which did not have even the most minimal form of political organization --.comuna (community) -- could be in open conflict with the p and could take control of the land of the
hacienda. And even, with a certain naivete, I asked in Palmira why these peasants did not want to receive the land which the Land Reform Institute was giving to them as exhuasipungueros.
These questions were connected in my mind with the
image of an austere face with protruding cheeks, deep eyes, and a smile which expressed a mixture of control of the other person, self-sufficiency, and a benevolence which invites to dialogue. He was the Coronel Ambrosio Lasso. A few days before I left Ecuador (1968) to continue my studies abroad I was able to meet him.
When I returned to Ecuador in July 1973, the questions formulated In my mind five years before had been converted into a research scheme. What I wanted to study was the structure and dynamics of a peasant group in the process of self-determination, centering my attention on the role that the economy of the group has in the functioning of the whole. I was not primarily interested in the acculturation or assimilation process of one culture by a dominant one, or in its innovations, or even in the change of structures due to external influences -- such as the transformation of huasipungueros into free community members because of the influence and action of the Land Reform Institute. I was interested in the change of structures of an Indian group because of its own internal dynamics, and only secondarily interested in external influences.
In the search for a group with such characteristics, my attention soon was directed toward the south of Quito. Careful conversations with members of institutions working in social problems among the Indian population helped me to choose Galte as the center for my research. Among those vi
members, special mention should be made of Eduardo Chamorro, agro-engineer and zonal- director of the Ecuadorean Land Reform Institute in Chimborazo; Julio Gortaire, director of the Proyecto de Investigacid'n Guamote; and Julio Yinez, priest of Palmira.
Thus, one morning in September, I directed my steps
toward Galte, feeling a certain trepidation -- I was in the "territory of rebellious Indians," as the Palmire7os would say.
.My fear was soon mitigated, if not completely allayed, by the half-suppressed laugh of the campesinos when they saw "this stranger.". Sacha caballu (wild horse) was the nicmkname with which they welcomed me, smiling teasingly, when I stopped my motorcycle and taking off my helmet, appeared with a bearded face and hair down to my shoulders. With certain incredulity I asked carmi Galte, nachu? (This is Galte, isn't it?).
Since my first day in Galte and during the four months of field work I encountered unqualified collaboration among the members of the Ecuadorean Land Reform Institute (Instituto de Reforma Agraria y Colonizacion -- hereafter IERAC) who were working in the area at the time. Eduardo Chamorro, Carlos Tacturi and Manuel Delgado, who were in charge of taking a socio-economic census of the huasi ungueros of Galte, provided me with living facilities and introduced me to the authorities of the area. Their friendly reception and the fact that they permitted me to participate in carrying out
0 0 0
and are maintained under observation, even more if the outsider has come to learn about their "vital" problems. These two reasons, in addition to the fact that the field work period was only four months, required a fundamental change in the project.
I decided to reduce the area of research to Galte (155 huasipunros), focusing on the following aspects, 1) reconstruction of the main historical events of Galte, during the past 70 years; 2) a study of the socio-economic system of each huasiTungo, using the system of production as the point of departure; 3) research about the existence of socio-economic relations and associations among the huasipungos; 4) study of the hguasipungo system in relation to the hacienda; and 5) study of the hblaipunCo system in relation to the external world. The analysis of these five aspects was oriented
toward finding evidence of the three hypotheses which will be presented in the Introduction (p.5, 6).
The tools used in the research were based on participant observation and interviewing. Simultaneously with the census which the Land Reform Institute members were carrying out and 'in which I collaborated, I conducted 18 interviews with leaders
-and inhabitants of Galte, eight interviews with ex-mayordomos and employees of the hacienda, nine interviews with mestizo compadres and intermediaries, eight interviews with authorities of the neighboring towms, and four interviews with persons who have been called "political agitators of the area." Out of these 47 intervieiis, 16 were taped. Two weeks were spent ix
reviewing the official records of Palmira and Guamote. Thanks to the unqualified collaboration of Gustavo Lopez M., Director of La Inspeccion de Trabajo de Chimborazo (Labor Inspection) it was possible to obtain 250 microfilm copies of the documents which contain the major labor problems of Galte. In addition, 600 black and white and color pictures were taken of the region; of the domestic activities as well as of the production work.
One factor which greatly helped to create an atmosphere
of acceptance and familiarity with the peasants was the fact that my second language is Quichua. A sentence, frequently repeated by the leader of the Indian group to introduce me to the Galtefios, "pa3vish Ingashimits arlan, rimannuilla" (He speaks Quichua, too; talk without fear), produced a friendly reception. On many occasions, the fact that they could continue speaking Quichua without the need to translate for me created an atmosphere in which they felt more comfortable and I was ignored -- at least partially -- allowing me to observe more closely. This was the case in many of the biweekly
general meetings held by the Galtenios.
During the last stage of my field work I received great
support and help from the leader of Galte, Delfln Roldan. "The history of Galte" -- as the Indians decided to call my research interested Delfin Roldin to such an extent that every day for one month he came to the door of my room at seven o'clock in the morning to take me to the different interviews and visits that I had to carry out. Delfin wanted "everybody -to cooperate in the elaboration of the history of Galte, which
will be an example for our children and other communities."
Although the "history" which is presented in this thesis only partially fulfills the GalteAos' expectations, this study is meant to express both gratitude to the Galtenos and solidarity with their demanding crys lucanchic huasipungul" (Our owm land )
1. Galte is the name of the hacienda where 155
huasituncueros live and hold land. The Galte hacienda is located in the heights of the western chain of the Andes which face the valley of Palmira and Guamote in the Province of Chimborazo, Ecuador.
The huasitungo may be defined.as a piece of land received by the -peasants from the landowner: the peasant is allowed to use the land in return for his labor (5 days a week) on the lands of the landowner..
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION .. 1
CHAPTR 1: Historical Background 12
CHAPTER 2: Environment, People, and Production 32
CHAPTER 3:. Production and Social Institutions 52
CHAPTER 4: The Socio-Economic System of Galte 68
Biographical Sketch 103
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts
THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
OF AN ECUADOREAN INDIAN COMMUNITY
Francisco Javier Gangotena Granizo December, 1974
Chairman: Paul Doughty
Major Department: Anthropology
The Indian peasant group of Galte -- as well as the whole Indigenous population of the Andes -- was subjected to the imposition of an alien system of labor five centuries ago. The Spaniards gained control of the means of production through the encomienda, concerted, and huasipungo systems.
During the last 68 years, the Galtefios have attempted
to change this system through direct confrontations with their
_ atrones. After a protracted struggle, the Indians succeeded in expelling the patron from his hacienda and in gaining control of the land.
These historical events occur within a framework of internal
networks of relationships which take place in time and are affected by value systems. The horizontal and vertical (in the same and different ecological levels) relations of production and exchange form an economic network throughout Galte, in a way similar to the networks formed by kinship relations.
The socio-economic system of Galte is based on personal relations dyadicic"), is self-sufficient and does not use money; it has served as a foundation for the synchronized action of the Galtenos in recovering their lands.
* Within the anthropological tradition, it is possible to approach historical events in two different ways. The first sees history as a succession of unique, non-repetitive and concatenated events in which one happening leads to the next one. The first approach looks for causation in the events themselves: one event takes place because of the previous set of events. The second way understands the chain-like series of events as results of internal networks of relationships which take place in time and are affected by value systems. The second, the relationship-based approach, searches for causes in the cultural :systems or networks which stand behind the historical events and explains these events in terms of the networks of relationships which exist in a culture.
In the second approach, the networks of relationships exist on the three different levels of culture -- economic, social, and ideological. The relationship networks of the lower level, the economic, originate with man's action upon nature. These relations which are established among the producers during their work have been called "relations of production" (1). The relationship networks existing in the subsequent level result in legal and political structures.
The ones in the higher level are manifested in forms of social consciousness ("Ideology"). These three levels of relationship networks are in constant interaction and shape each other. According to Karl Iarx, the relations of production constitute a structure which serves as the foundation for the other relations and determines their form. The networks of relationships existing in the legal and political structures, and in the forms of social consciousness, then become the regulators which sanction the norms of conduct and behavior to be followed by the producers.
The historical events which have occurred in Galte bring dramatic images to mind which can be expressed in slogans such as "alienation," "the struggle of the proletariat," or "the failure of the feudal system." Rhetoric aside, this study, having adopted the approach which interprets historical events as the product of internal networks of relationships, seeks to analyze the socio-economic network which stands behind the historical process of the indigenous inhabitants of Galte.
The foundation on which this research stands is the fact that there is a unity between knowledge and reality, between man and nature. Man does not derive his knowledge from a set of "universal ideas," but through an interaction with his environment. In the same way, the historic events of a society as such -- insofar as they are a network of interpersonal relationships -- arises from the interaction of men as they relate to other. men and to nature in the process of satisfying their wants. Thus, the means of production and the relations
which are created during the production as well as the forms of association will be the main concern of this study. Peasant and Economic AnthroDoloical Precedents
Peasants, like those of Galte, have been previously studied by anthropologists.
Thomas Johnson (1972), in his comparative study about
peasant groups has accurately stated that peasant studies in anthropology seem to be moving simultaneously along two paths, both of which attempt to define or characterize peasants and peasantry. On one hand, there has been wide concern for defining and studying the structural relationships of the peasant groups to the outside world. On the other hand, there are those studies which attempt to define and analyze peasant groups in terms of internal cultural criteria.
In both types of peasant studies, careful attention has been paid to the networks of relationships which exist within peasant cultures, an example of which is G. Foster's ,dyadic contract model" (1967). This principle has been used to explain the social organization of peasant societies, both within the group and between the group and the outside world,. including the relations at a kinship and fictive kinship level.
Economic anthropologists, interested in peasant, and small, non-Western groups, can be divided into two groups, too. First, there are those who stress the similarities between primitive and. western economies, using conventional terms such as capital, surplus, maximization, price, demand, to describe subsistence economies. They seek to apply organizing
concepts derived from the Western experience to primitive economies. The other group is composed of those who stress the differences between primitive and Western economies. This approach is more concerned with the connections between economic and social organization and focuses attention upon gift-giving, reciprocity, redistribution. Local Precedents
When considering the Andean peasant population of Ecuador, there are only a few specific anthropological studies. On one hand, there are Neptall Zufiiga, JiJo'n y Caama^o y Alfredo Costales, who have presented historical contributions on indigenous subjects. The other historians concerned with Indian populations have introduced long lists of historic events and have simply "repeated verbatim the history written by P. Juan de Velasco (in the 18th century) which has several myths and contradictions". (H. Burgos, 1970: 7). The type of studies which go beyond this historic perspective and dig into the indigenous networks of relations, including Joseph Casagrande, Arthur Piper, Cornell University students and Hugo Burgos, are few in number; but this does not diminish their contribution. Hugo Burgos deserves special mention because he has brought theoretical studies to the realm of praxis.
The Scone of this Study
Many questions about the economic, social and ideological aspects of one third of the Ecuadorean population (37% Is
culturally Indian and almost all is genotypically), float unanswered in the air. Governmental programs, for instance, related to land tenure are carried out without any research on the indigenous systems and life. Similarly, virtually all cultural areas reveal the same lack of empirical studies
In addition to the lack of qualified research in rural areas, there is a generalized preconception about the childlike existence of huasipunueros. Traditionally, the domestic units which constitute the huasipungos have been considered by mestizos and "white" people to be isolated entities without any basic unit among them -- linked only by kinship relations. It is thought that their existence and their economic system are completely dependent upon the hacienda. One of the manifestations of this belief, for instance, is the emphasis which the Land Reform Institute has put on "organizing" the Indians and creating cooperatives (IERAC: Proyecto en Pesillo).
This study, centering its attention on a corner of one
of the Ecuadorean provinces, Chimborazo, seeks to analyze the vmys in which the Galtefios relate to the environment and to each other,-the ways in which forms of association and cooperation are created in order to satisfy their needs. Through the use of a descriptive approach, answers will be sought to two questions throughout this study: first, are their horizontal and vertical (in the same and different ecological levels) relations of production and exchange among the 155 huasipungos which could be said to form an economic
network throughout Galte, in a way similar to that of the kinship relations? Second, the socio-economic networks of Galte are hypothesized to have three characteristics: a) they are based on personal relations ("dyadic"), b) money, as an essential means of economic interaction, is not used, and c) the total system (as such) is self-sufficient and does not depend upon the hacienda. Are these hypotheses supported?
In addition to answering these questions, this study
attempts toset bases for a study of the historical process which has taken place in Galte. By delineating the socioeconomic system, it will be possible to test two hypotheses in future studies: first, whether or not in the history of Galte the hacienda system (offspring of the encomienda system) has captured the forms of autochthonous socio-economic relations and little by little adapted them to a system of production oriented toward the market. This adaptation embodied contradictions which are alien to the indigenous system; second, whether or not the historical process (of liberation) which has taken place in Galte, in spite of strong external (or wider society) influences, is the result of inconsistencies in the networks of relations, in which the socio-economic network of relations has provided, first, the elements of contradiction, and, second, the necessary bases for the unity and coordination of the group.
