Nash, June C., 1927-. In the eyes of the ancestors: belief and behavior in a Mayan community

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter 1 Spirits And Places

The Territorial Divisions

Spirit Domains

Chapter 2 Traditional Economic Activities

Agricultural Production

Pottery Production

The Motivation To Produce

Choices And Strategies In Agricultural Production

Chapter 3 New Economic Activities

The Economic Potential Of The Ejido

Wage Labor And Occupational Specialties

New Economic Enterprises

The New Social Resources

Chapter 4 Family Authority And Community Control

The Household And Family

Behavior Defined In The Family

Chapter 5 Rituals Of Life Crisis


Betrothal And Marriage

Death And Burial

Chapter 6 Curing And The Curers

The Curing Hierarchy

Curing Behavior

The Logic Of Curing

Chapter 7 The Formal Organization Of Local Government

The Matrix Of Roles

Entry Into And Exit From Office

The Functions Of Civil Officials

Ritual Behavior

Chapter 8 Taking Care Of The Lord Spirits

Kinds Of Lord Spirits

Caring For The Lord Spirits Of The Church

Choosing And Installing The Alférez

Other Fiestas

Chapter 9 The Competition For Power

The Conflict Among Civil Officials

Challenge By The Civil Officials Of The Power Of The Curers

Political Parties And Factions

Competition Between Caciques

Conflict Among Religious Functionaries

Conflict And Social Change

Chapter 10 Roles, Persons, And The Evaluation Of Performance

The Role System

Evaluations Of Behavior

Notions Of Justice And Compensation

Chapter 11 Ordering Behavior By Places

The Concept Of Space

The House

The Cabildo

The Church

The School

Chapter 12 Ordering Behavior By Time

The Sense Of Time

The Daily Schedule

The Annual Cycle

Timing As A Strategy In Interpersonal Relations

Chapter 13 Belief And Behavior In A Changing Society

Economic Activities

The Family And Household

Religious Behavior

Political Behavior

Summary And Conclusions

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: In the eyes of the ancestors: belief and behavior in a Mayan community

Published By: New Haven, Conn. ; London: Yale University Press, 1970. 24, 368 p., plates: map

By line: [by] June Nash

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1995. Computer File

Culture: Tzeltal (NV09)

Subjects: Acculturation and culture contact (177); Sociocultural trends (178); Production and supply (433);

Abstract: This book describes and analyzes changes taking place in the 1950s and 1960s in the Tzeltal community of Amatenango del Valle (Tzo?ontahal). These changes were in the economy, relationships to the Mexican government and the surrounding Ladino population, political leadership, and religion. Villagers were beginning to break the pattern of Ladino entrepreneurship through their own co-operatives (trucking co-op and co-op store). Political leadership, which had traditionally rested on the principle of age grading, had in some cases been given to young persons on grounds of their ability to write and speak Spanish. Literacy was increasing among the young people. Belief in the overall importance of the ancestors for the well-being of the community had given way to strong skepticism. As a result certain ceremonies had been dropped, and the healing practitioners were no longer considered as benevolent religious agents but were through-out suspected of witchcraft.

Document Number: 7

Document ID: nv09-007

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Bibliography: p. 355-362. Includes index

Field Date: 1957, 1958, 1965, 1966, 1967 (18 months total)

Evaluation: Ethnographer-5

Analyst: Sigrid Khera ; John Beierle

Coverage Date: 1950s-1960s

Coverage Place: municipio of Amatenango del Valle, community of Tzo?ontahal, Chiapas, Mexico

LCSH: Tzeltal Indians


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