We had the guacamole salad that was actual Guacamole without the hot sauce that kills the taste of the avocado it was really good. I'm not from this area but will definitely come back here when I come back next year. About Menus Gallery Locations. Authentic Mexican Cuisine. Great Service. Great Food. West Main Street.
Herr Lane. West Main St. Prospect U. Highway Besos negados by Brianna Callum 21 Jan Mi coraz?? Currently unavailable. Go back to filtering menu. Tell us how we can improve our site If you need help, please visit the help section or contact us. Submit Please provide a reason:. Response must be less that , characters. Thank you for your feedback. Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more. There's a problem loading this menu at the moment. Learn more about Amazon Prime. In all, ninety-minute cassettes were produced on my portable Sony TC As soon as possible after the interviews or dialogues, the tapes were translated into literal English and written down in notebooks.
During subsequent interviews and lessons, vocabulary items, important concepts, and prayers were discussed again or checked with other consultants. They included representatives of every level of the divinatory hierarchy see chapter 3 , up to and including one of the two head priest-shamans for the entire community. In all, the formal fieldwork produced 2, written pages recorded in nine notebooks.
In the middle stages of my work in Momostenango, my husband and I undertook formal training as calendar diviners; we were initiated in August of The unusual opportunity to learn divination was provided by a gifted, socially prominent priest-shaman who noticed our intense interest in the topic and my cooperativeness in answering the questions he asked during the calendrical divinations he performed for me during a serious illness. His high status and reputation for stability enabled him to risk potential public and private criticism for accepting foreigners as students.
My learning of divinatory practice involved a role not yet formally discussed in the sociological and anthropological literature on the topic of fieldwork, namely, participant- as-observed. In many ways, this was the most painful part of my fieldwork, since educated outsiders except for linguists are not used to being closely tested on their day- to-day comprehension of the information they are accumulating. As a product of modern American education, I had little ability to remember things I was told without writing them down.
Another problem was to learn to do whatever was asked in formal training quickly and efficiently, without constant internal and external questioning of the request or command. Later, of course, I was free to analyze the enculturation techniques that were used upon us, but while I was in training, I simply had to act. Much has been written on the topic of liminality in rites de passage, 13 but the experience of liminality is more painful than one would be led to believe.
My teacher repeatedly told us that our fellow North Americans in the areaa Peace Corps volunteer, an anthropologist and his visiting girl friend, and a linguistwere all "enemies of the training" and should be avoided. This, in addition to the pressures of the training itself, left us quite exhausted by the time four and a half months had passed and we were ready for initiation.
Now that some time has passed, I can see that this liminal stage, during which I was neither a North American nor a Mesoamerican, neither an anthropologist nor a diviner, was absolutely necessary to the training. Shortly after beginning formal training, I realized that my teacher's personal commitment to completing our training was extremely serious. If we failed as students, he failed, and our social disgrace was his. Furthermore, I realized that our physical appearance alone would attract a lot of attention during the public initiation we were being groomed for.
We also had to know how to make offerings properly and in the right order, and how to handle the divining paraphernalia. In my observations of and conversations with novices who were initiated at the same time as ourselves, I found that although they, too, had met with their teachers on so-called permission days chapter 3 and had been drilled on the calendar chapters 4 and 5 and the "speaking of the blood" chapter 6 , our overall knowledge was greater than theirs.
In fact, none of the novices who were within our hearing range on the initiation days even attempted to pray aloud. Instead, their teachers simply did everything for them, including even the burning of the offerings. In discussing this with experienced diviners later, I found that they were unperturbed by the initial lack of knowledge demonstrated by these novices. They declared that we had worked so hard because "our ancestors were ignorant and could not help us. Our method of learning was described as "a struggle.
It was our tape-assisted precocity that led to the appearance of clients, though clients who were themselves diviners were not overly impressed and used the divining situation to test us.