Galte: A Contrasting Case
The transformation of Galte from a hunsituno system to one of self-determination involves two processes with apparently contradictory characteristics which make Galte, on the one hand, an atypical case in relation to the Ecuadorean land reform decade of the 1960's and on the other hand, a natural case of historic process. A rather extensive reference to these two processes will help to point out the relevance of Galte.
At the end of the decade of the 1950's and beginning of the 1960's, it mwas possible to find in Ecuador a restlessness and movement among the politicians and 2atrones trying to hand over huasinungos to the Indians. This was a product of "the social pressure exerted by political parties, unions, peasants themselves, and even the Catholic Church" (Alfredo Costales, 1971: 115). A proposal presented in 1961 by La Primera Comision Nacional de Reforma Agraria prohibits "all the labor forms which like huasipu]no, yanaoa, etc. imply personal dependence of the worker on the patro'n" (Julio Pirez, 1961). As a result, statistics show that in 1964, 10% of the huasiuMuero population of the country had received land. A total of 9,303 hectares had been handed over to 3,020 huasiuneros (3). After promulgation of the Land Reform Law on July 15, 1964, huasiaungos were handed over nationwide following the ordinance of article 67 of the above-mentioned
Within twelve months from the publication of this
law, each patrol will pay up to the huasirunrueros,
anaeros, and avudas and other workers who are
working for him under analogous labor forms, what is
due for reserve funds and unpaid vacations (IERAC,
1964, cap. II, art. 67.
The statistics of IERAC show the results of article 67 for 1967: 13,658 huasipunguero families had received
39,766 hectares, resulting in an average holding per family of 3.12 hectares (IE~AC, 1967). This data, added to the information of 1964, reveals a total of 16,678 beneficiaries who received 49,069 hectares, with an average of 2.9 hectares per family.
Galte was not included in these statistics. Members of
IERAC, having gone to the locality and carried out preliminary measurement of land, were informed that the Galtefos did not want the Land Reform -- or being more specific -- they did not want the terms on which the land was to be handed over to them. The:peasants did not want resettlement (4), and demanded legal recognition of ownership of the land which they were controlling at that moment, either by inheritance -through the huasinunTq system (5) -- or because they had tacen extra land from the hacienda (Eduardo Chamorro 1966; IERAC 1966). In short, the huasipungueros of Galte did not accept
the average of 2.9 hectares per family which was being given to the country as a whole.
While Galte is atypical in terms of the transfer of land, the present-day Galte is a typical product of the historic process. This group of huasiunmueros is similar to the
other Ecuadorean huasituncueros in that the results obtained in Galte and among the other groups basically are the same -more direct control of the means of production -- although the mode of acquisition differs. In the majority of the
cases, while the relations of the huasitungueros with their natrones were often tense, difficulties did not reach a critical stage, perhaps due to the paternalistic attitude of a "gbod" Datron. There was an awareness of the type of relations, but not enough inherent strife to stimulate change. The change in Galte, on the other hand, was the result of the internal tension. In short, in Galte, the Indians themselves took the initiative, while in other huasinungos, change was instigated by outsiders who feared that the Indians would take the
Division of Research
The data obtained during the four months of field work will be presented in four chapters. A picture of what has happened in Galte since the arrival of the Incas and the Spaniards until the last legal battles in 1970 is outlined in Chapter 1.
After the historical background (Chapter 1), three
chapters are presented which analyze the production system and familial organization of Galte. The purpose of this analysis is to inquire, first, into the elements and subjects of production (Chapter 2); second, into the relations among the producers, and more specifically, into the forms under which association and cooperation are carried out (Chapter 3);
and finally, to search for some answers to the questions presented above (Chapter 4).
The description of Galte carried out in this study is
synchronic, attempting to delineate a picture which could be representative of Galte during the last 70 years.
An effort will be made to ascend, analytically, from the smallest forms of association to the more complex ones, paying special attention to finding the basic organizing principle of the socio-economic system.
1. These concepts, which originally come from K.
Marx's The Critioue of Political Economy, have been taken to the anthropological, and more specifically, to the ethnographic realm by French social scientists such as Claude
Meillassour, Anthronoloie Economiue des Gouro, and Emmanuel Terray, Le Marcisme devant les societes "primitives."
2. In all the files of the IERAC it was not possible to find any study of indigenous systems either about land tenure, economic forms, or social organization.
3. Information obtained in the Ministerio de Prevision Social y Trabajo, 1964.
4. In order to maintain the "unity of production" of
the haciendas -- one piece of land, and not several scattered plots -- the Land Reform (art. 70) allows resettlement of the huasinungueros, grouping all of them in one section of the hacienda.
5. The land given "temporarily" to the huasitunguero for his usufruct, in exchange for his work in the hacienda, was transmitted from father to children. Nevertheless, there was always a latent possibility that the -atron would take the land back. Legally the patron had the right to carry out such an action (cfr. Archivos de Parroquia Guamote, Tenenoia Politica, 1930).
The hacienda Galte, incorporating some 10,340 hectares
(25,850 acres) suitable for agricultural production, forestry and pasture, lies on a sloped terrace in the southwestern corner of the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador. The valley of Palmira, and further north, the valley of Guamote, stretch at the feet of the hacienda. Galte resembles a balcony facing
the undulant and cold valley of Palmira.
Connected by the Pan American highway, the ton of Palmira to the southeast and the town of Guamote to the northeast, are Galte's nearest mestizo neighbors. Guamote, which can be reached by car from Galte, has political and economic control of the entire region (canton = county). Palmira, connected to Galte by only a rough foot-path (2 -3 hours walking distance), is the religious center and handles only very minor political squabbles. (More severe problems are either referred to Riobamba, the capital of Chimborazo, or to Quito, the national capital.)
The slopes of Galte and the valley at its feet have served as the stage for an act of Andean history; an act characterized by tragedy and comedy, in which 155 Indian huasiounquero families have played the roles of both spectators and actors.
The Galtenos have watched from their slopes, as from a balcony, the Shyri, Inca, Spanish, and Republican armies passing at their feet in their campaigns of conquest and of liberation. Tupac Yupanqui battled against the troops of the Shyri general, Epiclachima, and defeated them on the plains of Tiocajas -- at the foot of Galte -- at the end of the fifteenth century (1465 1470), initiating with his victory a processing of Cusquean domination and influence (Juan de Velasco, 1960, Vol. II; Pareja Diezcanseco, 1958, Vol. I).
With a respite of less than two generations, these plains again became a battlefield. This was the acceptable passageway from Peru to Quito. Sebastian de Benalcazar chose the gmam of Tiocajas to attack Rumiiahui because this terrain was suited for fighting on horseback (Juan de Velasco, 1946, Vol. II 151; Pareja Diezcanseco, 1958, Vol. Is 137).
Four centuries later, during the republican period, Eloy Alfaro encamped his troops in the same valley on his way to Quito. At this time, the spectators of Galte came down to the valley to join the troops of the .liberals. "The Indians," according to Pareja Diezcanseco, "organized by two leaders of their groups, Saez and Huamau, arrived at Alfaro's campground and said, 'we want to see the Indian Alfaro,' and offered him the support of their people to fight. Alfaro nominated one of the leaders as general and the other as colonel" (1958, Vol. II: 224). Alfaro's campaigning opened the doors for the promulgation of the "Ley de Cultos" nine years later (1904) which regulated the property owned by religious orders. This
law hadrepercussions in Galte, as will be seen later.
The Galteaos watched the waves of struggles and conquests from their balcony, perhaps not being completely aware that the undertow of this traffic in the valley nas determining and molding part of their own lives.
The historical background of the Indians who today live in Galte, and in the general area of the canton Guamote is only partially understood. References from historical sources such as Padre Juan de Velasco (1960), Alfredo Pareja Diescanseco (1958, Vol. I), and J. Steward (1963) indicate the presence of a group of Indians prior to the conquest of the Incas, known as Guamutis. This tribe depended upon and was part of the PuruhA nation (P. Juan de Velasco 1960; A. Pareja Diezcanseco 1958, Vol. I), which through matrimonial alliances became united with the Shyri kingdom.
The Puruha-Shyri wamy of life appears to have had characteristics which are peculiar to all the Andean region, and which were successfully utilized by the Incas in their postconquest economic and socio-political organization; among them the concept of private property has great importance. The individual as such did not have a right to the land, but rather, the ayllu (extended family) as a community was vested with the right to the usufruct of the land (R. Crist 1964s 3). The Empire -- in the case of the Incas -- owned the land and had a right to one portion of the family production in exchange for the family's usufruct of the land. The control of this usufruct-production-distribution wams carried out by
the Saoa Inca (Crist 1964). This official, who was part of a hierarchical system, "in addition to receiving regular tribute, appears to have also enjoyed permanent servants" (Carter 1965). Thus, the members of the ayllu or community were used to the usufruct and tribute system, and had long been accustomed to unquestioning obedience to central authority. "Once the leadership of the ruling group had been removed, the Indians were not prepared to resist their new rulers, the Spaniards" (Crist, 1964).
The Spanish conquest brought new lords, who, in R. Crist's words, "descended like dive bombers upon the communities, or .ayllus, of farmworkers united by the Incas." (1964,4) The regional leaders were replaced. This was made possible by the institution of the encomienda whereby the Spanish overlords became protectors (encomenderos) of a group of Indians. Thus the conquerors came to occupy the empty seats left by the caciques, and enjoyed the free labor of the Indians over whom they exercised full authority. The obligations of the encomenderos were to feed their Indians, teach them to speak Spanish and to indoctrinate them into the Catholic religion.
The small town in the valley, Guamote -- on which the Galtenos depended -- was given to the Agustinian priests by the Spanish authorities as an encomienda. Thus, the priests became the encomenderos of the whole indigenous population of the area (Gonzales Suarez 1892, Vol. IV). The work and responsibility of the Agustinians encompassed not only religious aspects, but also organization of production.
Thus, when obrajes (textile mills) were established with
the towm of Guamote, the Agustinians gleaned their labor
force from these Indians. Initially, the friars controlled only the labor, but little by little, as they began to need more raw material, they also gained control of the Indian's
herds of sheep in the _aramo of what is today Chacasa, Tiocajas, Pul, Galte, Tipfn, Atapo and Totorillas -- which led, naturally,
to control of the land as well (since 1750).
The obraJe has its foundations in the encomienda system.
In the encomiendas, the encomendero mwas entitled to receive a
tribute from the Indians, frequently in the form of labor as
well as in the form of produce. This was in exchange for the
care and instruction which the encomenderq was supposed to provide for the Indians. In the case of the encomienda of
Guamote, the exchange was double since the priests, due to the
religious care which they provided on behalf of the Indians,
received diezmos (10% of the harvest) and primicias (first
fruits) from the Indians.
These Spanish systems of tribute went along with the
indigenous system of reciprocity in which goods and services
are exchanged according to need. The difference in the
encomienda and obaesystem was that they led to a constantly
increasing control of the means of production by the encomenderos. In the case of Guamote, the Agustinians became the
proprietors of large herds of sheep and later of land. At the
end of the 18th century, all the shepherding extensions located
south of Guamote became the hacienda of the Agustinians.
In 1875, the Agustinians were expelled from the region (/
of Guamote by the Bishop Ordonez and by the president of
Ecuador, Garcia Moreno, due to "misbehavior" and "low moral standards."
In the same year, a portion of the county of Guamote -what is today the haciendas Galte and Tipfn -- was acquired by another group of priests, the Redentoristas, as an immense hacienda.
These lands were given to the Redentoristas with "everything" which existed on them -- including the Indians. The exploitative labor system, or concertaje (obligation of the Indians) (P. and A. Costales 1971s 8) remained the same as in the encomienda system with the Agustinians -- except that now the priests had even fewer obligation to the workers. The Redentoristas, however, were relatively fair to the Indians in comparison to the Agustinians wrho preceded them and those
- owners who followed.
Two of E. Alfaro's actions which had repurcussions in
Galte were his passing through Palmira in 1905 and his promulgation of the "Ley de Cultos." The first of these actions led to the camnesinos coming down to the valley in order to offer Alfaro their help, and the second resulted in the Redentoristas being empelled (albeit temporarily) from Ecuador by the law of Manos muertas (1905), instituted by the liberal dictators, Alfaro and Leonidas Plaza.
Although accounts vary, it seems that at this time the Redentoristas (the ]atrones of the land), tried to make a
deal with one of the ayordomos for the hacienda. The regional version is that the priests drew up a "fictitious" legal title to the land and made an agreement with their mayordomo that he would "hold" the land for them until they were allowed back in the country. A few years later ih.en they returned, the mardomo, with the title to the land in his possession, refused to recognize their claim.
