While Indian village lands held in common have received some attention there is little knowledge of lands held by Indian individuals, or by groups within Indian society, such as confraternities. The purpose of this article is to examine these little-known landholdings and to assess why Indians pieced them together and the uses to which they were put. There is evidence that they were used for subsistence, for evasion of colonial authorities, as a bank for religious expenditure, as bases for rustling, and as yet another way for parish clergy to extract village surpluses.
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American Society for Ethnohistory