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Testing also occurred whenever we went to the shrines on the obligatory days for offerings and prayer chapter 3. We learned to correct them politely, after which they treated us with respect, but there are so many diviners in Momostenango that this testing process never really ended. The most serious challenge came from one of the two "mother-fathers of the town" chuchkajawib rech tinimit , a head priest-shaman for the entire municipality. He greeted us on the road from a shrine one day, and, after naming that day falsely and being corrected, he asked who had trained us. We gave him the name of our teacher immediately, without thinking.
Later I wondered whether we should have withheld his name, but when I told him about the incident, he said that no harm was done. He was correct, and this particular confrontation simply served as my introduction to the town priest-shaman, a man whom I would later have occasion to interview. Page 10 I should add that many diviners who had already heard about us opened conversations with expressions of approval rather than with tests, and that no direct opposition was ever expressed by anyone.
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As for our roles as anthropologists, those returned in full as soon as the liminal period was over, on the day of initiation. From my teacher's point of view, there was never any question of having to make a final choice between being an anthropologist and becoming a calendrical diviner. Page 13 2 Momostenango Momostenango is located in the cool, tropical highlands of midwestern Guatemala. To the modern traveler, Momostenango is best known for its fine woolen blankets fig. According to various Quichean documents, thirteen separate groups of "Toltec" epigonal or epi-Toltec warriors and priests from this area entered the Guatemalan highlands some ten generations before the Spanish conquest, or around A.
At its height ca. The blanket market in Momostenango. Meanwhile, the Tlaxcalan Indian allies of the Spanish had given the place the Nahua name "Momostenango," from mumuztli, meaning "altar of the idols" or "shrine," and tenango, meaning "home" or ''town. The patrilineage used this document and three others to make land claims and seek the status of a privileged leader cacique in the post-Conquest community. Two of these documents are still extant in the book of the Momostecan canton of San Vicente Buenabaj, where the direct descendants of the Nijaib lineage now called Vicente still reside.
Each quarter had its own mayor alcalde and alderman regidor , apparently representing the principal clans. After returning with written validation of their title, they gave much silver and gold to the church, including a carved monstrance or chalice which is still in the local convent.
In each one, he established a patrilineage shrine known as the foundation warabalja, "sleeping house" of the ancestors , where his many descendants still pray and make offerings to him, calling on him by name. He is also said to have made the first silver-tipped staffs or canes of office for the mayors. His memory was publicly honored in when a bust of him, along with one of Teodoro Cifuentes a local military leader , was placed at the main entrance to the town center of Momostenango fig.
The colonial records for seventeenth-century Momostenango show that the population was by then beginning to recover slightly from the initial impact of European diseases and that Spaniards increasingly penetrated the community. He built his estate on the second ranch and, in , obtained a consignment from the Crown that forced local indigenes to work for him. Page 19 Map 2. The result was that Momostenango's four mayors were reduced to two while the four aldermen remained. At some point after this reduction, Santiago became the patron saint of the community at large.
The records for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries show that Momostecans were far from passive spectators in the violent changes that the Spaniards were making in all areas of their lives. Throughout this period, they maintained a nearly constant struggle against civil and religious domination.
At certain stages, this struggle meant armed uprisings against tribute payment, and at others, it meant the removal of priests who tried to ban Prehispanic ritual practices. During and immediately after the Guatemalan struggle for independence local rebellions increased. Shortly thereafter, hundreds of Momostecans objected to the newly organized Federation of Central America.
In they joined in a movement to annex much of western Guatemala, including Momostenango, to Mexico. In Robert M. Carmack's opinion, the many rebellions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries constituted a nativistic liberation movement in which Momostecans were attempting to free themselves from excessive taxation, ladino mayors, priests who ridiculed indigenous religious rituals, blockage of free communication and trade between municipalities, and restrictions on the buying and selling of municipal land.
In , Momostecans fought with Justo Rufino Barrios in an attack against government soldiers in Huehuetenango. When Barrios became president of the republic in , he granted title to square kilometers of the fertile coffee-producing piedmont region above Retalhuleu to the Momostecan families who had long been farming there. The day 8 Batz is celebrated in Nebaj by local calendar diviners who learned the custom in Momostenango. The Momostecan combination of militarism and nativism came to national attention again in , during the war with El Salvador. On this occasion, two indigenous Momostecan regiments led by Teodoro Cifuentes, the famous ladino military hero from Momostenango fig.
