In the past few years historians have begun to question the image of the docile and compliant hacienda peon over whom the landowner had near absolute control. As the study of the Latin American hacienda has advanced, it has become clear that there often was an active give-and-take, in which the landowner did not always have the upper hand. This was especially evident during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when a boom in exports and the consolidation of national economies profoundly changed Latin American rural society. Throughout the region, landowners attempted to rationalize production and redefine relations with their workers. Laborers on estates often resisted these attempts at agricultural modernization by insisting on traditional rights that were threatened by the land-owners’ reforms.1

These patterns of resistance to market forces and the rationalizing of production have been observed elsewhere in the world. Useful to an analysis of this resistance is Herbert Gutman’s work on first-generation industrial workers in the nineteenth-century United States. Gutman showed how the workers, often migrants from rural areas in the United States and Europe, brought conceptions of work and time different from those required of a disciplined industrial work force. These conceptions, which Gutman called “the working class subculture,” provided the basis for often successful resistance to the ideas and values that the industrialists attempted to impose. The strikes combating changes in work patterns were especially interesting, since they were expressions of this working-class subculture.2

The British historian E. P. Thompson, upon whose work Gutman relied heavily, in an influential article defined the basis upon which “pre-political” peoples felt compelled quite literally to take the law in their own hands. Thompson examined the bread riots that followed the imposition of the Corn Laws in eighteenth-century England, discovering what he termed the “moral economy of the crowd. ” The crowd, when protesting certain abuses, engaged in specific actions grounded in their “traditional view of social norms and obligations of the proper economic functions of several parties within the community. ” The authorities, moreover, fostered this view by their paternalism toward the poor.3 James C. Scott took the concept of the moral economy and applied it to peasant revolts. Examining the early twentieth-century peasant uprisings in Southeast Asia, Scott postulated that for the peasant, the moral economy was based on the right to a subsistence. According to this view, peasants relied on reciprocal relations among themselves and the moral obligation of the elites to redistribute their gains to survive bad times. When market forces and a more powerful state threatened these traditional arrangements, the villagers rose in rebellion to assert the rights that ensured their livelihood.4

In the case of the Andes, indigenous culture, though greatly transformed over the centuries, maintained much of its vitality among most rural inhabitants, even among hacienda residents. Relations between hacendados and peons were based on the concepts of reciprocity and redistribution, which, since before the Spanish conquest, had helped assure the subsistence of the population. During the early twentieth century, the Andean region, after undergoing profound economic and social changes, was the scene of frequent Indian uprisings and labor strikes throughout the countryside.5 This article will examine labor unrest in two hacienda complexes in the department of Chuquisaca (southern Bolivia) during the 1920s. Strikes in both complexes reveal a rich cultural heritage of resistance, based on Andean variants of traits found in many regions of the world, with which the hacienda peons often successfully countered modernization attempts detrimental to their way of life. Thus, the hacienda laborers were in fact dynamic actors who, to a large extent, were able to determine the limits of change on the great estates. To understand this labor unrest, it is first necessary to examine the economic changes in the region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Economic Change in Southern Bolivia

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries witnessed the breakdown of the vast regional economic network that had supplied the fabulously rich Potosí silver mines, located in what is now Bolivia. An area from present-day Ecuador to Argentina furnished the Potosí mines with goods ranging from rough wool cloths to wheat and cattle. In return, the Potosí silver circulated in the form of coinage throughout the vast Viceroyalty of Peru, which until the eighteenth century included all of Spanish South America. As silver production fell during the eighteenth century and the city of Potosí, once the largest municipality in the Western Hemisphere, declined in population, the areas once tied to the mines either stagnated or turned to new markets. Thus, the Argentine pampas began exporting cattle and hides to Brazil, while northern Peru and Ecuador broke completely away from the Potosí system. The remaining core area, the southern Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, because of their inaccessibility and scant export potential, stagnated and remained within the weakened Potosí economic sphere.6

Only in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was this area integrated into the expanding world economy. The adoption of modern mining methods and acquisition of new machinery by Bolivian entrepreneurs, backed by foreign, especially Chilean, capital, produced a brief revival of silver mining, bringing a fleeting prosperity to southern Bolivia as well as temporarily retarding the further disintegration of the Potosí system into its national components.