The priests' version differs from the regional one in
that they contpld.that they had sold the hacienda outright, in order to help. finance the building of a church in Riobamba, but that they were cheated and never received full payment for the land.
In any event, the hacienda system continued in Galte under its new ~atron. This year, 1905, nevertheless, is seen by the dwellers of neighboring tomwns and by the Galtenos as a "year of doom." The Indians -- letting a mocking smile appear on their faces -- affirm that the "bishop (meaning the priests) let the mayordomo steal his farms." The dwellers of the town of Palmira, on the other hand, with a more vivid imagination, assert that "that year the blood and meat of the sheep of Galte became bitter," and "the inborn rebelliousness of the Indians was awakened."
The relations between the Galtenos and their patrones,
which at the time of the Redentoristas had been characterized by paternalism -- not to mention abuses -- became cold and abrasive under the new patron, Ricardo Borja. The owner of the hacienda had received the right to the land as well as to the
labor force of the Indians who lived on his land. The Indians received a plot of land for their subsistence but the Ratron had the right to demand five days a week of work per family and could imprison the Indians for old inherited debts due to the concertale system (1).
When, in 1918, the concertal system was abolished, the huasipungo system was instituted to replace it. The system was the same, only the inheritance of debts and obligations, and the consequent imprisonment were abolished. Since by law the patron had title to the land, and the Indians did not', he could give them an ultimatum: either they could move off the land or they could continue to work for him as before. This, in many cases, was made official by a written contract signed by the patron and Indians in front of the county authority (Teniente Politico) (2).
This control of the means of production had its replication in the control which the Datron acquired over the persons involved in that production. The nation had a right to demand five days of work a week from the residents from each huasiyug as well as to establish a list according to which young Indian girls, whether married or single, had to share the patron's bed. This was the case of Galte.
The Indians, in this huasipungo system, resembled
marionettes held by a string. If the string is cut, the huasipunguero falls into a vacuum entailing loss of land, goods, and expulsion of the whole family from the hacienda, carrying on his shoulders a culture which is not accepted in the mestizo
It is possible to distinguish a mounting tension in the relations between the Galtegos and their patron during the. last 70 years.
The first violent confrontation took place in 1928 when the son of the natrdn, Ramo'n, attempted to expel six of the huasipunsueros for rebelliousness. He and a group of mestizos from Guamote who had accompanied him were met by nearly 1,000 Indians armed with shovels and hoes in Chuquira (a section of the hacienda). The Indians succeeded in forcing the mestizos back. One mestizo and one Indian died in the confrontation. Although this action was not an."officially" organized levantamiento (uprising or revolt), it marks the beginning of a "group awareness" for the Indians of Galte. This first confrontation between the Indians and their Datron is referred to by the Galtenos as the Chuquira Guerra (War of Chuquira) (4).
The Chuquira Guerra was followed by continuous confrontations in which the operative force of the Indians was undermined since the Patro had taken control of the situation through his political connections and was protected by the local, provincial and national authorities, and consequently, by the armed forces. In 1930, for instance, the Teniente Polftlco of Palmira, following orders from the Ministro de Prevision Social y Trabajo and the Ministro de Defensa in Quito, and the Governor, the Intendent General, and the Jefe de la Segunda Zona Militar in Riobamba, went to Galte with 25 soldiers to expel six huasipungueros.
Although the tension built to a critical point during
these expulsions, there was, nevertheless, another determining factor for the levantamientos: the abuse of women by the Datrones. Each Indian woman who lost her virginity "tied to the bed of the tatrdn" was a blow to the Indian conscience. An old leader of Galte who has participated and witnessed the events which occurred during the last 50 years talks in this way:
Why did the levantamientos 'occur in Galte? During
the period of the Datro~es there was neither decency,
nor law. The owner of the hacienda, Ricardo Borja,
and his son, Ramdn, used to chase Indian women, as if
they were kids or lovers -- like patrones. Because of that my father (one of the leaders of Galte) had
to revolt. The natrones used to write down the names
of the girls, either married or single, and by the list, made them go to the hacienda house, keeping later the single ones. .the 0atron calling their
names from the list, made them take a bath and tied them to the frame of his bed. .because of that the Indians -became angry and acquired courage. In these
plains (talking about the Chuquira plains) they
The loss of their lands and the abuse of their women were constant blows which molded their leaders. It has been said that the leader is the product of the circumstances and is the conscience of a human group in conflict. The leadership of a huasipunsuero, Ambrosio Lasso, started to be defined in 1929. Due to "rebelliousness and lack of discipline"
-- these are the words of the Datron -- six huasiunmueros lost their plots of land and were expelled from the hacienda Pull (6) in 1929; among them was Ambrosio Lasso. He was 27 years old. Within a year he returned to Pull. Six years
later, after a confrontation with the mayordomo of the hacienda, he witnessed the rape of his wife performed by the hacienda employees. The same year, 1935, Ambrosio Lasso directed an uprising (Levantamiento de Pull) in which the rioting Indians killed two mayordomos. This time, he was sent to jail on the Galapagos Islands. This is the place where he learned to read and write at the age of 33. In 1936, he was released and went to Galte where, surprisingly, he mwas accepted by the matrdn. From this time on, the "Coronel Ambrosio Lasso" -- as he was known in the area -- led the Indians of the area and embodied the fast tempo of Galte in the process of change.
The historic events which took place in Galte during the decades of the 30's and 40's are a reflection of what was occurring in the cities at a legal and political levels the approval of the Ornica de Trabajo (Organic Labor Law)
in 1936 which was the genesis for the future Cddiro de Trabajo (Labor Code); and the Le de Or anizaci on Reeimen de Comunidades (Law for Organization and Administration of Communities Indian) in 1937 wams accompanied-by the foundation of "proIndian" institutions. One of them was the Comite Central de Defensa Indigena (Central Committee for the Defense of the Indian). This organization attempted to unionize the "Indian communities," so that the campesino "could carry out his/her emancipation" (7). Its influence climbed the paramos of Galte the first years of the 40's.
Since 1944 a solid relationship was established between
the Comite Central and Galte. Ambrosio Lasso was the liason between the Galtenos and these external influences. Ambrosio Lasso, after having lost his land in 1929 and in 1936 having witnessed the abuse of his wife and having tested and shownM his leadership in the levantamiento de Pull and after having been exiled and imprisoned on the Galapagos Islands had secured his position as a leader in Galte. On the other hand, his ability to read and write -- skills which were completely unknown among the Galtenos at that time -- made him the obvious conduit- through which the external political influences could be filtered to Galte. In 1946, Ambrosio Lasso became a member of the communist party and received Russian and later Chinese literature.
The external influence of the Comite Central de Defensa
Indigena and of the Federacion Ecuatoriana de Indios (FEI) was felt first in the systematic huasi unguero meetings and, second, in the "official" protests made by Galteios to the local authorities. Records indicate that, since 1946, periodic meetings were held by the Galtenos under the direction of Ambrosio Lasso, and records also exist showing the contributions which each huasinungo made to finance their litigations withthe atro'n. By this time, the Galte os began to present to the local authorities in Palmira and Guamote, or to the Labor Inspector in Riobamba, or even to the minister of Social Provision'and Labor in Quito, written complaints about the "rough working conditions" under which they were forced to work (A. Lasso's documents) (8).
In 1951, this more organized action carried out by the Galtenos, confronted the desire of the new owner of Galte to increase the production of the hacienda. Santos Cabezas, the new atron, had gone into debt'in order to purchase the land (2,500,000 sucres = $100,000), and thus was more concerned with efficient production and profit than with abusing the women and girls. His first action as patrdn, accomplished with the help of the army and the local authorities was to expell 39 (out of 155) huasinungueros -- "rebelliousness" once again was the.reason. The Indians who protested against thisdecision were taken to jail and later were forced to spend oneyear in military service. This imprisonment was the fourth one for Ambrosio Lasso.
The rough treatment and physical abuse -- frequently remembered by the Indians -- came to a climax when the atrion used his pistol against an Indian who walked towards the patro'n raising his hoe after having been insulted for arriving
late to work. Tie same year the Indians encircled Eudoro Cabezas, one of the sons of the patron, while he was controlling the harvesting. However, he was not hurt and escaped in a truck.
One year after these incidents, the Indians of Galte
formed a union: El Sindicato Agrfcola Campesino Galte (1952). This organization systematically confronted the patrSn, undermining his authority little by little and directly boycotting his production. The constant complaints between 1953 and 1963 were that the Galtenos were not paid by the Patron. The
Sindicato presented constant individual cases to the authorities (9).
The 1950's was a decade of personal confrontations and
accusations. On the one hand, Ambrosio Lasso and other leaders of Galte began an open campaign against working on the hacienda. "Ambrosio Lasso frequently came to the place where the huasinunuueros were working for the hacienda and addressed them, asking them not to work for the hacienda because the land belonged to the Sindicato" (10). On the other hand, the leaders of Galte learned how to operate in the legal system of the city during the 1950's and received practical training with their frequent Visits to the Inspeccion de Trabajo in Riobamba.(9)
The Galteaos -- as a group -- made their first entrance into the legal terrain in 1958 with the presentation of a lawsuit against their Datron in the Inspeccion de Trabajo, because salaries had not been paid since 1953. The Galtenos won their case and the sentence was handed doing in March of the following year.
This victory gave the Indians confidence. On February 3, 1962 they returned to the Inspeccion de Trabajo with an accusation containing 28 points. The basic complaint was that the Datro n had not paid them their wages since 1959. Since their petitions were not heard by the atron, the Galten"os declared their first general huela (strike) on August 23, 1962. A settlement was reached after a 4 month long strike. The Galtenos recognized that they had extended
their huasipMos, without the Iatrn's acknowledgement, and the patron agreed to let them keep the extra land and to pay the salaries due.
The first land reform law was passed in 1964. One year
later, members of the Institute of Land Reform (IERAC) arrived in Galte and declared that the 150 huasiunrueros were the proprietors of their huasipunos~ (the titles of the property were not handed in yet). The Datron rejected this decision, arguing that this-disposition was against Article 70 of the Land Reform Law, because the unity of production of the hacienda was destroyed. But the Galtenoos, with the support of the Federacion Ecuatoriana de Indios, did not want to ?eceive the land ownership titles. Their rejection was based on six points, the most important of which were twoi
1. the huasipungos should be given in the same
"traditional places", where they had been previously
the patrin had requested resettlement, claiming that
the "unity of production of the hacienda was
destroyed" (art. 70).
2. a section of the Daramo should be given to them as
a community area for shepherding.
IERAC, after two years of inspection of the hacienda, accepted the first petition of the Indians and rejected the second one.
In the meantime, the patron, Santos Cabezas, was concerned with his remaining debt to the bank. He had bought Galte in 1951 with a loan from the Banco de Fomento. The
final balance of payments was due in January 1965, but Santos Cabezas still owed 1,193,000 sucres to the bank. Due to political agitation, the production of the hacienda was low, and in 1965 it decreased even more (11) because of problems in handing out the huasipunos.
The Galte os added to the patron's economic crises in 1966 when they again went to the Inspeccion de Trabajo to
complain that Santos Cabezas had not paid wages to the 155 huasitungueros since the agreement following the strike in 1963.
During the next two years, 1967-68, Santos Cabezas
utilized all available "personal connections" in Riobamba and Quito. Constant telegrams from the Governor of Chimborazo, President of Camara de Agricultura and Intendente in Chimborazo, were addressed to the President of the Republic, Congress, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Government and IERAIC in Quito, requesting a quick solution to the problem in Galte. The reasons given in these requests were "necessity of stopping abuses of people (Indians) whose attacking private property. .produces general alarm (among landlords). .causes serious damages to the owner and to production. .and which can become a serious problem of social unrest with serious consequences." (12)
Santos Cabezas tried to solve the problem with the
Galten"os and pay his debt to the bank by selling the hacienda. None of the other landlords,-however, was interested in buying a hacienda with internal labor problems. The only possible
buyer was IERAC. But Santos Cabezas' proposition was rejected since the cost of the hacienda was too high, and, in the future the Indians would not be able to reimburse that money to IERAC.
Thus, the time was ripe on one clear and blue morning in
October, 1969; the hills around the hacienda house were crowded with red ponchos. The Galte os declared a strike, first closing all roads linking the hacienda with Guamote, second, moving in to live in the hacienda house and roads, and finally, not harvesting the potatoes and barley crops of the hacienda -each of the crops was estimated to be worth 200,000 sucres ($10,000). Their claims were basically the same. They wanteds -1) the title to the land which and where they had at that moment -- no resettlement; 2) payment of salaries due since 1963; 3) communal title to the viramo for shepherding.