As a result of the victory, the Momostecans were received as national heroes in Guatemala City and were further honored by being selected as the elite guard for President Estrada Cabrera. They later served President Ubico in office from to in the same capacity. Ethnography The conduct of rituals in accordance with the Prehispanic calendar, carried out on a generous scale and without any effort at secrecy, has long been an identifying characteristic of Momostecan culture.
The very name Momostenango, "town of altars," calls attention to the most distinctive characteristic of the municipalitythe extraordinarily large number of outdoor shrines still in use by thousands of adherents of the indigenous religion fig. But because the indigenous men of Momostenango wear "Western" clothes and in many cases speak enough Spanish to do business with ladinos, while the majority of the women although still mostly monolingual have stopped wearing their traditional blouse huipil , the municipality would be classified by Richard N.
Adams as ''modified" rather than "traditional. According to the census of , the population of Momostenango consisted of 43, persons; of these, fewer than 2 percent were ladinos. The earth shrine in the main plaza of Momostenango. Page 24 4. Page 25 figure would indicate since even the wards include rural hamlets. The hamlet is the smallest social group that identifies an indigenous person's geographic origin. Each hamlet has a topographic name; since in many cases its lands belong to a single clan, it may also carry the name of that clan.
The remotest hamlets are an eight-hour walk from the town center. In , Momostenango was classified as a particular type of municipality with a "vacant" center, meaning that its center consisted of a church, courthouse, and marketplace, with homes owned by indigenes but occupied only on market days, during religious celebrations, or during a term of political office; at other times, the indigenes lived and worked at their country homes.
There is a strong prohibition against marrying anyone from one's own or one's mother's patriclan, even where the exact genealogical connections are not known. Most clans retain the knowledge of the name of a founding ancestor; otherwise, the only individual names that are retained are those of the members of one's own immediate lineage. Generally, genealogical connections between the various lineages and the founding ancestor of the larger clan are incompletely known, especially when clan membership numbers in the thousands and the lineages are dispersed in two or more cantons.
The symbolic importance of the clan is underscored in ritual obligations, scheduled according to the day calendar, that bring together people of the same clan at the same altar in the public shrines of the town center. But in terms of daily interaction and the local round of traditional indigenous religious rituals, the lineage is more important than the clan. With an area of nearly three hundred square kilometers, Momostenango has a population density of approximately one hundred forty persons per square kilometer.
The urbanized center of Momostenango. Page 27 ulation since Classic times between eight and sixteen persons per square kilometer , the present population of Momostenango is so much higher that only about one-fourth of the necessary food can be grown within the community. As a result, Momostecans have migrated over the years to other areas of the country in search of farm land.
One of the earliest migrations was the one to El Palmar, where coffee and two crops of corn can be grown in a single year. All of these areas are lower in altitude and thus afford a longer agricultural season. Momostenango lies from one to three thousand meters above sea level; this great variation in altitude means that such diverse crops as wheat, potatoes, corn, beans, squash, huisquil, chile, apples, pears, peaches, plums, avocados, lemons, limes, and oranges can all be grown within the municipality. However, most of the agricultural land is above twenty-three hundred meters where only one annual harvest is possible.
Milpa agriculture involves preparatory burning of fields followed by digging up the earth with large-bladed hoes; planting maize and beans together in groups, with squashes added between rows; and piling up earth around the roots as the plants grow. This is the typical mode of cultivation not only in Momostenango but throughout the Guatemalan highlands.
The combination of these plants in the same field helps prevent erosion and guarantees some harvest, no matter what the rainfall pattern. In milpa agriculture as practiced in Momostenango, men's and women's roles are separate but interdependent. The men do the burning, hoeing, and planting of the seeds. The women cover the seeds with compost made from leaves and from the manure of the pigs that they raise. As the plants grow, the women spend much of their time cultivating, piling up the dirt around the roots, and cleaning the field of unwanted weeds.