In Bolivia the increasingly prosperous and powerful silver miners took over the reins of government after the disastrous War of the Pacific (1879–84) in which an allied Peru and Bolivia lost to a resurgent Chile. With the military thoroughly discredited, the silver oligarchy was able to chart a new course for the country. The new rulers, imbued by the liberal, free-trade ideas then in vogue in much of Latin America, instituted a number of policies that were to have a lasting effect on Bolivia’s economy and social structure. These included adopting a series of agrarian reform laws aimed at increasing agricultural production. Not only did the legislators legally abolish the numerous Indian communities in an attempt to incorporate this land and the Indian laborers into the market, they also began to tax non-Indian rural properties to stimulate production. These laws reversed the colonial legacy of the state, which until the late nineteenth century had depended on Indian tribute for a large part of its income. In addition, the new government began the construction of railroads that by the early twentieth century linked the altiplano in northern Bolivia to the Pacific, facilitating the export of ores and the importation of foreign goods. Thus, the southern Bolivian oligarchy, while reviving the old silver mines, also laid the foundations for the complete destruction of the old Potosí system.7

A railroad line from the Pacific Coast to Arequipa and Puno, finished in 1874, had penetrated the altiplano earlier. Thanks in part to the railroad, by the late nineteenth century Arequipa emerged as the center of the trade in alpaca and sheep wool, encompassing in its orbit much of southern Peru and northern Bolivia; and an increase in the price of wool in London after 1895 led to an economic revival of this previously marginal region.8 The Arequipa network, since it excluded southern Bolivia, accentuated the latter region’s isolation. This situation was exacerbated in the last years of the nineteenth century, when a boom in tin mining made La Paz the undisputed commercial capital of the country.9

In southern Bolivia economic circumstances precipitated a period of hacienda expansion and changes in labor conditions. In contrast to the areas farther north, southern Bolivia entered a period of prolonged stagnation in the twentieth century. Silver prices fell precipitously in the 1890s, making it unprofitable to continue mining silver in the region. As the great silver mining companies declined, so did the fortunes of those who had invested heavily in these enterprises. This included most of the elite families in Sucre, capital of both Bolivia and the department of Chuquisaca. The shift of economic power from south to north at the turn of the century paralleled the displacement of political power in the same direction. After a brief civil war in 1898–99, the ascendant Liberal party and La Paz regionalists decisively beat the Conservative regime led by the Sucre-based silver oligarchs.10

Faced with the increasing number of silver mining company bankruptcies, the fortunate among the Sucre elite shifted their investments from mining to land. Beginning in the late 1890s Sucre capitalists purchased more and more Indian community lands in the provinces of Yamparáez, Zudáñez, and Chayanta (northern Potosí). While the Indian communities of Potosí, with their large numbers, were able to withstand the assault on their lands, many of the smaller ethnic groups in Yamparáez and Zudáñez were absorbed into the expanding haciendas. A great number of long-established estates in Yamparáez also changed hands during this period as those who lost everything in the silver crash sold off their holdings to those who were fortunate or astute enough to have preserved their capital.11

With the opportunities in silver mining so limited, the Sucre elite turned its attention to the landed estates. Various efforts were made to extract larger profits from the haciendas, primarily by increasing rental payments and changing labor obligations. Only in Cinti Province, predominantly a wine region, where there were few desirable Indian lands, did some large property holders invest heavily in new machinery. The capitalization of Cinti haciendas, of course, also induced many changes in the labor system as the new equipment made necessary readjustments of traditional agricultural rhythms. These efforts at modernizing agricultural production led to much labor unrest.

Labor Obligations and Reciprocity in Chuquisaca

While the revolts of the community Indians have been covered ably elsewhere, labor strikes on haciendas have not received adequate attention.12 To understand the protests in Chuquisaca, it is first necessary to examine the labor system prevailing in southern Bolivia. Although the obligations of hacienda peons varied in amount from property to property, they generally consisted of a combination of money rent, labor prestations, payments in kind, and grazing fees.

With most of the highland population divided into either Indian communities, haciendas, or subsistence-oriented smallholders, there was no significant mobile rural proletariat that could be tapped during periods of high labor demand. This was reflected in the valuation of highland estates; in many areas haciendas were valued not primarily for the amount or quality of land they controlled, but for the number of hacienda peons living on the property. According to one traveler, “a farm rises and falls according to the number of Indians living on it.”13 Haciendas strived for labor self-sufficiency; to provide for their workers’ subsistence, the estate owner provided the peon families with plots for cultivation. When haciendas expanded to incorporate community land, virtually all the Indians who sold their parcels ended as peons themselves, often renting fields they formerly had owned.

These plots varied in size and productivity, and the rent charged on the land in usufruct by the laborer differed accordingly, although in general rental fees were not high. As a consequence, a hierarchy among peons developed. This was formalized by a series of different titles according to the amount of land held. In some areas of southern Bolivia, for example, the laborers were divided into full arrenderos (“renters”), half-arrenderos, and quarter-arrenderos. Moreover, some arrenderos in turn had subrenters, or arrimantes, who, in return for working for the former, received a portion of the arrendero’s plot.14

