During the colonial period, Indian republics were formed as were private holdings in the Otomí region of the Mezquital Valley. The indigenous population was deprived of fertile agricultural lands while ranchos and haciendas raised cattle, affecting the fragile semiarid environment of the region. This article analyzes the economic strategies of the indigenous inhabitants of the valley with an ethnoarchaeological and historical perspective. Based on the historical evidence, this article studies the socioeconomic interactions among the Otomí Indians and the haciendas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The impact of the indigenous marginal survival strategies on the economic success of ranchos and haciendas in the Tula and Ixmiquilpan subregions is analyzed.

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