In the weeding, they are extremely careful to leave useful wild plants, for some are edible greens and others provide dyes and dye fixatives for wool. Still others bear large burrs that are bound together to make carding combs. On the other hand, cash-crop agriculture, such as growing wheat which often depends on plows and horses , is an exclusively male occupation. Many farmers must do seasonal work on the ladino-owned plantations fincas on the Pacific Coast in order to meet the subsistence needs of their families.
A slightly better living is enjoyed by families who combine milpa agriculture and raising pigs and chickens with one of the other traditional indigenous occupationsspinning, weaving, or merchandizing. Spinning, which also involves dyeing and carding, is primarily a female occupation in this community; weaving, especially of woolen blankets, is primarily male. Of the more than four thousand weavers in Momostenango, only about thirty men and women make the sut, a square of cotton cloth worn by women on their heads or as a cape, or the pot, the traditional red and yellow striped blouse huipil that all the women of the community once wore fig.
The great majority of the weavers specialize in making woolen blankets on large foot- looms fig. Momostenango is the center of foot-loom weaving in all of Central America, and its current reputation as a relatively wealthy indigenous community is directly related to the weaving industry. As early as , Momostenango was reported to be a municipality of "rich Indians" who made, wore, and sold woolens. These include the lack of total self-support from agriculture resulting from overpopulation and the extremely leached soils and eroded surfaces and the environmental advantage of dozens of hot springs necessary to the felting process in blanket production.
The process, which consists of soaking a blanket in hot water, treading it, slapping if on a rock, and wringing it, is generally performed by two adult men. As the occupation of spinner is almost exclusively female and that of weaver almost exclusively male, these two occupations are part of a mutually dependent subsistence economy.
A Momostecan wife in the traditional huipil of the municipality and her teenage daughter in a stylish embroidered huipil kneeling before the cooking fire. Page 30 7.
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Foot-loom blanket weaving. Page 31 ing on quality and market conditions, sells for anywhere between eight and thirty-five quetzals dollars to wholesalers and occasional tourists on the streets of the town center each market day. Since a mother, father, and one son or daughter, all working part-time, can produce three blankets a week, families who weave can afford to buy what food they themselves are not producing, as well as luxury items such as radios and watches.
There are a few women merchants, but they tend not to travel as far as the men nor to carry as valuable a load.
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Outside these indigenous occupations, there exists a small group of individuals, primarily male, who engage in what were once purely ladino occupations: carpentry, tailoring, butchery, and baking. An even smaller number of indigenes has amassed enough capital to own and run trucks and a bus line, or to buy and sell clothes and blankets in large quantity throughout Central America. One Momostecan carries blankets as far north as Chicago; another owns a store in Costa Rica, where he and his family spend half the year; and several own small stores locally, in Quezaltenango, or in Guatemala City. These Momostecans have emerged as a new indigenous elite; through a series of alliances with more traditional farming and weaving families, they have begun to dominate the governing of the municipality.
There are five major corporate groups that conduct the political and much of the religious life of Momostenango.
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These groups include the the Municipal Corporation, the Auxiliary Organization, the elders, the hierarchy of priest-shamans, and the religious confraternities. The Municipal Corporation is the primary decision-making body prescribed by Guatemalan law. With the exception of one of the two city managers and the third and fourth aldermen, these paid officials are elected by the local population every four years.
The mayor acts as the chief administrator and judge of the town. The Wednesday vegetable market in Momostenango. Page 33 nous person, except for brief periods during the s when ladinos were appointed to the post by military governments. The first city manager, usually a ladino, is the legal representative of the community before various national agencies such as the INFOM Agency for Municipal Development and the Hacienda Treasury. He is also responsible for national, urban, and rural matters such as road building and upkeep, tourism, education, and modern agricultural practices.
The second city manager, who is always an indigene, takes part in some of these same affairs. He is also the head of the Auxiliary Organization. Next come the four aldermen, who are concerned with the budget, urbanization, education, public health, tourism, farming, and road repair. The first alderman, who, like the mayor, has been indigenous since the s, is the person who acts as the mayor when the latter is unavailable.