Workers also had labor obligations that varied with the amount of land held in usufruct and with the type of agricultural activity. In grain and potato farming regions, peons provided the labor to sow, weed, and harvest the fields, usually in return for some form of payment. Most common was a system that paid both in kind and in cash. Hacienda peons (also called colonos) had to work for a certain number of days in return for food and drink as well as a small quantity of coca, a mild stimulant; a cash wage was paid only when the hacendado required extra work. Only in areas where landowners grew commercial crops, as in the wine-growing Cinti Valley, were laborers paid a money wage for each day worked. Even there nonmonetary payments, such as wine and coca, were also important. The colonos’ families usually also contributed their labor. The women wove blankets and bags for the hacendado, and the older children were sent to the fields to protect crops from birds or to watch over the livestock. Older members of households on estates in the warm, corn-growing valleys often had to masticate corn meal to make chicha, or corn beer, an important staple in the Andean diet.15

A sharecropping arrangement, called yanapacu, was common in the area as well. The proprietor provided the seeds and the land while the arrendero furnished his labor and any tools. In return, at harvest the land-owner received a predetermined percentage of the crop. Virtually all hacendados obligated their labor force to deliver the property’s share to the nearest town. This latter responsibility was fulfilled by the laborers, who used their own pack animals. This duty was usually relatively well remunerated but was considered one of the most onerous because it took men away from work on their family parcels, often at the height of the harvest season.16

Payments in kind to the hacendado were also common, varying from hacienda to hacienda and depending on the needs of the landowner. In Cinti Province, for example, where most estates maintained some distilleries to make fruit liquors and rum, arrenderos had to provide firewood for use as fuel. On Hacienda Presto, in Zudáñez Province, colonos furnished not only firewood but also straw for making adobe bricks and brooms. On Hacienda Cororo, in the province of Yamparáez, the land-owner received from each peon two chickens and four eggs twice a year, as well as milk daily. Hacendados paid for these goods, but at below-market prices.17

Other payments in kind that were not remunerated but almost universally collected on haciendas were various taxes, such as the diezmo and catastro. Although the Bolivian government eliminated the diezmo, or tithe, in the late nineteenth century, arrenderos continued to pay this impost to the hacendado. Its replacement, the catastro, a tax on agricultural production, was to be paid exclusively by the landowners. In fact, it was the hacienda’s labor force that gave a percentage of their grain harvest to the hacendado to defray his costs to the state. Government officials bitterly condemned these abuses, but arrenderos continued to pay both the catastro and the diezmo.18

Although the impositions upon the hacienda peon in Chuquisaca were numerous, a close analysis nevertheless reveals that the traditional hacienda system functioned in a way that mitigated the harshness of the peons’ condition and provided them with a livelihood. It was precisely the wide variety of obligations, without assessing any one of the colono’s resources excessively, that made it possible for the worker to survive and at times accumulate a modest surplus. In keeping with the equitable distribution of obligations, the hacendado appropriated the worker’s most abundant asset, labor, more than any other.

In addition, obligations were structured in such a fashion that the landowner shared in the risks of agriculture. All important exactions of foodstuffs, whether the catastro, the diezmo, or the yanapacu arrangements, required that the peon only give a certain percentage of the crop. Even the cash rental payments, a relatively insignificant part of total obligations, were usually commuted or reduced after a poor harvest. This meant that the landowner received greater quantities after a good harvest while during a poor crop year the hacendado received only a small return, leaving enough for the worker’s livelihood. In any case, other than in the wheat market, where competition from Chilean imports kept prices low, hacendados, because they were able to store the foodstuffs and thus better control the market after poor harvests, profited more from high prices during years of scarcity. Thus, the “safety first” principle, choosing a more secure subsistence over greater profits, characteristic of peasant societies, was ingrained into the hacienda system in highland Chuquisaca.19

Research on Latin America haciendas has shown that in areas of dense native populations, such as Mesoamerica, indigenous culture was often preserved on haciendas.20 This was the case on the estates in the highlands of southern Bolivia. The basic notions of reciprocity and redistribution, so important in explaining relations in Andean Indian communities, performed an essential role on large landholdings as well. While reciprocity has played an important role in assuring the subsistence of peasant societies throughout the world, in the Andes this notion informed a distinctive and complex system peculiar to the region.21

The ideals of reciprocity and redistribution imbued relationships between hacendado and peon. Sowing and harvesting were invariably accompanied by a fiesta, called mink’a, at which the landowner distributed coca, chicha, and food to the workers and sometimes even hired a band of musicians. As Charles Erasmus pointed out, festive labor was especially important in areas where cash was short. The peons valued food and the usufruct of a piece of land over meager money wages. This was certainly the case in the stagnant Chuquisaca economy, where land presented the last refuge for the old silver-mining oligarchy. These fiestas, however, satisfied important cultural exigencies as well. They were essential to assure the willingness of the hacienda force to work, as they satisfied a deeply ingrained Andean custom from preconquest times, which required some form of redistribution for services rendered. As one traveler to Bolivia in the late nineteenth century remarked: “There is a prevalent custom of giving alcohol to the Indian on all fiesta days, on the breaking-in of animals, at commencement of sowing, reaping, etc. Failing this the Indian simply refuses to work. I remember one who quietly informed us that without alcohol no bullock was ever known to plough!”22