The blow had been given. After the strike, Santos Cabezas was allowed to:return to Galte; however, he was afraid to plant again. Thus, much of the land lay fallow for the next three years (1970-73). The Indians slowly expanded the boundaries of their plots, taking over only what they were able to cultivate. The natrdn had a hacienda he could not sell, he owed money to the bank, and even more, he had lost his position in Galte. Since 1970, the name "Santos Cabezas" was pronounced by the Galtenos without the title "patron." The only exit left to Santos Cabezas was to try again to sell the hacienda to IERAC. After three years of government manipulation -- what has been called el baile de los
millones (IERAC, Marzo 9, 1971), Galte was bought by IERAC.
For the Galte os, the years which followed the last
strike have meant little. For them, the month of January, 1970, when the strike was over and the "natron" had disappeared, was the day on which Kucanchic kishtichishka kanchis, the day on which they walked inside the ex-patron's church, took La VirGen (statue of Our Lady), and moved her to their owm Centro Cfvico, so that their celebrations (Carnaval and August) and their lives would take place on their own land.
1. Concertajes in this system the patron gave land in exchange for labor. In cases where the conciertos owed the atron money or goods the Datrdn had a right to the Indian's labor and the obligation of the Indian was inherited by his sons. The Indians became in this way the property of the patron.
2. In the official records of Guamote of the Jefatura Polftica, copies exist of the contracts signed between the Datrones and ex-concertajes or"new huasitungueros.
3. There are documents about the expulsion of Indians
from Galte and the neighboring hacienda of Pull in the records of the Jefatura Polltica de Guamote (1930) and Tenencia Polftica de Palmira (1929).
4. A written description of this levantamiento is found in M. Alcozer's book, Historia de Guamote (1968s 76-79). The data were completed by interviews with two Indians from Galte and a mestizo from Guamote who were present in the Chuguira Guerra.
5. This description was made in Quichua by one of the leaders. The meaning is lost with translation.
6. Pull is a hacienda neighboring Galte on the north. Its history and tensions are almost identical to the ones in Galte.
7. The Comit4 Central de Defensa Indigena was a branch of the Federacion Ecuatoriana de Indios (FEI) (Ecuadorean Federation of Indians). Their main goal was "to carry out .the economic emancipation of the Ecuadorean Indians" (FEI, 1946).
8. Since 1944 it is possible to find an extensive
written communication between the Comite Central de Defensa Indigena and Ambrosio Lasso. Many of these letters have been kept by Ambrosio's wife, Manuela Puculpala.
9. The files of the Inspeccio'n de Trabajo contain several accusations (written by hand) presented by the Galtenos against Santos Cabezas (files: 1952-1958).
10. Accusations presented by Santos Cabezas in the Inspeccid'n de Trabajo, Riobamba (1953). There are many accusations like this one in the records of the mentioned office.
11. The production of Hacienda Galtes cfr. IERAC filess May 16, 1966.
12. IERAC files: 1967-68.
ENVIRONMENT, PEOPLE, AND PRODUCTION Introduction
The historic events of a human group are the result of networks of relationships. The change which has taken place in Galte, from a huasinungo system to oimership of land and self-determination, is the product of economic, social, political and ideological networks of relationships.
This study will focus on the economic and social relationships existing in Galte in order to answer the two questions cited earlier. Specifically, an attempt will be made to discover and to outline the economic forms of association and their implications at the societal level, with the goal of outlining a socio-economic system which could be called indigenous-to the area.
The economic concepts utilized by economists and anthropologists concerned with economics (1) are useful in analyzing the economic relationships of Galte. Paul Samuelson, in his Nobel prize-winning book, Economics, defines economics as the "study of how men and society end up choosing with or without the use of money, to employ scarce productive resources which could have alternative uses, to produce various commodities and distribute them for consumption, now or in the future, among various people and groups in society" (1965s4).
This definition points out four aspects which are of special importance in the study of economics: "choice," "scarcity," "production," and "distribution." The first two aspects are related to both the man-environment relationships and the man-man relationships: "scarcity" refers to the limited possibilities that nature offers man, and "choice" indicates the selection which man has to carry out in order to act upon nature. Man is faced with the fact that there exist only a finite number of human and non-human resources, and he must maximize the results to the best of his technological ability. "Production" and "distribution," on the other hand, refer to the goals of man-nature and man-man interaction.'
The problems which an economic organization has to solve are basically three: 1) what commodities shall be produced and in what quantities? 2) how shall goods be produced (by whom and in what technological manner?) 3) for whom shall goods be produced (distribution)? These three questions-what, how, and for whom -- are fundamental and common to all economies, but economic systems attempt to solve these problems in different ways.
Western economics has oriented its efforts towards
developing a science to address themselves to these questions, the answers to which, "in a so-called 'capitalist free enterprise economy,' are determined primarily by a system of prices (of markets, of profits, and losses)" (Samuelson, 1955: 16).
While Western economics has popularizedan analytical
framework which answers the What, How, and For Whom questions by utilizing the concepts of "scarcity" and "choice," it has fallen short when other economic systems are analyzed through the use of the same concepts. In other words, Western economics has overlooked the fact that in other cultures, "choice" and "scarcity" can be conditioned by value systems which are different from Western ones. The concept of "choice" means the selection from limited possibilities, keeping in mind the goal of maximizing results. However, what is understood by maximizing can vary as much as cultures do. Western societies emphasize maximizing commodities which can be converted into countable surplus (money), and have systems which are competitively accumulation-oriented. Other cultures, in contrast, might emphasize social position, as among the Trobriands, where production is stimulated by competition which contains the component of challenging the opponent to do better. Both Western and Trobriand culture contrast markedly with Kwakiutl cultures: "In the Trobriands''" Cyril Belshaw says, "to give too much would be a cause for envy, bitterness, and recrimination, and great care is taken to avoid this. Among the wakciutl, to give too much is the whole point of the game" (1965: 26).
Without rejecting Samuelson's concepts, but rather
keeping them in mind, it seems more advantageous to follow Karl Polanyi's substantive approach inasmuch as it stresses the need for leaving aside formal economic analysis and directing efforts toward an ."empirical economy" -- i.e. the
study of "an instituted process of interaction between man and his environment, which results in a continuous supply of* want satisfying material needs" (1958: 122-142.)
Thus, this study will try to ,outline, first, the environment in which the Galtenos live, the people themselves and their production (Chapter 2), establishing in this way, the foundations for an analysis of how people relate to and associate with each other (Chapter 3).
Before discussing specific cases of associations, however, it should be noted that there are two basic types of association in this study: those stimulated by the need to cooperate for economic production and those which are the product of kinship ties. This dichotomy between production and social association,
however, does not mean that these two units are two entirely distinct categories of social groupings, but rather, that they are two aspects of a single reality (2).
In the first type of association, the basic unit of
production is a result of the need to cooperate in order to get a living from the land. Activities in Galte such as the clearing of the Daa, breaking the ground, preparing the seeds, and weeding could be called basic agricultural operations. They are basic inasmuch as they require the simplest form of cooperation; typically between three or four people who live in the same household. These people involved in the basic agricultural activities and living in the same household complex or huasinungo form a "basic unit of production" as this elemental form of association ill be called hereafter.
Parallelling this basic unit of production which is
rooted in the basic need to e:x-ploit nature, there is another type of association based on kin ties. This elemental kin or social grouping is referred to here as the "domestic unit" in order to distinguish it from other similar social groupings such as the extended family. This type of association consists of marriage and consanguineal relationships. The domestic unit refers to the kin-related group which lives in the same .plot-of-land and household complex.
Unlike the traditional approach which considers huasipunmos solely in terms of their relationships to the hacienda, and views them as isolated units without associations, Chapter 4 attempts to outline the types of associations as networks which form a socio-economic system.
The term huasigungo has been avoided as much as possible in these three chapters (2, 3, 4) since it (per se) implies a relationship with the hacienda; rather, it has been replaced by the terms "basic unit of production" and "domestic unit" -according to the economic or social emphasis intended.
The direct relationship and interdependence between
culture and environment has been stressed in social studies since Morgan and Marx, writing in the last century. In much the same mway that Morgan used the concept of "arts of subsistence" and Marx, the concept of "economic base" to explain the relationship between different cultural/sociological levels, Julian Steward -- one of the latest major exponents
of cultural ecology -- has talked about a "cultural core," meaning the "constellation of features which are most closely related to subsistence activities and economic arrangements." There is a common denominator in their emphasess first, upon environment as the provider of possibilities of production -what economists would call "scarce means" or "limited number of possibilities" -- and second, upon culture, rhich through technological (tools and knowledge) and sociological (relations and values) systems, "chooses" the means.
This chapter analyzes 1) the elements of the relationship between the environment and people, and 2) the result of that relationship: production.
The interplay of a number of factors including altitude, irregularity of terrain, different wind currents, wmter resources, and quality of terrain have created a wide variety of production zones or ecological niches in the Andean region of Ecuador. The average mountain valley in the interandean region is located at 2,800 meters above sea level. Agricultural production is possible up to 3,800 meters, and natural pastures occur up to 4,400 meters on the slopes of these mountains.
The regions of Guamote and Palmira present similar
conditions. The lower section of Guamote, located between two mountain slopes at 2,900 meters, has an adequate water supply, is temperate in climate and is ideal for the production of corn, beans and the maintenance of pasture land; Palmira,
on the other hand, is located 3,200 meters above seal level on open and windy terrain and produces only barley and a few potatoes.
Galte, rather than escaping the peculiarities of the
Andean region, incorporates them. Physical phenomena, such as altitutde and the irregularity of the terrain as well as different wind currents, water resources, and quality of terrain are factors which determine the existence of a variety of ecological niches, and consequently, affect agricultural production in Galte.
The hacienda Galte (cfr. map), encompassing some 10.340 hectares (25,850 acres) begins in the valley or plains of Palmira at 3,200 meters and within a horizontal distance of 10.5 kilometers, reaches a plateau at 4,200 meters. This means that every hectare of land in Galte has an average altitude difference of 9.5 meters between one end and the other. While if this difference in altitude were equally distributed each plot would be on a mild grade, in actuality the slope is multiplied in some places up to six or seven times by the presence of three gorges which create depressions 250300 meters deep. Thus, cultivation in some areas of Galte takes place on inclines which have slopes of up to 50-60 degrees.
The terrain's climate is closely related to its altitude. Research has shown that there is a decrease of one degree centigrade for every 200 meters of altitude. The lowest section, situated at 3,200 meters has an average temperature
of 10 degrees centigrade while the highest section, at 4,200 meters, has an average temperature of 8 degrees. At noon. and in the early afternoon when the skies are clear and there is no wind, the temperature rises five to seven degrees above average. These temperature variations are relatively constant year round due to the equatorial location: the difference between summer and winter (dry and rainy seasons) is of about two degrees centigrade.
The rainy season, from October through Nay, is interrupted by small intervals of drought which are called veranillos (little summers). The dry season lasts from June through September. This schedule is by no means rigid; there are years such as 1973 in which rain falls during August and September and the skies of October and November are as clear as a peaceful ocean. Such unpredictable weather, nevertheless, is considered abnormal, and emphasis is placed on the "known". rain calendar since artificial or channeled irrigation is
Due to geographical location -- at the edge of a giant
mountain gap -- Galte and Palmira are affected by dry coastal wind currents from the southwest which make the region unsually arid if compared to the rest of the green Ecuadorean highlands. Because of their rather flat topography, Palmira and the lowest section of Galte are open to these dry and sandy winds. Terrain which is somehow sheltered from these gusty winds provided more favorable conditions for cultivation and is the most desirable for agricultural production.
In Galte, the above-mentioned wind current and the amount of rainfall, together with the different altitudes and temperatures, have created different types of soil. The lowest area of Galte which is most affected by the dry coastal wind current offers a type of spongy soil which lacks organic matter but which contains a high percentage of alkaline minerals.- The intermediate and higher areas, both of which are less affected by the coastal winds, possess a large amount of organic matter. This is due, in large part, to the cool night temperatures which prevent a higher level of microbial activity. This moist soil -- "Andean soil" as it is known in geographic terminology -- is called "black" soil in the area and is considered to be the best for the cultivation of potatoes.
The interrelation of these environmental factors has created different levels of cultivation in Galte. The low plains, in spite of their aridity, are well-suited to the production of barley and chochos (a type of white bean); during the rainy season, bala and romerillo grow abundantly (3). At higher altitudes (and therefore lower temperatures and moister soils), conditions are excellent for the production of potatoes and, to a lesser extent, to the cultivation of barley. E grows year round. Above 3,800 meters, the pajnales,
although poor for agricultural production, are excellent for grazing sheep.
When environmental factors are considered in relation to production in Galte, four main ecological levels can be
distinguished. By drawing horizontal lines at intervals of approximately 100 and 200 meters, it is possible to delineate levels possessing contrasting and complementary agricultural characteristics. Each one of these levels presents a series of features which are the result of the interplay of the above-mentioned factors. Chart 2.1 presents these variables schematically.
