Triqui - Sociopolitical Organization



Social Organization. The sanctioned unequal access to wealth is the structure on which the Triqui society is based; nobles have greater access to scarce goods than do the common people, but lineage heads try to demonstrate their capacity and disposition for generosity toward people of their own lineage. There are oscillations in the breach between the two strata—sometimes expanding, sometimes contracting—but the egalitarian conscience has not totally died out within the nobility, so long as the common people contribute to maintaining the existing social structure.

Political Organization. The main unit of the modern political apparatus, the municipio, coincides with the structures of descent groups. The apparatus of traditional government, made up of lineage heads, has not been assimilated by the modern government apparatus. It is kept in force, even in weakened form, and imposes many of its criteria on the latter. Because it reinforces clan cohesion, the modern apparatus contributes to the maintenance of the traditional institutions.

Social Control. There is a noticeable disparity between the norms of the local and national society. In the more local society, where descent groups prevail, internal community laws govern behavior. In the wider society, where national interest prevails, laws of an external nature have been brought in by the modern political apparatus.

Conflict. If disputes over land boundaries involve homicide, a normative principle of revenge is followed. The killer is not sanctioned by the community but the victim's relatives will be out to avenge themselves on him. That is why such a killer does not capitulate before the judicial apparatus of the modern government. Knowing that he will be sent to jail in a mestizo city, he protests. His act falls within an implicit consensus of the members of his community regarding acts of vengeance; the victim's relatives are the only ones who should take reprisals, not the state.


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