Another custom also defined relations between landlord and worker. During the hacendado's visit, the head of each arrendero household came to the patrón, kissed his hand, and presented him with a chicken or other item. While this act appeared to the outsider to indicate the total submission of the peon to his master, it in fact reconfirmed the colono's subservience conditional upon the hacendado's recognition of his obligations to the worker. This was demonstrated symbolically and in concrete terms by the fiesta immediately following this ceremony, where the patrón in turn demonstrated his largesse. While the urban-oriented landowner usually found this custom a quaint but effective paternalistic measure to assure that the workers did his bidding, the peons saw this ceremonial exchange of goods as an affirmation of an unwritten pact that assured their livelihood in exchange for their labor and other goods.23

Particularly detailed descriptions exist of fiestas in the province of Cinti. Although provincial agriculture had been highly commercialized since the sixteenth century, these celebrations confirmed the redistributive functions of the hacendado. At Hacienda El Patronato, after the completion of the grape harvest, the owner had to fulfill the tincka, a Quechua word meaning “a gift to ask a favor,” used to describe reciprocal relations.24 During this ritual the hacendado gave as presents wine and food to all his workers in addition to the daily wages each of the peons received. On the same hacienda another custom had deep roots in Andean tradition: in August, when hacienda books were balanced, all tenants with favorable balances received tokens that were redeemable for clothes in the stores of Camargo, a nearby town. The redistribution of textiles as a means of creating reciprocal bonds and confirming dependency status can be traced back at least to Inca times.25

The reciprocal ideal also played an important role in relations between hacendado and peons throughout the Cinti Valley. In other vineyards, after the harvest the workers made a chair decorated with olive branches and flowers, and to the tune of native flutes (quenas) and drums entered the hacienda house. They seated the hacendado on the chair, took him to the wine vault door, and obligated him, his wife, and the supervisors to give them wine.26 The hacendado in turn expressed his relationship with his workers, especially those in the vineyards, by stating that they were his socios, or members in a common enterprise. This assertion did not accord the peon with equal status, nor did it signify that he benefited equally from the arrangement. Rather, the phrase referred to the ideal of frictionless relations between patrón and peon based on the recognition of mutual, though not necessarily equal, obligations.27

To cement these ties further and formalize the hacendado's obligations toward his laborers, arrenderos throughout the Andes asked their landlords to become godfathers of their children. The landowner frequently acquiesced, as fictive kinship with the peon bound the latter to the estate. On the other hand, these ties also increased the peon’s security of tenure, as the owner could not easily dismiss his godchildren or their parents from the landholding. Becoming godfather to his workers also obligated the hacendado to lower rents or lend his colonos seed after bad harvests, an all too frequent occurrence in the unpredictable climate of the highlands.28

Thus, relations between hacendado and colono were based on the rich Andean cultural heritage. Certain rituals at crucial times of the agricultural cycle, emphasizing the redistributive functions of the landowner, reconfirmed these relations, at least in the eyes of the arrendero population. The liberal use of alcohol also underscored the festive nature of these celebrations. This system worked smoothly until the decline of the silver mines in southern Bolivia led to wholesale changes in labor relations. On many landholdings the delicate balance in the relationship between hacendado and workers was upset as the patrón attempted to increase his earnings by making his enterprise more efficient and extracting a larger surplus from the labor force.

Hacienda Labor Strikes in Chuquisaca: The Breakdown of Reciprocity

Despite the pervasiveness of reciprocity and redistribution as Andean ideals, few studies of labor unrest on haciendas have taken these concepts into account. These ideals underlay hacendado-peon relations in Chuquisaca and served as an important rallying point for laborers against landowners who attempted to substitute traditional ways with more rational and depersonalized methods. Traditional Andean modes of thought served the same function as working-class subculture in the United States during the nineteenth century and provided a basis for resistance to changes in labor relations on modernizing estates. One highland hacienda near Sucre, La Candelaria, and the latifundio Sociedad Agrícola, Ganadera e Industrial de Cinti (SAGIC) in Cinti Province, composed of a vineyard and two highland estates, provide good examples of how hacienda labor strikes forced landowners to modify their attempts to change production in important ways.

Hacienda La Candelaria in Ida, Zudáñez Province, according to parish records existed since before the eighteenth century; it did not absorb any community land during the period of hacienda expansion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.29 Though some potatoes and wheat were grown, La Candelaria’s demesne lands produced primarily barley; and its crop, estimated at 2,200 cargas in 1897, was one of the largest in the Chuquisaca highlands.30 It was this crop that made the hacienda one of the most valuable landholdings in the region and constituted its main source of income. In the mid-1920s an innovative new landowner, Harvard-educated Nicolás Rojas, inherited the estate. At approximately the same time, a large brewery, using modern industrial methods, was established in Sucre. Seeing a perfect market for the hacienda’s barley crop, the hacendado became a partner in the brewery and one of its major purveyors of barley.