Thus, although he has less apparent authority than the city managers, he is potentially quite powerful. There are several other important positions, including a treasurer, police chief, military commissioner, and market administrator. The second group of officials, the Auxiliary Organization auxiliatura , unlike the first is neither paid with the exception of its secretary nor officially recognized by the Guatemalan national government.
These officials constitute the traditional civil hierarchy of the municipality, which in both its internal organization and many of its functions duplicates the Municipal Corporation. Most legal disputes and administrative processes that directly affect the indigenous majority of the community pass through this organization. The holder of this office is simultaneously second city manager in the Municipal Corporation.
The two assistants are simultaneously the third and fourth aldermen of the Municipal Corporation. Unlike the first and second aldermen, who can substitute for the mayor of the Municipal Corporation, these men cannot substitute for the mayor of the Auxiliary Organization. These are young men who are doing their first public service for the community, while the auxiliary mayors, assistants, and drummers are middle-level positions filled by middle-aged men who have already served either as local policemen or else as soldiers in the Guatemalan military. The man selected for it has already served in a middle-level position with the Auxiliary Organization, is an elder in the community, is nearly always at least a middle-level member of the hierarchy of priest- shamans, and has often served as an officer in the Guatemalan military.
His duties include mediating between local customary law and national law, burning copal incense at outdoor altars, and collecting money and making the arrangements for community-wide celebrations. This overlapping of modern and ancient civil and religious duties is typical of the offices in the Auxiliary Organization. A third corporate group in Momostenango, the elders ajawab , consists of approximately two hundred fifty men who choose the officials of the Auxiliary Organization. As the most respected members of the indigenous community, they are bowed to and addressed as father tat by men who are not elders, as well as by all women and children.
Becoming an elder, which is a lifetime commission rather than a temporary office in Momostenango, depends on a complex of ascribed as well as achieved characteristics. The ascribed characteristics are advanced age, male sex, and position in a high-ranking familythat is, the patrilineage in question must either be wealthy or number many civil, military, or religious leaders among its members.
Their decisions are consensus decisions, arrived at except in their selection of civil officials with the help of a process of divination involving the day sacred calendar. A fourth corporate group consists of a hierarchy of priest-shamans known as ''mother- fathers" chuchkajawib ; with approximately three hundred initiated male members, they are chosen by calendrical divination and serve for life. At the top of the hierarchy are two "mother-fathers of the town" chuchkajawib rech tinimit.
When a vacancy arises through a death , the successor is chosen through calendrical divination performed by the second level of this hierarchy, the canton priest-shamans chuchkajawib rech canton. Membership in this group, with one position for each canton, is also determined through calendrical divination, this time performed by the third level of the hierarchy, the patrilineage priest-shamans chuchkajawib rech alaxic , one for each of the approximately three hundred patrilineages in the community.
A patrilineage priest-shaman is chosen again through divination by a small group of three to six priest-shamans from neighboring patrilineages. When a patrilineage priest-shaman moves up to the canton or town level, he retains his duties at the lower levels. The two town priest-shamans are responsible for rituals that affect the health and economic prosperity of the entire community.
They greet the Mam "Year-bearer" of the indigenous day solar calendar every year and pass the silver-tipped staff of office of each ranked official of the Auxiliary Organization through the giant bonfire they light each New Year's Day which currently falls on March 1. In addition, each of the town priest-shamans makes a pilgrimage into the mountains on special days of the day calendar. The fourteen canton priest-shamans, like the two town priest-shamans, greet the Mam each year, but they do this at lower, closer-in hilltops than the town priest-shamans.
On occasion, one or more of them may accompany a town priest-shaman on his ritual pilgrimages and thus help preserve the knowledge of the proper ritual and cycle of visits. They themselves make similar pilgrimages into the nearby hills. Page 36 The nearly three hundred patrilineage priest-shamans serve as the headmen and priests of their individual lineages.
The offices in the individual confraternities include three male and two female levels: for the males there are the mayor alcalde , deputy teputado , and steward mayordomo or mortoma ; for the females there are the woman leader chuchaxel and the girl leader alaxel. These mayors handle all confraternity recruitment as well as the organization and coordination of the annual saints' birthdays, Holy Week, and All Saints Day.
