Cahita - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. Cahitan society is organized according to age and gender. The elderly are perceived as powerful and highly respected. The division of labor tends to separate young and middle-aged adults along gender lines, with women having a status equal to but different from that of men. This contrasts sharply with the typical Latin machismo complex.

These principles provide the bases of family organization, which is articulated with the local ceremonial center through a range of political and ceremonial sodalities.

Political Organization. Goh Naike Pueblo Juracionim (the eight pueblo jurisdictions) exist among both the Mayo and the Yaqui, although in the latter case the pueblos are autonomous units. The Mexican government provides services, schools, roads, an irrigation system and water, health clinics, and so forth. The Jesuit missionaries emphasized membership in certain ceremonial sodalities and introduced a more complex pattern of village government. The Yaqui have elaborated and conserved this political system. Mayo village government has been absorbed by the modern Mayo church-ceremonial center organization: Mayo political organization was disrupted by the Revolution to the extent that, by the 1960s, no secular Mayo government existed; the Mayo had turned to their religious system as a way of organizing their society beyond the level of the family (see "Religious Beliefs").

Social Control. For the Cahita, social control is shared between the Mexican institutions and the more traditional village government. The modern Yaqui town organization is based on five integrated realms of authority: civil, church, military, fiesta, and Holy Week customs, each with its own set of ranked officers. Decisions are made at open meetings of this town council.

Conflict. Conflict is either repressed or resolved by the church-center government or by the Mexican authorities, such as the local sheriff.


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