Lenca - Sociopolitical Organization

The sociopolitical organization of the Lenca is that of a Latin American civil-religious hierarchy. Historically, each town was an autonomous unit, and, for this reason, each town presently has its own complement of governing officials. The most important function of the civil side of the hierarchy, beyond the day-to-day governance of the town, is the allotment of ejido lands. This is done by either the mayor or the group of governing elders.

The most important position to be held on the religious side of the hierarchy is that of mayordomo. This office is held by a married couple. The husband is called the mayordomo, but his wife must carry out her obligations as well. They are responsible for taking care of church affairs for a period of one year. Their most important duty is to sponsor the festivals that are held annually to venerate the patron saint of the town. Mayordomos finance these festivals with their own personal funds. Much status and prestige is conferred upon those who fill this office.

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