In this community, unlike other indigenous Guatemalan communities described by anthropologists, the elders do not appoint people to confraternity positions, nor do men who are ascending the achievement ladder toward eldership generally serve in confraternities. In fact, there is so little competition for these positions that it does not take many years for an interested man to become mayor in one of the three main confraternities, and, once he does so, he may remain in that position for many years.
The list of office holders in these confraternities is quite stable, with little rotation of personnel. As elsewhere in Mesoamerica, one may speak of a "civil-religious hierarchy" in Momostenango. However, the bridge between religious and governmental duties is provided not by the confraternities 27 but by the hierarchy of priest-shamans. In fact, men who are actively working toward the respected position of elder in the community tend to avoid the confraternities altogether and instead undergo training and initiation as priest- shamans.
When asked about the importance of the confraternities, one elder said he had never had time for them, given all his duties as a lineage priest-shaman and political office holder he served one year as auxiliary mayor for the ward of Santa Isabel and four years as both second city manager in the Municipal Corporation and mayor in the Auxiliary Organization. He then explained the relationship between eldership and the hierarchy of priest-shamans in this way: Here there are about two hundred and fifty elders. He who comes out of being auxiliary mayor is now an elder. I am an elder by the service I did.
Now, in the matter of the customs there are no "elders. Yes, the majority of elders are priest-shamans. These two types of ritual, however, do not constitute a simple dualistic opposition between Pre-Conquest and Post- Conquest ritual, or between paganism and Christianity.
Rather, there are always "Catholic" elements in pagan ritual, and "pagan" elements in Catholic ritual. The term "syncretism" has been used throughout the anthropological literature on Mesoamerica to label such combinations of Prehispanic and Posthispanic elements. Besides the largely indigenously controlled corporate groups in Momostenango, there exist several associations controlled by ladinos, including the local school system, medical clinic, five Protestant churches, and the lay Bible study groups organized by Catholic Action.
As the community leaders have pointed out repeatedly in official reports, very few indigenous pupils become literate, even when they attend the local schools for the full six compulsory years. Girls, on the other hand, rarely learn to read and write. The stenographic academy teaches typing and other office skills to forty pupils per year, but these are primarily ladinos.
The medical clinic has a monolingual ladino doctor and ladino nurses, but it serves primarily indigenous patients. There is also a group of indigenous paramedics loosely connected to the clinic; they bring the ability to administer penicillin shots, as well as a few other simple skills, to the people in the rural cantons. Page 40 curers they have few patients. There are five local Protestant missionsSeventh Day Adventist, Primitive Methodist, Pentecostal, Jehovah's Witness, and Mormonbut they have had few converts and little impact on the religious beliefs or practices of the community.
The Seventh Day Adventists are the most successful both in terms of their number of converts approximately one hundred fifty and in their medical outreach program. One of the two ladino pharmacists in the community is a Seventh Day Adventist who has succeeded in helping hundreds of indigenous Momostecans by diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medicines. This new brand of international Roman Catholicism, aimed at underdeveloped nations with anticlerical laws, entered Guatemala in In its Guatemalan form, it promulgated a doctrine emphasizing belief in one all powerful God, playing down the importance of the saints, and making a frontal attack on all indigenous customs that involve the veneration of natural objects or are scheduled according to the Prehispanic calendar.
The movement was overtly aimed at separating "true" Catholics from the practitioners of rites with "pagan" elements. There is ample evidence that its short-term effect in many parishes was to weaken the traditional civil-religious hierarchy and to seriously factionalize the community. The main inducements for conversion were and still are agricultural and health benefits consisting mainly of free insecticide, fertilizer, and medicines for the members, who are known as catequistas.
At the high point of this movement, during the mids, nearly one-fifth of the indigenous community had converted from traditional Catholicism to this new orthodoxy. That night the priest-shamans convened the elders, who decided to send a delegation to the church to confront the priest. The delegation, consisting primarily of patrilineage heads, informed the priest that he must leave Momostenango or be killed.
