The Secularization of the Cargo System: An Example from Postrevolutionary Central Mexico

Judith Friedlander
1981 Latin American Research Review  
The cargo system is composed of a series of ranked offices, both civil and religious, that male members of indigenous communities assume. Usually the term for each office lasts one year. Adult men who are active in village affairs pass through the various "cargos," as these offices are called, taking on civic duties one year, sponsoring important religious fiestas celebrated in the community the next, and so on. Finally, as old men, they attain the status of elders, or "principales," and have
more » ... nsiderable authority in local decision-making (see Cancian [1967] for a concise, traditional interpretation and Smith [1977] for a more critical appraisal of the literature).
doi:10.1017/s002387910002834x fatcat:m72dant2pbgmfl6x2febnvltjm