As a supplier of the grain, Rojas had to sign contracts far in advance of the actual harvest. To ensure that he received sufficient quantities of grain, the new owner changed the labor system to adapt to his new contractual requirements. Rather than relying primarily on rents and catastro as other landlords were doing, young Rojas abolished all monetary and in-kind obligations and required that all payments be made in labor. In addition, the hacendado maintained the customary services by both men and women in the patróns household and transport obligations, whereby the arrendero had to take hacienda produce to Tarabuco or Sucre. As elsewhere, the arrendero force was divided into three categories according to how much land they maintained in usufruct. This determined the amount of work the hacendado required of each.

While many landowners in the region gave increased amounts of land in usufruct to their workers, Rojas refused to distribute more demesne land to the offspring of his peons, freezing the number of arrendero positions (also called arriendos) on the hacienda at approximately seventy. The new landowner did this to prevent land from being taken out of commercial barley production and put into subsistence agriculture. The population of the estate, however, did not remain stagnant. Although there is no information on population growth for the 1920s, comparisons between larger time periods are suggestive. In 1855 approximately 348 persons lived on the hacienda. By 1931, when Rojas made a complete census, the population had more than doubled, to 843 individuals. In all likelihood, population began to increase significantly only around the turn of the century. The limitation of arriendos in an increasing population meant that, contrary to custom, only the oldest son received land once he reached majority. The daughters and younger sons were forced to become arrimantes (“subrenters ”), a precarious position. Between 1855 and 1955, the arrimante population increased from 7 to 157.31

Rojas also altered the yanapacu sharecropping arrangement, which provided him with the bulk of the barley. In contrast to the traditional pact, where the patrón received a predetermined percentage of the crop, Rojas demanded a fixed volume of barley each year. Thus, the landlord was able to ensure that he received sufficient quantities of barley from his arrenderos to honor his contracts with the brewery. While convenient for Rojas, the new policy negated the traditional reciprocal ideal, since it assigned all the risks involved in growing the crop to the arrenderos.

Other changes in hacienda administration reneged on the redistributive functions of the landowner. Rojas abolished all fiestas and declined invitations to become godfather to any of his peons. He declared that the fiestas only led to drunkenness, and that rather than promote Christian practices, they were based on superstitious rites.32 Thus, the new landlord refused to recognize ritually his obligations toward his workers and undoubtedly worsened the already strained relations with his labor force.

From 1924 to 1926, the hacienda was in constant turmoil as the colonos resisted the new regime. According to provincial authorities, the peons followed the example of the adjacent Indian communities that were organizing revolts to have their land, usurped by other haciendas in the region, returned. La Candelaria’s workers had ample cause for resistance. The laborers not only fought to reestablish personal relations with their patrón, but demanded some protection from the vagaries of the unpredictable climate, which customarily had been done through the mechanisms of reciprocity and redistribution. Moreover, the offspring of the arrenderos, who swelled the ranks of arrimantes, protested against their sudden downward mobility. Significantly, the period of these disputes coincided with a number of locust plagues, which devastated the surrounding countryside and almost certainly plunged La Candelaria’s peons into the inevitable subsistence crisis that modifications of the yanapacu system entailed. It was at this time that, in the peons’ view, the moral economy, based on the assurance of a subsistence through reciprocal mechanisms with the landowner, was most threatened. Only by the end of the decade, as harvests improved, did the troubles subside. Also, a vehicle road between Tarabuco and Sucre was inaugurated during that time, making it possible for Rojas to compromise with his workers by exempting them from the transport obligations and using trucks instead.33

From 1924 to 1930 peasants revolted throughout the highlands of Chuquisaca. In southern Cinti the largest revolts were concentrated on SAGIC haciendas, where, fortunately, copious documentation has survived. On these properties the owners imported large amounts of modern equipment and created an enormous agroindustrial enterprise. Jorge Ortiz Linares, the part-owner of Culpina, had the good fortune to marry the daughter of Simón Patiño, the Bolivian tin king who by the 1920s had built a huge and powerful multinational corporation and was undoubtedly the richest man in the country. Ortiz, the other owners of Haciendas Culpina and Ingahuasi, as well as the proprietors of the important grapegrowing estate of San Pedro Mártir, formed a large agroindustrial enterprise, the Sociedad Agrícola, Ganadera e Industrial de Cinti (SAGIC) in conjunction with Patiño in 1925. The company was funded with an authorized capital of 600,000 pounds sterling.34