The first three levels are agricultural niches ("lower," "intermediate" and "upper") and contrast with the fourth level which is totally covered with naa, providing conditions suitable only for livestock grazing. The moist, black and cold soil of the upner level is suited for cultivating potatoes. The lower altitude and higher temperature of the lower level, on the other hand, create favorable conditions for the production of' barley. The intermediate level produces both potatoes and barley but of lower quality.
The Galtenos live in the lower, intermediate, and upper levels. The high, cold Rajonal level is inhabited only seasonally by shepherds.
The Galtenos and Production
The total population of Galte is 1,680 Quichua-speaking
Indians. The accompanying sex-age pyramid (Chart 2.2) reflects the fact that this is a young population according to Western standards. The median age of 20 years is below the Ecuadorian median of 21; only 5.4 per cent of the population is over sixty years of age.
Another factor which is indicative of the "youthfulness"
of this Indian group is its high birth rates 43.2 per 1,000. This is high if compared to both the Latin American and Ecuadorean averages.
In addition, another salient feature of the Galte population is its relative balance, maintained throughout the pyramid, between males and females: a ratio of 97 males to 100 females. The only difference worth noting is found in the group above 55 years of age in which the female population is predominant. This factor would significantly affect the composition of the population if it were to occur in a lower age group (e.g. 20-40), having repercussions both on the manpower supply and on the probability of a female remarrying in the event her husband should die.
Still another important characteristic of the population of Galte illustrated by Chart 2.2.is its rate of growth: the broad-based pyramid seems to indicate a high rate of birth.
These three aspects -- low median age, relative balance of the male and female population, and a high birth rate -all point towards a continued increase in the area's population.
The 1,680 Indians who live in Galte make their living through agriculture and shepherding in the four ecological levels. One hundred per cent of the population aged 15 years of age and above are knowledgeable about agriculture
and 99% of them live exclusively from cultivation of the fields (4). Women are no exception; all of them Imo how
to cultivate and actually work in the fields. The only difference is that their labor schedule is determined by
time. Activities such as planting and harvesting are both labor- and time-intensive; preparing the ground and caring for the plants, on the other hand, are much less so. Women, therefore, are more frequently involved in agricultural activities during the time-pressure period of planting and harvesting. This means that 60.7% of the total population of Galte is involved in agricultural production.
Every adult person in Galte has been a shepherd during his or her childhood. Boys and girls, from the age of 5 to 6 years, begin herding by accompanying their older brothers and sisters, However, as soon as boys can provide agricultural labor, they no longer shepherd. Girls, on the other hand, may continue to herd until they are 45 or 50 years old. if there are no young children at home who can take over the pastoral duties. Thus, it has been estimated that 842 persons are involved in herding sheep. This high number -- half of the total population -- does not mean, however, that 50% of the Galten'os are working full-time caring for their herds since the youngest children herd sheep accompanied by their brothers and sisters, and the adult women only look after the herds When no other young person is able to.
Chart 2.3 presents the agricultural and shepherding activities by sex and age.
One difference in the labor force which differs from
Western standards is the economically productive age. Children are incorporated into production from the age of 5 years and will continue to work as long as they are physically able to
do so. Thus, approximately 1,399 persons, or 84.6% of the total population, form the economically productive force of Galte. This contrasts with Western standards which consider only that portion of the population between 15 and 65 years of age as economically productive.
The population of Galte is identified with 155 land
units called huasiungos. This means that an average of 10.8 people live in each huasinungo; the median is 10. The number of persons per huasipungo ranges from 2 to 27.
The inhabited area of Galte -- the three lower ecological levels -- has been traditionally divided into four sectores (sectors, areas): Laime, Jatum Loma, Talampala and Yana Rumi (cfr. Map). During the hacienda period, these divisions were administrative as well as ecological. The organization of the labor force needed in the hacienda was facilitated by dividing the hacienda into four sectores. Each of these had a labor organizer called alcalde. Historically, however, it seems that the four sectores existed prior to the hacienda period as small communities where related people lived. At the present time, these four sectores form political units, each with its own cabecilla (leader).
Three of these secbores coincide -- almost exactly -with the three first ecological levels. Laime lies on the lower section and encompasses the lower ecological level; Talampala is located in between Yana Rumi and Laime and covers the intermediate ecological level. Yana Rumi is located in the highest agricultural level. South of these three
three sectors lies Jatum Loma. The sector -- the most highly populated -- has one third of the entire population and huasiMgMos and lies in three ecological levels.
The agricultural products upon which the Galte population must depend are limited as was noted previously, the two plants primarily cultivated are potatoes and barley. Potatoes are consumed either whole or in soups. Barley is consumed as flour (mskhca) after having been processed either by hand of in the town-mill.
Other plants, cultivated on a much lower scale, are habas (lima beans), chochos, ocas, and mellocos. These plants are considered secondary food resources and are used in cooking to complement potato dishes. In a random sample, it was found that potatoes constitute 50% of the food consumed daily in Laime and 70% in Yana Rumi and the higher section of Jatum Loma.
Sheep raising, as .can be seen in Chart 2.3 involves -- in one way or another.-- approximately half of the labor force. Nevertheless, mutton is very seldom eaten; sheep has rather become a condenser of surplus in the economy..
In this way, the cultivation of barley and potatoes and the raising of sheep form the main production activities of Galte. In terms of the production of the staples (barley and potatoes), different types of soil and different techniques are required, but both demand basically the same tools and a similar amount of joint labor.
Like all Andean Indians, the Galte os rely on human energy
as the main source of power: the product of labor is obtained almost directly from the land. Machinery is not used In this area and the tools used are traditional ones. The breaking of the soil as well as the opening of furrows is done with hoes; only a few huasipungueros have oxen for plowing. The sickle is used for harvesting barley and the hoe or huashmo (wooden shovel) for digging tubers. The products are transported from field to house either on the workers' backs or on
The planting and harvesting periods follow a fixed calendart but with variations of up to two months between lower and upper levels. Chart 2.4 indicates when potatoes and barley are planted and harvested in the two different levels. Climatic factors account for two basic differences. First, since both sections rely completely on rainfall -- they do not have water for artificial irrigation -- the preparation of the soil and planting are determined by the rainy season, which begins in October. In the lower section, however, many people advance their barley planting one or even two months, partly because barley needs less water and partly as a safety measure (5). (The heavy planting comes in the months of October and November in the upper level and in December and January in the lower level.) Second, there is a difference in the amount of time needed by the plants to mature in the upper and lower levels (approximately two months). For example, barley takes two months more to grow in the upper level than in the lower level. These two factors have created an overlapping two-month system
of labor needs alternating between the two sections (cfr. Chart 2.4). Later, a reference will be made to the implications of this alternating labor in the socio-economic arrangements.
The production of potatoes and barley is carried out in' family-owned plots (6). According to the data collected by IERAC in 1965, the average size for each of these kin-based plots -- huasipuna~os -- is 9 hectares and 9,712 square meters. This average, however, has not been a static figure; in the last few years it has increased due to the Indians' political actions (7). Chart 2.6 shows the average-family plot for every one of the four sectores, the total extension of agricultural land owned by the Indians.and the number of domestic units. Each of these agricultural plots is the private property of each domestic unit, with the pasture land (paramo) (8) being the only common land.
The production of barley and potatoes requires the cooperation of individuals of both sexes. This cooperation is more or less regular and consistent but can vary in volume according to the work at hand. The sex and the number of persons involved depends on the stage of the cycle in the cultivation of a product.
Each of the cycles includes several stages (Chart 2.4)t
1. preparing the ground: clearing the p plowing
either with a hoe or with oxen.
2. preparing the seeds
3. sowing.the barley and planting the potatoes
4. maintenance: weeding
6. threshing the barley
Each of these stages varies in the composition of the labor force involved. Preparing the ground, clearing the R and plowing are male activities; only the absence of men
will force, women to perform these tasks. This work is done by one or two men at a time since there is no need for the work to be completed immediately. The preparation and selection of potato seeds is carried out at home by'men and women, usually close relatives and can be finished in one day's work. The third, fifth and sixth stages are all characterized by the need for being completed in the shortest possible amount of time (one or two days); they, therefore, require more people.
The number of people performing each activity depends on the amount of work involved. The clearing of the paa, the breaking of the ground, the preparing of the seeds, and weeding are operations which could be called basic agricultural activities. They are basic in that they require the simplest form of cooperation, that of three or four people living in the same household. They can be the parents, children, or spouses of children. These people, involved in the basic agricultural activities and living in the same household complex -- huasi-ungo -- form the minimal grouping for production: the "basic unit of production" -- as this elemental form of association will be called hereafter.
Each one of the basic units of production provides a
supply of labor and can actually cultivate all the essential
products; but, in order to maximize production, it seeks additional labor as well as complementary products from other units of production. The way in which labor and products are obtained from other units is through personal -- unit to unit-associations or alliances. The following chapters, especially Chapter 3, will deal with two forms of associations or cooperation: restricted and extended.
Parallel to the basic unit of production and rooted in
the process.of exploitation of the land is an elemental kin or social form of groupingt- the "domestic unit." This association is the fruit of the marriage and consanguineal relationships. The domestic unit refers to the kin-related group which lives on the same plot of land and in the same household complex.
The two kinds of units -- the basic unit of production and the domestic unit -- and the associations within and between these units will be described separately in the following chapters. This dichotomy between production and social association, however, does not mean that these two units are entirely separate;.it simply means that they are two aspects of a single"reality" (Diaz and Porter, 1967t 155).
1. There are two kinds of economic anthropologists.
First, there are those who stress the similarities between primitive economies and use Western conventional terms to describe subsistence economies -- capital, surplus, maximizing, price, demand. They try to apply the same question to primitve economy which are used in Western ones. Better knoin examples of this approach are Raymond Firth (1939, 1964), Melville Herskovits (1952), R. Burling (1962), s. Cook (1966). Second there are those who stress the differences between primitive and W1estern economies and the connections between economic and social organization. They center their attention upon gift-giving, reciprocity, redistribution. The most important advocates of this approach are: Marcel Mauss (1954), K. Polanyi, C.M. Arensberg, and H.W. Pearson (1957), M. Sahlins (1960), P. Bohannan and G. Dalton (1965), G. Dalton (1961, 1965).
Good works on peasant economy are Raymond Firth
(1946), M.G. Smith (1955), Sol Tax (1953), M. Diaz (1967), W. Skinner (1967) and Eric Wolf.
2. May Diaz and Jack M. Potter have pointed out this
identification among peasant socieites. "Characteristically, in peasant societies the domestic unit is also the production unit: a group of Kinsmen (sometimes with a few additional persons who are not relatives) bound together in such a fashion that their roles as family members also define their roles as producers and consumers" (1967, 155).
3. Pal (straw) is a type of natural grass pasture which grows above 3,200 meters and is very desirable for sheep and cattle feed. The extensions of land covered with aja are called aonales. Romerillo is a small bush which grows approximately o0 centimeters high and is used as firewood, as well as pf.
4. The census shows that only 12 are involved fulltime in activities other than agriculture. They are traders (beaueos comerciantes). Weaving at home is a part-time activity which involves 44 people, but it is considered a secondary skill.
5. It has been pointed out at the beginning of this chapter that the rainy season is unreliable. One way of solving this problem is having advance planting, so that one of the crops will coincide with the rainy period.
6. Legally the plots of land belong to the hacienda; and they are given to the Indians for their usufruct in exchange for their five-day-weekly-work in the hacienda. At this stage of the study, for the sake of clarity and simplicity, these lended plots of land are considered as owned by the familial nucleus, legally.
7.. Since the 1964 Land Reform Law, the Indians have expanded the limits of their plots by taking over the land of the hacienda. After the "strike of 1969," the expropriation of hacienda land has been more systematic; there are no available data on the actual sizes of the plots at the present time; the IERAC finished a survey of the area in December, 1973 and its results will soon be available.
8. Paramos have been the property of the hacienda,
as well as the plots of land. The point that must be considered here is that, for practical purposes, the naramo has been shared by all the familial nuclei without discrimination.
PRODUCTION AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
People associate with each other in. order to obtain
their means of subsistance, creating in this way bonds which have been called "relations of production" by some social scientists.
This chapter will discuss the various forms of association and cooperation found in Galte at the production and kinship
Associations between Basic Units of Production
a. The restricted system of cooperation
As mentioned before, the basic unit of production in Galte is also the domestic unit-in which barley, potatoes, or both are cultivated on a plot of approximately 10 hectares. The composition of these domestic units or basic units of production varies according to the size and quality of the land and usually is composed of father, mother and children. When male children marry, they stay in the same domestic unit since their labor is greatly needed in both the basic unit of agricultural production and for the provision of labor for the hacienda (as mentioned earlier, each basic unit must provide the hacienda with five days of labor per week. Women, on the other hand, live with their husbands' domestic units when they
marry although they often return to their previous domestic unit for cultivation. Thus, women can claim a portion of their parents' land either for their omwn cultivation or for sharecropping with their parents and siblings.
