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Labor and Love in GuatemalaThe Eve of Independence$
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Catherine Komisaruk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757041

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757041.001.0001

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Changing Communities, Changing Identities

Changing Communities, Changing Identities

Indians and the Colonial World

(p.16) 1 Changing Communities, Changing Identities
Labor and Love in Guatemala
Stanford University Press

The Indian tribute labor system in Guatemala gradually disintegrated in the eighteenth century. As elsewhere in Spanish America, this was a transition not only from draft labor to free labor but also from state-mediated labor procurement to private arrangement. That is, labor recruitment by colonial administration and by native community governments gave way to informal contracting between workers and employers themselves. This chapter examines these changes, comparing them to findings on Mexico and adding a new consideration of ethnic identities, gender, and family structures. It shows that the transition from tribute labor to individual arrangements increasingly drew entire families, as well as women and children alone, into migratory wage work. Women's work was central in the shift to free labor and in the lengthening duration of Indian migrants' sojourns in the Hispanic world.

Keywords:   Guatemala, tribute labor system, draft labor, free labor, labor recruitment, colonial period, women's work, Indian migrants, migrant labor

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