The formation of SAGIC broke new ground on many fronts. The company was to exploit the large plantings of grains, particularly barley, which thrived in the cool climate of the high pampas of Culpina and Ingahuasi, by converting them into grain alcohol. Since the nineteenth century, Cinti had exported almost exclusively products from the warmer valleys, especially wines, fruit liquors, and rum, while the extensive uplands had been ignored. Thus, the signing of the incorporation papers in one stroke created the largest agroindustrial enterprise in the country and transformed the previously stagnant uplands into the growth center of the province. Moreover, SAGIC’s main market from the very beginning was to be thriving La Paz rather than the economically moribund Potosí, Cinti’s traditional market.35

The Culpina hacienda house became the administrative headquarters of the company, and a large grain-distilling complex was installed a short distance away. By 1926 SAGIC had invested almost half a million Bolivianos (Bs), or approximately $180,000 in 1926 U.S. dollars, for the distillery, half for a large factory building housing the distillery and the other half for machinery, imported from France. A new mill from Belgium, with millstones also imported from France, worth 10,000 Bs, was assembled next to the distillery. In addition, sheds housing new agricultural machinery and trucks from the United States, worth around 170,000 Bs or $51,000, clustered on one side of the distillery. Around these buildings, at the edge of the enormous, desolate pampa of Culpina, a small settlement housing employees, resembling the mining towns of the Bolivian altiplano, sprang up. Ingahuasi and Culpina provided the bulk of the laborers, scattered in windowless thatched-roof adobe houses throughout the estates. San Pedro was relegated to a secondary position, serving primarily as an outlet for a new road from the upland haciendas to the main highway in the Cinti valley and as a minor source of income from the vineyards.36

Despite the massive capital investments in machinery, new buildings, and the ambitious plans for marketing grain alcohol, the obligations of the arrendero population remained the economic foundation of the company. In addition to the almost 100 salaried employees of SAGIC and the 33 vineyard workers of San Pedro, the company controlled a total labor force of more than 1,400 colonos. Land rental fees, yerbaje (“grazing fees”), obligatory labor, and most company store profits were incomes that came directly from the arrendero population, and the percentage of total company income derived from these categories never went below 71 percent during the first six years.37

This was in stark contrast to the expectations of SAGIC’s owners, who anticipated making their profits primarily from alcohol production. They had hoped to earn 300,000 Bs from the distillery by 1926 and to amortize their investment in a little over two years through the sale of alcohol alone. In fact, by 1927 the distillery still had not made a profit; instead it posted a 3,085 Bs loss. In 1930 earnings from alcohol sales reached their highest level of the first decade of the company’s operation at only 41,055 Bs, a meager 14 percent of projected earnings.38 Economic conditions in Bolivia played a large role in the failure of the distillery to generate anticipated profits. In 1928 overproduction placed the alcohol industry in crisis; soon thereafter the Great Depression diminished alcohol sales, especially in the mining areas where many layoffs occurred, forcing the company once again to rely heavily on the arrenderos for its income.

SAGIC was also dependent on the arrenderos for supplying raw materials: during the first years a large percentage of the grains used in the distillery came from the colonos who sold their crops to the company. In 1930, for example, hacienda lands produced 48,559.69 Bs worth of grain crops, whereas the distillery consumed grains worth a total of 77,637.22 Bs. The difference represented purchases from the arrenderos at market prices.39

Since the company ultimately wanted to earn its money from the distillery, the management attempted to change traditional labor practices to what it considered a more efficient and businesslike system. In 1926 the administration in Culpina ordered standardization of all labor obligations. In practice this meant that all workers other than the few vineyard laborers (viñateros) had to fulfill a work obligation of 25 Bs a year at their particular wage rate, while all in-kind obligations were suppressed. The colonos still had to pay the rental fees on their plots, however, and it is possible that in 1926 the company had the fields of Ingahuasi’s and Culpina’s arrenderos measured and reassessed the rents accordingly.40

The account books of San Pedro show that only in 1928 was a modified version of this program adopted. The viñateros were exempt from the new regulations, since they did not pay an arriendo and, unlike the arrenderos in the uplands, were required to work daily, except for holidays. For the labor-intensive viticulture of the Cinti Valley, the old system was probably the most effective for the hacendado; but much changed for the arrenderos who inhabited the uplands behind the estate above the vineyards. Their firewood obligation was abolished. From 1928 on, they had to work off the 25 Bs they automatically owed the company in labor, at 30 centavos a day (1927 rate); this amounted to about 84 days a year. New workers invariably were given cash advances as an incentive to settle on the property. In San Pedro arrenderos who had large debts were required to work on the Ingahuasi-San Pedro road construction project, for which they received half their wages in cash while the company deducted the other half to pay their debts. In general, SAGIC tried to keep debts down so as not to have excessive money tied up in labor costs.41