The basic unit of production may include individuals who are not members of the domestic unit. Frequently, individuals falling into misfortune will be adopted by a family, even though they are not close relatives (son, nephew, grandson). The adopted.individual receives the name of tia (uncle) and is known as an arrimado. If the adoption takes place when the person is a baby, the adoptee is called a huiiachishka (literally, brought up) and acquires some or all of the rights of a son or daughter. In Galte, all the huinachishkas and arrimados have some kin relationship with the adopters, although distant; frequently, they are collateral relatives two or three times removed.
The basic unit of production is maintained basically with the labor from the domestic unit and the help provided by the extended family. Thus, when labor .is needed, the person taking the initiative for preparing the land, planting, or harvesting (generally the father or a son) looks for 3eones
(1) (workers) among his closest relatives; the father, for instance, will ask his sons, or sons-in-law to help him, and only if he does not find neones among his closest relatives will he look for help among other relatives or friends.
This type of request for help might be called the
"restricted system" of cooperation or association, known as
makita manana (meaning: to ask a hand). This form is called restricted because it operates wiithin and not between ecological levels and possesses three distinct characteristics. First, help is requested from relatives of the domestic unit and only if it is impossible to obtain this labor at home will it be sought from the in-laws, or outside friends. The outsider who comes to help must be either a remote relative or at least a well-known friend. Second, this provision for help presupposes reciprocity on the same terms; when the person .who acted as a Refn needs help, he will look among those who have previously requested his labor. Third, makita manana does not involve cash money at all. The person who uses peones provides food for everyone involved in the activity, and if it is harvest time, he will give the peones between 25 and 50 pounds of the harvested product, depending on the abundance of the harvest.
Each basic unit of production, therefore, is the result
of an interplay between the material conditions of production, i.e. raw materials, tools, land, techniques, etc. and human labor within a set of relations. These basic units of production, then, are the outcome of a restricted kin-based system of cooperation, providing for the maximum exploitation of labor.
The Extended System of Cooperation
Another form of cooperation might be termed "extended." This association tries to maximize the varying production capabilities of the different ecological levels while also providing a source of labor in each level at those times
when extra labor is needed*
The presence of four different ecological niches or
levels in Galte has been previously discussed. Each of these niches is used for the cultivation of a particular basic products in level 1, barley; level 3 produces potatoes; level 2 produces both; and the highest level, 4, is excellent for raising sheep. Barley can be cultivated in level three, and potatoes in level 1, but in order to maximize production, the Indians.have opted for specialization of each ecological level (2).
At first sight it appears that this ecological maximization conflicts with the self-sufficient ideal of the isolated basic units of production. This conflict has been resolved through product specialization and redistribution of the products among the different levels. Laime, the lower section of Galte, for instance, produces barley and chochos (a type of bean), but its production of potatoes is poor and of low quality; yet, potatoes are found in virtually every meal of the people of Laime throughout the year. A similar phenomena occurs on the higher level with barley. Neither corn nor pumpkin is grown in Galte yet these-foods are continuously present. Investigation reveals that these products are not obtained in the tairn market, but rather are the product of an established system of food-labor exchange.
When one basic unit of production lacks a staple product, it sends one of its members to another unit of production located in a different ecological level. The person who
visits the other unit takes with him a present which is either a good not produced in Galte (sugar, noodles, brown sugar, bread, salt) or a product from his own unit (e.g. potatoes, barley, or a guinea pig). The visit occurs during the planting and harvesting season when labor is invariably needed in the unit visited. Thus, after presenting his gifts, the visitor works for one or two days helping to harvest or thresh the barley. The host provides a place to stay and food for the visitor. When the agricultural activities conclude, the visitor receives approximately 75 pounds or more of the product-which has been harvested if the "year was good;" if production is low, he receives 50 pounds or less. Frequently, the visitor schedules his journey so that he can visit several basic units of production in the same trip. The goods are transported to his home by burros. In this way he invests up to a week of labor and he collects two or three hundred pounds of produce.
This "extended" system of cooperation is known as nunti. The general meaning of this term is "gift," but in the section of Galte and Palmira, nunti is always associated with this extended system of cooperation. Thus, it is common to hear expressions such as Mavyka cayi mana tiranchu, nuntiman rirka (He is not here: he went to practice or realize nunti -- to present a gift, help in harvesting, and bring back products).
The Galteos practice Hunti inside their territory (i.e. between the three different agricultural niches) and outside by either going to the valley of Guamote or to the warmer slopes of Pallatanga, Jalubf, Sibambe, Tix n, and Alausl which
descend to the coast and are well-suited for cultivation of corn. The nKunti with the outside presents very interesting aspects of maximum ecological exploitation and social organization, such as different land tenure systems, ethnic relationships and "nucleus" and "island" distribution arrangements (Murra 1964, 1968, 1972). Nevertheless, these aspects must be left aside due to the limited scope of this inquiry -- the internal structure of Galte.
The internal nunti presents the following characteristics first, nunti takes place only among rigsishchakuna (very wellknown), i.e. among either close or distant relatives, or friends who frequently are compadres (3). It is impossible for an individual simply to show up with a present and help with labor; there must first exist a close relationship between the individuals involved. Second, the elements present in l mti, in addition to friendship, are: 1) a gift which is presented at the beginning, 2) labor provided as long as necessary, and 3) a reciprocal present in the form of the product just cultivated. The entire operation is carried out in the complete absence of money. Third, the person who plays the role of host is entitled to visit the basic unit of production of the visitor during the harvesting of the other's ecological level. Fourth, the movement in nunti is always vertical; in other words, the gift is taken to a basic unit which is located in a different ecological niche, either higher or lower; otherwise there would be no purpose for the exchange.
In addition to the cooperation system makita manana and nunti, a third system exists known as ovelata minrana (caring for sheep or entrusting sheep) which shares certain characteristics with the systems discussed above. The different characteristics of the four levels regarding pastures for sheep have been pointed out in the earlier discussion of the four different ecological niches. The lower level has some onal areas suitable for pasture, but during the dry season (July September), grassland decreases. In levels II and III, there is a scarcity of pasture. In level IV, paja grows abundantly, providing the best grassland. Since the fourth level is available to all the Galtenos, the answer seemingly would be to take the flock to the cold and fertile -level IV, but the problem is obvious: the lower level is located at 3,200 meters and section IV at 4,200 meters, and to cover this distance driving a flock of sheep takes from 4 to 6 hours each way. In addition to the geographical and ecological problem, the inhabitants of Galte are faced with the problem of scarcity of labor. Generally, children from 6 to 15 years of age are in charge of herding sheep (cfr. Chart 2.3); if these children are.not available, the sheep raising activities are jeopardized. The answer to this problem has been oveata minrana; i.e. to entrust a number of sheep to a relative or a friend.
This system of cooperation or association has characteristics which are in some aspects a cross between those of the makita makna and unti systems. Makita manana is used
in response to the need for labor; while Aunti also provides labor, its central goal is to obtain the basic products of the other niches. Ovejata mingana, on the other hand, is in response to both labor and ecological needs. If one shepherd takes care of sheep which belong to several basic units and the sheep flocks are moved every one or two months from one ecological level to another according to the best pasture seasons of each level, labor is saved, and, at the same time, the ecological niches are being exploited at a maximum.
Ovelata mingana does not usually take place among close relatives (for example, brothers) since they live in the same basic unit, but among in-laws and distant relatives and friends. The basic unit which cares for the sheep is granted the right to use the manure as a fertilizer for its crops in return for its work. In addition to receiving the manure, the individual rho takes care of the sheep receives food presents from the owners of the sheep. No money is involved in the entire ovelata mingana system of cooperation.
The three forms of cooperation, unti, makita banana and ovejata minmana are not exclusive: all of them can exist simultaneously. Conceptually, these three systems may be considered as expanding concentric circles with the basic unit of production in the center. Chart 3.1 shows the three forms of cooperation in Galte. Makita manana is essentially a system of cooperation which seeks help within the domestic unit and only seeks help from the extended family and friends when additional labor is needed. Ovelata minxana primarily
seeks cooperation among relatives yet since the members of the domestic unit live in the same environment vrhen the unit needs the resources of other ecological niches, relatives from other levels are draim in. The circle is expanded as the basic unit needs other products and labor from different environments.
Finally, gunti forces the creation of relationships
(risishkas) among basic units in the different ecological niches. This extended system of cooperation, therefore, establishes contacts and creates associations among people of the three ecological levels and represents the most expanded circle. As will be analyzed later, the concept of iunti has become the core of the economic and social system of Galte. Chart 3.1 shows the three forms of cooperation in Galte.
Thus, interpersonal cooperation which begins with
members of a household helping each other in order to cultivate a product acquires community proportions when the product is moved and distributed (4).
In summary, a process of production has been created
by the interplay of material conditions of production, plus the labor process, coupled with relations established between the producers. The forms of cooperation derived from the relations of production have the initial aim of producing goods and later the redistribution of those goods. These associations are the foundation of the economy of this Indian group.
Associations among the Domestic Units
The forms of cooperation discussed above are created
by the relations of production; now attention can be directed toward the associations created by kinship ties.
While the preceding discussion is based on research
carried out in the four sections of Galte, the specific data and examples for the following discussion have been taken primarily from the selection of Talampala (5).
The domestic unit lives in a group of 2 or 3 houses, frequently located in the center of the plot of land and usually separated from the other domestic units .by land belonging to the hacienda.
Earlier in the paper, some characteristics of the domestic units were presented. Among these characteristics was mentioned the fact that the domestic unit is the kin-related group which permanently stays on a piece of land, huasinungo; in other words, the domestic unit is the kin aspect of the basic unit of production. In this nucleus, the head of the family, the one who has the rights to the land, is the father, and is called the tayta (father) (6).
The domestic unit is basically formed by the parents,
children, and sometimes an arrimado or huitachishka -- as was mentioned on page 53. This related group of people is not considered an ayllu (family) unless they have a piece of land. If the parents and the children do not ownm the means of production (land), or at least do not have direct control of a piece of land (huasinungueros) they are called arrimados,
or sharecroppers, but they are not considered a huasipun o. In these cases, the head of the group is called tiu (taken from Spanish: tio = uncle). The domestic unit, thus, always includes the concept of land and tayta as the head of the family.
These three concepts of family, land, and t~ayt are
essential elements when the idea of domestic unit is introduced. Each one of the 155 domestic units of Galte (7) possesses these three elements with only quantitative variations.
Family, in the context of the domestic unit, must be understood in a broad sense. It may refer merely to an elderly couple without children or to a group of 25 related people living together, including relatives in three generations and even affinal members. Chart 3.2 presents the number of persons in each one of the domestic units. The average for the 155 groups is 11 and the median, 10. The domesticu unit is expanded when the children marry. If the son marries, he has the right to stay at home and live with his wife at the tayta's house. Daughters, on the other hand, leave their homes when they marry and go to live in the huasipunro of their husband's family. Women will stay at their parents' home and bring their husbands there only if there are not any male children. In this way, a male labor force is secured and each unit is able to maintain a balance.
The reason for this patrilocality is found in the
relationship of family to land, i.e. in the way in which the rights to the plot of land (huasipntmo) have been established (8).
In the recently abolished system of huasipunpc, the hacienda needed male labor for its exploitation of the land. This labor tas obtained by giving the male the right to use a piece of land as "temporary property" in exchange for labor. The male was responsible for the provision of five days of work per week for the hacienda. If the husband died, the wife was responsible for providing the labor, using her sons' or her daughters' labor if no male children were present. Thus, when a family had no sons, there was a need for the female children to bring their husbands to their parents' homes after they married; only in this case.-did the married woman remain in her parents' home.
The domestic unit, like the basic units of production, is not a closed, static and self-sufficient group. As has been mentioned before, the domestic unit expands when a son marries and contracts if a daughter does so. Thus, each domestic unit has as many kin ties as marriages. While this statement seems obvious, it directs attention toward the origin of those outside ties.
According to the Information obtained in Talampala, it is possible to note the following concerning mobility and marriage (Chart 3.3)t from the total of 116 marriages, 37 or 31,9% of the total have taken place among people who live in the same section of Talampala (endogamous marriage). On the other hand, the marriages outside the section account for 33.6% of the total (exogemous marriage). If in addition we take the 13 marriages carried out in other places such as Pull, Totorillas,
Tipfn, etc., and assuming that the 27 cases without information can be divided proportionally, it is possible to ascertain that 58.65 of the marriages which have taken place in Talampala have been with people from outside the section.
