Mixe - Settlements

Prior to the conquest, the Mixe lived in nucleated settlements and small farms dispersed along mountain crests and slopes, and concentrated in valleys. Contemporary settlements consist of nucleated, compact communities or single homesteads and hamlet clusters centripetally dispersed from the community center. People may live in the village except for a three-month period, when they reside and work in their coffee plantations. In communities where good agricultural lands are distant from the village, families reside on small farms during the planting, weeding, and harvesting periods. Since community members are required to serve in the civil-religious organization and participate in communal labor each year, homestead families must carry heavy household goods and food back and forth over the mountains to and from the community center, fomenting discord between centers and outlying farms. Population growth and consequent use-pressure on land resources has resulted in diminished yields of maize. The necessity of modifying their settlement pattern, by moving to distant land better suited to agriculture, has been checked by the cash cropping of coffee and by intervillage trade.

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