On Ingahuasi, although rents ranged from 4 to 270 Bs, most arrenderos paid between 20 and 100 Bs annually.42 With daily wages for most at 30 centavos, it presumably took these peon households between 150 and 416 man-days to work off their debts for the year. Many laborers were unable to pay this amount with labor on the hacienda alone, which was the intention of the company. To pay up, arrenderos were forced to sell their barley to the distillery and to provide pack animals for transport of company goods. Since installation of the distillery lagged behind schedule and was not complete until late 1926, the new regulations presented a hardship for those arrenderos who had to rely on the income from selling their crops to the hacienda. As the first six-month accounting period ended, the Ingahuasi administrator, Rosendo Vargas, complained that “the arrenderos’ considerable surplus [i.e., money not paid to the hacienda] that remains makes it difficult to charge rents; every Monday they come by the hundreds to ask for work.”43

Despite the major changes in the labor system, SAGIC deliberately maintained many traditional customs on its haciendas and, in fact, expanded its obligations to the labor force. SAGIC fulfilled many of the traditional services of the hacendado, however, not because the administrators realized that the legitimacy of their rule over the peons was thereby maintained, but because the company benefited from these policies and wanted to act as a paternalistic, though modern and enlightened, employer. Simón Patiño used this tactic in his tin-mining operations, forestalling many labor problems in the mines. Although there is no evidence to suggest that Patino intervened in the daily operations of SAGIC, it is probable that he or his assistants wielded much influence over the overall organization of the enterprise.44

For the first time a doctor was available full-time; a small service charge was levied on those requiring his services, but medicine was free. The company also purchased donkeys from Argentina and distributed them to deserving peons. Although the firm benefited by having more pack animals available for transport of its goods, the arrenderos undoubtedly interpreted this gesture in traditional Andean terms. For them, it confirmed the patrones’ role as redistributive agents. Further reinforcing this view, SAGIC provided seed on credit to its colonos when they ran short because of a poor harvest. On the other hand, the company managers perceived primarily their own interests; the grains the hacienda peons cultivated on their own plots were sold to the distillery and were necessary to keep the expensive machinery working at full capacity.

The new system did not always work as well as hoped. Peons refused to cooperate when the necessities of the agricultural cycle conflicted with the company’s requirements. During the first year of operation, Vargas had to threaten the use of violence in an attempt to force workers to present themselves for transport duties to San Pedro, but to no avail. The arrenderos were sowing their fields and refused to depart without fulfilling this essential task. Making the smooth running of the estates difficult, hacienda workers also preferred to perform duties that brought the greatest personal benefits. In 1928 the Ingahuasi administrator ordered that arrenderos transport goods to the nearby city of Potosí. The peons complained that their donkeys were too thin to go, as the barley harvest, the main fodder for the animals, had been poor. When, however, 10 days later Vargas requested fifty donkeys for a trip to Tupiza, on the Argentine border, the next morning arrenderos with seventy-four donkeys in tow clamored for the job. Apparently the Tupiza run was much more lucrative, with the possibility of bringing in trade goods from Argentina.45

Old work habits persisted despite company efforts to transform arrenderos into disciplined workers. Much as it had caused concern among nineteenth-century industrialists in the United States, the workers’ use of spirits disturbed the SAGIC administration. In 1926 the general manager in Culpina stopped all sales of liquor during workdays and even holidays. The company also fined up to 10 Bs anybody found selling alcoholic beverages during workdays. This policy met with little success; as the administrator of San Pedro reported only a month later, “Easter has been much celebrated by the peons in the Quebrada section; until today [five days after Eastern Sunday] I have not gotten them to come to work although I sent the supervisor to bring them.” There were other examples of laxity. In one case a peon from Ingahuasi, while drunk, beat a messenger boy from Culpina. In another incident, the manager gave Culpina’s blacksmith a five-day vacation, but the employee did not return for two weeks. Apparently he had been celebrating All Saint’s Day the whole time.46

The issue of drunkeness and fiestas led to the first large-scale confrontations between the company and its workers. In 1926 the company attempted to do away with all celebrations that did not conform to the national cycle of holidays. As described in the previous section, these fiestas, though not always recognized officially, nevertheless held profound religious and social significance for the arrenderos. On the upland estates, through the office of alférez, or fiesta sponsor, hacienda peons maintained their own cargo system independent of the owners’. Moreover, many celebrations reconfirmed the legitimacy of the hacendado's rule by his show of generosity during the various ceremonies. In common with Nicolás Rojas of La Candelaria, however, the company administrators only saw that the fiestas led to week-long drunkenness, at best an unprofitable and inefficient exercise.