These 116 marriages which have taken place in 32 huaslpunpos of Talampala have been with people from outside the section.
These 116 marriages which have taken place in 32 huasipunros of Talampala present an average of 3.6 marriages in each domestic unit. This indicates that each huasipungo has approximately 3 to 4 kinship contacts with other huasi ungos in general, and more specifically, from 1 to 2 kinship contacts with domestic units which are located in different sections.
This process takes place in a similar manner in the other three sections -- Yana Rumi, Laime, and Jatum Loma (10). The variations are predictable. Laime, on the one hand, has more relations with the community of San Miguel; Yana Rumi, on the other, wirth their northern neighbors from Pull.
In summary, this chapter has dealt with the production and social levels of association. At the production level, three forms of association have been found: frunti, makita manana, and ovelata minana. If an individual needs labor, he
will make use of the makita ma ana cooperation form, i.e. he will look for a peon among his relatives or rigsishkas; on the other hand, if he needs one of the basic products, he will go to practice Hunti among his kin contacts and rirsishkas for a person to whom he can entrust his herd. These are, therefore,
three cooperation systems which provide established patterns and responses to the need for establishing contacts in the different ecological levels.
In other words, the Galtenos, in order to obtain, produce, and distribute the products necessary for subsistence have related to each other, creating fixed networks.
On the other hand, the domestic unit is the kin form of association. Special care has been taken to point out the way in which the unit expands and relates to other domestic units located in the same as i-ell as in different ecological levels.
Thus, it is possible to discover a series of social and
economic ties among the basic units of production and domestic units on the surface of Galte. In the next chapter, the emphasis will be put on answering whether or not there is an indigenous socio-economic system of Galte.
1. Quichua has borrowed the term Deon from Spanish but with a different meaning. In Spanish "edn means "a member of the laboring class, originally one forced to serve virtually in bondage to creditors." Quichua has kept the meaning of "labor" and instead of the socially discriminatory connotation has given to it the meaning of mutual labor help among Imknown people.
2. The aspect of maximum use of different ecological levels has been enlightened by Dr. John Hurra's theory and research about the "Archipielagos Verticales en Los Andes." The author of this thesis had the opportunity to participate in a field-seminar directed by Dr. Murra and Luis Lumbreras in Perd, Chile, and Bolivia in June and July, 1973. Dr. Murras has also predicted the existence of archepelagos in the Ecuadorean AnUdes. The research in Galte revealed a heavy movement of Indians toward Pallatanga (coast), reinforcing, in this way, Murra's hypothesis. The reference that is made here covers only a partial aspect of the whole theory of "archipielagos," here, of ecological levels, interchange or movement of basic products, social interaction. For a more detailed presentation of the "archipelagos theory" see J. Murra (1964, 1968, 1972).
3. Comoadre in the strict sense refers to the relationship created between the godfather and the father of the odchild, and has been translated as "godsib" by P. Doughty 1968: 114-119). Nevertheless, in many instances, the omppnadre need not be a formal godfather of baptism. In some cases, the comnadrazgo is a product of some ceremonies or social activities such as blessings, fiestas, masses, housewarmings.
4. The limited time in the field prevented the researcher from collecting more complete data which would permit quantification of this network. Had there been time, the quantification would have been carried out by a systematic inquiry of cooperation. An attempt was made in both elementary schools, but with very inaccurate results.
5. Better and more precise data were collected in
Talampala. The reason was partially circumstantial. The author of this study had the opportunity to visit, talk, and
interview all of the huasitungueros of Talampala, since he was in charge of this section in the census carried out in Galte by IERAC.
6. Tayta means father, but in addition to the biological and the head-of-the-household connotation, it has a close relation to land, authority, and experience which goes beyond the familial-nucleus boundaries. At the present time, tayta is frequently associated with huasiun-uero since the huasinunuero since the turn of this century, has been the person recognized by the hacienda as the "temporary" owner of the plot of land.
7. Historically, since the hacienda adopted the huasitungo system at the beginning of this century, the huasiunros can be identified with these familial-nuclei. As we will see later, the hacienda in its quest for maximizing the search for free labor has used and in some aspects and occasions has strengthened the indigenous system.
8. This is only a partial explanation and tied to the historical development of the huasiun.o system. Research on the type of grouping, locality existing prior to the .huasiunro system in this area has not been carried outs nevertheless, we are inclined to believe that a similar arrangement existed before the huasitungo.
9. In Talampala, for example, there are 94 houses, 32 huasipungos and 301 persons. Therefore, there is an average of 2.9 houses per huasitunao with from 3 to 4 people per house. It should be kept in mind that some families have one house for cooking and another for living.
10. It has not been possible to present data on Jatum Loma, Yana Rumi, and Laime, as we did with Talampala since the census about these three sections has not included some of the huasitunos and does not have complete data on this topic. Nevertheless, the information at hand provides us with a good basis to affirm that the four sections possess similar characteristics in this area.
THE SOCIO-ECOI014C SYSTEM OF GATE
The preceding chapters have analyzed the environment
In Trhich the Galtenos live, the products uhich they cultivate, the wmys in which they cooperate for that production, and the means for distributing those products, attempting in Chapters 2 and 3 to outline the answers to the What, How and For Whom questions. This study has also analyzed the forms in which the domestic unit is organized, the Tay it expands and creates nen points of contact with other domestic units since in Galte, there is an identification of the basic unit of production and the domestic unit. This chapter seeks to tie together different aspects which previously have been studied separately, into a mutually adjusted and interdependent socio-economic system. Emphasis will be placed both on the "choice. aspect which appears to be typical of the socioeconomic system of Galte, and the basic characteristics of this system.
This inquiry has found that there are economic and social factors which seem to move along parallel lines; without making any statement about causation, it appears that there is a direct relationship between marriage ties and reciprocal cooperation among the various ecological levels.
As has been previously explained, there are four different 68
production levels in Galte, each one located at a different altitude, with its oin soil and climate characteristics and each producing a different type of product (cfr. Chart 2.1). The concept "production" does not refer only to different kinds of plants under cultivation, but also to the whole production process, including the division of labor and calendar which is following in planting and harvesting (cfr. Chart 2.5). The lower level, for instance, produces barley, which is planted in August and September and later in December and January. The third and to a certain extent, the second level, on the other hand, produce potatoes, which are planted in October and November. Differences also occur with respect to harvesting time: the months of collecting and processing (threshing barley and choosing potatoes) the products do not coincide in all levels. Moreover, even in cases where the product is planted at the same time on different levels, the harvesting time is still different, since the ripening time of the product is longer at the higher levels. In the third level, for example, the production of barley is delayed for two months more than in level one. These environmental factors confront the Galteios with a set of limiting factors upon which they can act after "choosing" their oin system of "appropriation of nature." In addition to ecological factors, there are other variables, such as level of technology, number of people, social organization and interrelationships with other groups which both limit and affect the "choice" of the means, relations, and systems of production. "Scarcity" and
"choice" are like two weights looking for counter-balance in the quest for maximization.
Since the Galte~os want to maximize their production, they choose a specific product to plant and a specific planting season for each level. In addition, since they want to obtain "insurance" against weather variations or calamities, they must take advantage of the differences in planting and harvesting seasons of the different levels (1). Thus, the desire to maximize production, coupled with the need for security, forces the Galtenos to interact in order to obtain both goals.
'In this process, each level needs both an internal labor force, and help from the outside for its successful operation.
This need for external manpower allows the dwellers of one level to use their excess labor to help the other levels.
In seeking labor or products which are unavailable on a particular level, GalteTos do not randomly seek cooperation from individuals on other levels. Rather, this cooperation is carried out through a tight and fixed system of relationships.
A System of Relations
A further question which should be considered concerns the kind of relationship used in these forms of cooperation. In other words, what are the bases for the rigsishka relations? Are there any common characteristics which underlie these relations?
A basic unit of production, because of its need for labor and complementary products, and a need to control
natural phenomena, creates a series of obligations. The members of the basic unit allow themselves to become obligated, and they will have to reciprocate at a later time. In this way, the dangers of life are minimized by maximizing the dependence (obligations) among the basic units.
This reciprocity, which responds to mutual obligations, is what George Foster calls the "dyadic contract" and has been used as a model to help understand the social structure of a Mexican peasant village (1967:214). Although Foster is interested in both the social and the economic aspects of society, this model has been more closely associated with the social network of peasant societies. It is possible, however, to stress the economic aspect of this informal principle of reciprocity.
In Galte, such economically-based dyads are termed
ri~sishka relations (2): dyadic acquaintances which involve obligations (reciprocity), and which tie basic units of production together. A rigsishka relation has as a basic prerequisite a personal acquaintance with the other person,. which, in the majority of the cases is sealed by kinship. In 100% of the cases analyzed, the 3teon is obtained from consanguineal or affinal relatives. In the case of internal Eunti, 65% of the risishkas are relatives, the other 35% being ritual kin: yet, these non-relatives are called compadres (fictive kin). When Aunti is carried out outside of Galte, the visited people are not relatives, but are considered compadres. All these acquaintances fall into the same classification. When A
Galtewo is asked with whom he practices funti, his answer is simply rigsishkapura (among "known" people).
The second essential characteristic of rigsishka relations is reciprocity. As has been mentioned, one basic unit of production needs other units for labor and products. In order to obtain them, obligations must exist, and in this way, the more obligations which exist, the better off a basic unit is. This concept leads to an emphasis upon "measured" generosity. If a year is good, the more a basic unit gives, the better its chances are for being secure during bad seasons.
Consequently, there is not an exact equivalence in the interchange, and debt and obligation cannot be measured in terms of pounds and prices. The only two factors which count in determining the quantity exchanged are the degree of riesina (acquaintance) and the level of that year's production.
One answer, given in an interview, summarizes these
ideas. One of the informants, after talking about the exchange of products among rigsishkas, was questioned about equivalencess
1"Well," he said, "that depends on.the friendship
(referring to the acquaintance). Frequently they give a sack (about 100 pounds); sometimes even a mule-load
(2 sacks). It depends on the production, too. If
there is a good year, then, we say 'my comadrito has
arrived, '. .and wre come here, too (the informant
is talking in the house of a rirsislha and refers
to his commadre), as well as my co npadre goes to my
(The comondre says) "Yeah, and during these years, my
commadre has called me 'cheap' (they laugh); soon I
will go looking for barley.
(The informant continues) "You see, this is the way we do it; if there is a good production of barley, I
talk to my wife, we pick up a sack, (he tells his
wife) 'my coanadrito has come, when we go to his place,
he always gives us something, lunch, or anything.
My com-adrito is good; let's fill this sack, (or)
let's give him one furrow of potatoes so that he can
dig by himself.' That is all. .but, all this depends
on the acquaintance. If he is not well-knoi.n, he is
not successful; there must be familiarity so that the
others go to others, too."
An important factor in these obligations is the attempt to maintain a constant imbalance in reciprocating. When the amount given and received is equal, the whole system of dependence is jeopardized. G. Foster's insight is particularly applicable here when he says "the dyadic contract is effective precisely because partners are never quite sure of their relative positions at a given moment. As long as they know. that goods and services are flowing both ways in essentially equal amounts, as time passes, they know their relationship is solidly based" (1967: 217).
The third characteristic of rimsishka relations is that they create a link between basic units of production. In other words, this relation, in spite of its strong stress on personal acquaintance, neither relates individuals nor depends on isolated persons. The tie is between the basic units -- at the level of production -- and among domestic units -- at a social level. Certainly, the individual is the agent or the subject of action, and indeed, he can start new risishkas (acquaintances), but these relationships are outlined by the domestic units and transmitted from parents to children. It can even be said that the relations are inherited in the same way as the land. A useful analogy to keep in mind is that
the basic unit operates like an organism which tries to be self-sufficient and relates to others only because it is unable to satisfy all of its needs; thus, the relations that members of a basic unit maintain are basically due to the needs of the unit of which they are a part.
In addition to the relations which are the result of
environment and production factors and those which work as the initial agglutinant principle bringing people in contact and association, there are the social relations. These relations can be isolated from the production relations and underscore the analytical separability of the domestic unit from the basic unit of production.
The second part of Chapter 3 dealt with the domestic
unit, specifically with its composition, i.e. the way in which it expands the form in which it relates, to other domestic units. These aspects, considered in relationship to the system of production and ecological adaptation, can be seen as the kinship seal stamped upon the relations of production, or as the ritualization of the rinsishka relations (3).
Any unit of production needs a balanced number of contacts in the different ecological levels. One way of doing this is by having acquaintances which open the doqr for the use of the three forms of cooperation -- nunti, makita manana and ovejata mingana. Acquaintances form a type of informal contract through mutual gift and service exchange. This relationship is a contingent one, and therefore must be reinforced with other ties. Marriage bonds provide the
answer: they automatically link the two: domestic unit and rixsishla relations.