He fled. Soon thereafter, Momostenango was sent the current priest, who, in the eyes of the elders, is just as bad as the previous one. One of the major complaints they have is that his catechism classes and prayer meetings keep teenagers out late in the evening, setting up courting situations that undermine the traditional system of arranged marriages between the men and women of neighboring patrilineages. As members of the hierarchy of priest- shamans, the elders also openly disagree with the parish priest and his converts on religious doctrine. As the result of numerous confrontations with Catholic Action converts armed with arguments memorized from catechisms, the priest-shamans and their followers have developed an orally transmitted counter-catechism of their own.
In place of the standard trinity of Catholic doctrine, consisting of Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, they argue for a trinity on a much larger conceptual scale, consisting of Tiox Dios , the Mundo, and Nantat. In this alternative trinity, "Dios" refers to the entire Christian pantheon of dioses, including God, Jesus, ghosts, angels, saints, and virginstogether with their physical images in the local parish church and cemetery chapel.
Given this alternative trinity, in which a mixture of spiritual and material qualities may be found in all three parts, the elders particularly oppose the Catholic priest's violent separation of God, as a purely spiritual entity and the ultimate source of all good, from the material world, a doctrine that leads, as they point out, to the confusion of the very earth itself with the devil.
In their view, persons, gods, saints, their own ancestors, and the earth all possess mixtures of positive and negative qualities. This profoundly dialectical view of man, nature, and religion, in which dualities complement rather than clash with one another, is different in its very logic from the analytical view of the priest, who teaches the catequistas that they must finally choose between becoming truly Christian, which is synonymous with all goodness and purity, and leaving themselves in the company of the priest-shamans, who are nothing but evil witches.
The majority of the wealthier indigenous weaving and merchant families of Momostenango have resisted conversion to the new Catholicism, meanwhile consolidating their control over the civil offices in the municipality. A group of them, nearly all elders, recently founded a religious organization that stands outside both Catholic Action and the traditional confraternities, while at the same time reaffirming the importance of saints and of Momostecan cultural identity. It is a brotherhood hermandad , modeled after the ladino brotherhoods of Momostenango and Quezaltenango and devoted to providing band music for the patron saint of Momostenango during his annual feast days.
During the patron saint's feast in , antagonism between the new orthodoxy and the traditional Catholicism of the confraternities came to a head. On July 24, when the religious leadership of the confraternity of the patron saint of Momostenango took the image of Santiago from the church, the deputy the second most important official in this confraternity was drunk.
That night, he washed the face of the image with hot water and, as a result, some eyelashes fell out. The next day, everyone saw the unhappy result; it was considered a serious moral breach, and the man was jailed. The elders feel the new arrangement will work out well, given that both sides agreed which group should fill each position. Since the customs of the priest-shamans are older than those of the Roman Catholic Church, the first alcalde in the confraternity should always be a priest-shaman.
During the fiesta, the first and third-ranking members of the confraternity will abstain from sex and give the saint and themselves the proper traguitos of liquor, while the two Catholic Action members will be trusted to abstain from alcohol and look out for the image so that no errors will be made because of drunkenness. Catholic Action members are pleased because now they can participate in part of the ancient customs of their native town without being totally under the religious authority of the hierarchy of priest-shamans.
The ideological course of these events can be understood on the same general pattern as the events that led to the formulation of an alternative catechism. The Catholic Action converts made an argument of the analytical kind, demanding that they simply replace the traditional Catholics in the confraternity.
The elders met this argument with a dialectical solution, not only interlacing converts and traditionalists in the confraternity's four leadership posts, but pointing out a useful complementarity of ritual abstinences in the Catholic Action avoidance of alcohol and the traditional avoidance of sexual relations. In effect, the dualism between converts and traditionalists shifted from an external opposition between institutions to an internal complementarity within a single institution. What has commonly been called "syncretism" in Mesoamerica, which is the supposedly unconscious combination of "native" and "European" cultural elements, 31 probably comes about through events much like these, whose results present just such combinations.