One of the goals of the basic unit of production is to secure the availability and acquisition of the complementary product. But, if the basic unit can control the production of the complementary product through control of the means of production, the basic unit will attempt to also do that. In other words, the moment that a member of a basic unit marries a person in another basic unit, the basic unit, as a whole, is acquiring a right to a piece of land in the plot of the spouse's family. More concretely, when a male member of the basic unit brings the bride to live with his family, he -- and. therefore, the whole basic unit -- is being endowed with the right to plant in his wife's family's land. In case the wife's family's land is too small, or the members of the wife's family are many, the couple will not have a right to a piece of land, but certainly will be welcome to share the products through the forms of cooperation: iunti and makitamaa.
This desire to acquire rights to the means of production in other ecological levels through marriage bonds is not the only factor in the selection of the spouse. Many times, the wife or husband comes from another ecological level because there were already some reciprocal relations with the other basic unit which provided the youngsters with the opportunity to meet each other.
This study has found, as was pointed out previously, that there are economic and social factors which seem to move along
parallel lines; without making any statement about causation, it appears that there is a direct relationship between marriage ties and reciprocal cooperation among the various ecological levels. On the one hand, it has been shown that domestic units create marriage relations both within and between the ecological levels (cfr. Chart.3.3). In Talampala, for example, of 116 marriage relations, 52 took place with people of other levels; and 37 with people of the same level. The remaining 27 cases are lacking data. The labor/product reciprocal activities (which occur through cooperative associations) within and among each level seem to appear in roughly the same frequency as marriage relations.
It might be fruitful to examine a particular domestic unit in order to apply some of the aspects considered here. The kinship graph presented in Chart 4.1 shows how a domestic unit from Talampala is internally organized and how it is related to other domestic units from Talampala as well as from Yana Rumi and from outside Galte. This basic unit of production; is located in the lowest section of Talampala and ecologically belongs to the lower level.
The former huasipunguero Espfritu had five children,
three boys and two girls. Eulilia, the oldest girl,
married a huasiouncuero from Talampala and went to live
in her husband's huasintl=,o. The younger sister also
left home w-hen she married a huasitunmuero from Talampala. Jose, the oldest son, who according to the norms
of inheritance, should have received the huasiptuna left the domestic unit and went to live with another
huasiunruero, Ignacio, who did not have male offspring, and later married Josd's sister-in-law, Margarita, when
she became a wridowr. When Espiritu (generation one) died,
his son, Emilio, (generation two) became the huasiDunmuero.
The youngest brother, Espiritu (generation two),
died in jail while still a youngster as a result of
a confrontation with the patrol .
Emilio, who after the death of Espiritu became the
tat of the domestic unit, married Margarita from Yana
Rumi. Later, Emilio's son (generation three), who at
the present time has the rights of huasipunuero,
followed his father's example, by marrying a girl from
Yana Rumi. Espfritu's sisters, Maria Juana and Marfa Anastasia found their husbands in Yana Rumi and moved
to live there. Rosario, on the other hand, aimed
further, and now lives in the neighborhood community
of Pull, in her husband's huasipungo. Juan, M4argarita, and Maria (generation three) are still single and live
in their father's home.
This family arrangement illustrates a number of points. First, the basic unit of production or domestic unit is formed only by the persons inside the circular line. These nine persons live in two chozas (houses) and together cultivate a plot of land thirteen hectares in size. Second, when labor is needed, it it sought in the neighborhood, i.e. among Eulilia's, Maria's, or Ignacio's relatives who live.within
i5-20 minute walking distance in the same ecological level. Third, in relation to vertical cooperation, i.e. interaction in order to take advantage of the different ecological levels, this basic unit has four contacts with Yana Rumi which is situated in the upper ecological level. The four relations are the result of marriage ties two because Emilio and Espiritu brought in their brides from Yana Rumi and the other two due to the fact that Marla Anastasia and Maria Juana moved to live in Yana Rumi.
Thus, these kinship relations are an essential part of rigsishka relations, and serve as chathels through which the
forms of cooperation operate. As has been mentioned, peones are sought among the relatives who live in Talampala and are the closest kin neighbors. In other words, the three.basic units, situated in the same ecological level, and linked by the marriages of sisters, become the sources of labor makita ma ana. The kin contacts with different ecological levels, on the other hand, provide rights to land and products. When the two girls from Yana Rumi left their homes to go to live with their husbands, they kept the right to cultivate a piece of land in Yana Rumi and opened a door so that members of the basic unit, where they moved, could practice Kunti as well as ovejata min.ana. The potatoes eaten in the basic unit studied are mainly from the upper ecological level and are obtained through until. In addition, none of the members of this particular basic unit are involved in shepherding activities. All of their sheep have been entrusted (mingashka) to riggsishkas in Yana Rumi to be herded in the a2jonal ecological level.
The Socio-Economic System
It was previously pointed out that an economic system is the network which results from man's (a human community) choice to employ scarce productive resources which could have alternative uses, to produce various commodities and distribute them for consumption. The economic study of a society, therefore, encompasses the whole process performed by a group of people in order to organize for production and distribution. There is, on one hand, a given set of material conditions -- a
physical environment -- which provides a series of different alternatives of action. On the other hand, there is man ready to act. This action of man is accompanied by a "why" and "how." Man acts upon nature to satisfy basic wants and the way in which man acts is an acting/creating process. The action of man provides him with a knowledge which is embodied both in the tools which he uses and the way in which they are used. This action is not a solitary one. Man lives in groups and is involved with the appropriation of nature through groups, too, creating, in this way, a set of relations of production. The fruits of his labor are distributed later among the producers following established procedures which are sanctioned by rules.
This study, therefore, has attempted to analyze three
aspects: first, the physical environment; second, the actions of Galtenos upon those material conditions, and finally, the economic and kinship system of relations and associations between the producers and units of production. It is now possible to delineate the systemic characteristics of the socio-economic conditions in Galte, and simultaneously, to suggest certain conclusions.
First, the socio-economic system of Galte is largely
self-sufficient. Although this statement appears blatantly obvious at first, it becomes less clear when further questioned. Usually a self-sufficient system is equated with simplicity and economic independence, which implies isolation. It is not rare to hear people interested in social change talking about the integration of self-sufficient populations into a
market system, meaning that a primitive (or underdeveloped) group is marginal to the complex-consumption market system. This assertion implies that the groups prefer to live in a simple, isolated state -- one which is limited to bare survival (Blasco Peraherrera, 1974:29). Alfredo Costales considers huasipungo as an "amorphous product of migration from neighboring communities or villages, which have lived under the paternalistic protection of the patron" (1971: 183). This interpretation of the huasipungo views the basic unit of production as a mere puppet dangling from strings grasped by the hacienda, who falls into an ocean of isolation and incompetency when the strings of the hacienda are cut.
Perhaps a better way to understand self-sufficiency is
to define it as the capacity of a human group to satisfy basic needs within its ownm network without having to resort to other systems which create a situation of subordination. This non-subordination does not mean the independence of the component parts but rather a balanced interrelation of them in such a way that all the parts need each other for survival.
The Galten"os can satisfy their basic needs within their
own network and on their own terms. Ignoring, for the moment, that their land has come from the hacienda, they neither depend on the hacienda for their survival, nor are they isolated units. Since each unit of production cultivates certain products but not all those needed for subsistence, nor all those needed to satisfy its necessities, they must exchange products. This interaction is carried out both
within Galte through the three forms of cooperation or association, and outside through the external i9unti, and creates a dependence between the interacting parts. This dependence means complementarity and security. The basic unit which is located in the lower ecologicallevel needs to interact with the upper level and with the coastal region to complete its basic food supply. On the other hand, the interaction is needed in order to create a kind of insurance or security that the basic unit will have the bzsic products if its crops fall due to natural calamities -- freezing, drought, lancha. Since the other levels plant at different times, under different ecological conditions, there is a chance of obtaining at the other level what they could not get at home.
Second, there is no money involved in the indigenous economic system ofGalte. In contrast to the Western economy, where production and exchange are based on numerically countable goods (money) --"capitalist free enterprise economy are determined primarily by a system of prices (of markets, of profits and losses)" (Samuelson, 1955, 16) -- this Indian economy is based on exchange of goods and labor without the use of money.
Although there is a constant interchange of products between the different levels, the economic system of Galte cannot be identified as barter.
The economy of Galte follows the lines noted and discussed by John Murra when he talks about Andean indigeneous
systems: "--the traffic of Andean products from one ecological -level to the others was not carried out through commerce, but through mechanisms which maximized the reciprocal use of human energies" (1973: 1). The elements which are involved in the mechanisms are neither money nor direct exchange of products or goods, but rather of labor, products, and rigsishkarelations. There is a constant interplay between labor and exchange of products based on personal relations. Nunti is designed for the acquisition of complementary products, but before obtaining the desired product, the person must provide labor for one or two days. Makita manaa, on the other hand, operates explicitly to obtain labor, but necessarily involves
a gift of a product. Both are performed among riSsishkas.
Third, the socio-economic system of Galte invests its excess production by capitalizing or building upon personal relations. In a society where money is not a basic means of exchange, and markets are marginal, the only opportunity for investment consists of the creation of stronger or new reciprocities (4). The more a basic unit produces, the better
opportunities it has to externalize its generosity and to institutionalize its hospitality. The effort expended to
create obligations will have its pay-off later when the basic unit needs complementary products, labor, or even total help as in the case of disaster (death, sickness, loss of land, etc.).
Statements such as "the Indians have a passion for saving money in order to buy land," or "the Indians will do whatever
is in their hands for buying land" (Rodriguez Sandoval, 1949) show the influence of the Western culture but do not reflect the way in which land is obtained in this system. Land, the most valuable means of production among the Indians, is not acquired by money, but by the personal basic unit-to-basic unit relations. When rigsishka relations are established through marriage ties, rights to pieces of land, or at least to the use of that land, are immediately initiated. Fictive kin ties -- co-modrazgo- give rights to indirect control of the land through participation in the planting, harvesting, and later*in the production.
In this context, it is possible to understand why a basic unit of production tries to increase its rigsishka relations and to reinforce its existing relations. The goal of the basic unit is to have a high "measured generosity" which will secure the rigsishka relations. The generosity is supported by a surplus of production of the basic unit. The basic unit, after satisfying its internal needs, divides the excess product into two portions: one goes to maintain the ri~sishka relations and the other is taken to the local market (5). The surplus food dedicated to maintaining rSsishka relations is distributed through the three forms of cooperation.
In summary, the socio-economic system which exists in Galte is a system of relations of production (association and cooperation) which can be considered -- in its own words -as a system with "Aunti mentality." People, in order to
interact economically, must have a certain degree of acquaintance. The interaction will take the forms of the three systems of cooperation only when there is a level of acquaintance which can be qualified as rigsishka. Thus, the economic relations cannot be separated from the social ones; bbth are formalized by social and economic alliances. The economic, as well as the social relations, are sealed by mutual reciprocity. As has been previously noted, this reciprocity is not a simple exchange of products, but an interplay of labor/product which has to be neither immediately reciprocated, nor reciprocated in the same "currency." The socio-economic relations have become the condenser or agglutinant of all of the basic units of production in Galte. The 155 basic units which form Galte are related to each other both through kin and through economic ties. unti has given consistency to the basic units of production and domestic units, and even more, it has brought them all together.
Due to the limited time spent in the field, there are insufficient data to construct a quantitative map of the socio-economic relations of Galte. Nevertheless, a relationship between the adult population (above 20 years), and the average number of households gives a result of 5.4 marriage relations per domestic unit. From this average, it is possible to deduce -- keeping in mind the average for Talampala presented in Chart 3.3 -- that approximately 50% of those relations are with basic units of different ecological levels. This means that there are about 418 horizontal -- inside the same
ecological level -- relations, and a similar number of vertical contacts in Galte. In addition, the birth of each child -- about 74 a year -- provides the possibility of a new rigsIshka relation either inside or outside Galte because of the compdrazgo system.
Thus, the process of production has required the cooperation of several independent basic units of production and implies a work organization, a coordination of tasks and allocation of products and services. In other words, it requires extended forms of cooperation: a special and fixed way of association which forms a system and is replicated at different levels of association.
Thus, iunti, in Andean terms, has brought together economically and socially, a group of 1,680 Indians which traditionally have found subsistence through agricultural production.
It is left for future research to analyze whether or not this socio-economic system is replicated at a higher level of political integration and to discover its implications in the historical process which has taken place in Galte. This future research might bring contributions to anthropological theory as well as to the studies of social change.
It seems more likely that the elements of the relations between man and nature, society and relations of production, are not in complete harmony, tending constantly towards a bigger solidarity -- as Durkheim or Radcliffe-Brown would say -but they are in a continuous flux.between complementarity and confrontation (Marx)s as much as there is a dependency and