SAGIC administrators had their first taste of concerted resistance when they prohibited the fiesta of Tentación. This celebration started the Sunday after carnival, accompanied by much drinking and throwing of dynamite sticks into the air. The explosions among the drunk peons often caused severe injuries, reducing the number of healthy workers and increasing the company’s medical costs. Since it was not a legal holiday, Culpina headquarters felt that the arrenderos should work that day as well as the following week, which many workers inevitably missed as the drinking continued. In Ingahuasi the reaction to the news was immediate. In the words of Rosendo Vargas, the same morning the announcement was made “the whole town—men, women, and children—assembled, giving vivas [long live] to Tentación and mueras [death to] the new order, as well as other protests from the crowd.”47 Despite stern warnings from Culpina, the Ingahuaseños ignored the company’s orders and went ahead with their fiesta. Subsequently, the company tried to blacklist the arrenderos who were involved and refused to renew their rental arrangement for the next year. Too many had participated, however, to make this practicable. Despite his marked distaste for the arrenderos’ public displays of drunkeness, a panicked Vargas had to plead with Culpina to reinstate those punished, for, as the Ingahuasi administrator argued, othewise the hacienda would lose many of its most experienced workers.48

The Tentación affair was only one symptom of impending problems in Ingahuasi. Beginning in August 1926 the arrenderos began a strike against the company. Although Vargas ordered the hacienda’s section chiefs (caporales) to send a number of peons to work on the demesne lands, they came back empty-handed, asserting that the men had left the estate to look for work elsewhere. A few weeks later, only nine Ingahuasi peons out of fifty showed up for a work project in Culpina. The SAGIC administrator threatened to expel the missing laborers from their rental plots. Vargas blamed the previous owners’ lack of discipline for the obstinancy of the peons, asserting that “before the [peons] had been accustomed to do what they wanted; [the previous owners] did not know how to manage them and conduct them down the path of goodness and the fulfillment of duty and today they feel put upon because their mischief is prevented.”49

Despite these tough words, the situation deteriorated further. By December the harried Ingahuasi administrator wrote: “The resistance to go to work by the peons is unbearable. ” To break the strike, Vargas imposed a fine of 5 Bs on the caporales and 2 Bs on peons if they did not report for work.50 This state of affairs resulted from a number of factors. The emphasis on labor discipline and the disregard for traditional work rhythms alienated many arrenderos. Moreover, the company failed to understand some of the implicit rules that governed hacienda relations. For example, Vargas gave to only a limited number of peons cash advances in return for later transporting company goods. Traditionally, the hacendado had advanced all workers who transported the estate’s produce a certain amount of money to help defray traveling expenses. Although providing advances to only the most reliable arrenderos made good business sense, the hacienda administrator, by refusing to act as patrón for all his workers, thus, according to those laborers who were denied this benefit, lost his right to their labor.51

Religious ceremonies again served as a rallying point for the arrenderos against the policies of SAGIC. After the near riot of 1926, the following year the company refused to open the hacienda chapel except for Christmas because of “the continuous fiestas [celebrated] almost daily and the damage that these occasioned to the Company as well as the arrenderos themselves.” In 1928 the Ingahuasi peons presented the company manager at Culpina with a petition to reopen the chapel for Tentación. In this remarkable document, the hacienda workers asserted that “as is known in this unhappy town, we customarily celebrate or at least hear Mass on the days of Tentación . . .. In the whole town it is customary to give free the days to celebrate the God Momo.” They furthermore assured the manager that “with this petition we are not remiss in obedience or respect which we owe your person.” The petitioners also agreed to preserve order “if someone or various persons were to be negligent in their good habits during these days.” The request was followed by forty-six signatures, among which figured virtually all minor hacienda officials. The document illuminates many aspects of the arrenderos’ resistance. The peons grounded their request on custom, on traditional social norms and obligations. By swearing obedience and respect to the manager, it is clear that they were not questioning the social hierarchy that gave the right to the landowner to order the peons about. Nevertheless, the impressive number of signatures and the confidence the workers displayed that they would police themselves hints at a high level of solidarity among the hacienda labor force.52

Apparently the request was refused, for that year the arrenderos clandestinely built their own chapel in a rarely frequented section of the property and had the priest from the neighboring town of Santa Elena perform weddings and the necessary religious rituals for the Tentación celebration. Vargas discovered the building after trying to locate the caporales, who had not answered a request to bring a number of peons for work. The administrator found a completely outfitted chapel with only part of the roof still missing. He also found the “caporales and a large part of the arrenderos,” drinking and celebrating.53

Although Vargas had the chapel torn down, SAGIC began to relent and sent the harried administrator on vacation during carnival season, implicitly allowing the Tentación fiesta to proceed. In 1929 the priest from Santa Elena opened the hacienda church without authorization from the company. When the general manager from Culpina personally attempted to close it again, the Ingahuasi peons rioted. The company had learned its lesson; it quickly defused the situation by hiring its own priest and keeping the chapel open. By this time in the grips of the alcohol oversupply crisis, SAGIC remained conciliatory. In the middle of 1929 Rosendo Vargas quit his post as Ingahuasi administrator, permitting the company to compromise with the hacienda’s workers without losing face. During the Depression, with the company’s heavy reliance on arrenderos for profits, the old fiestas were kept so as to prevent an easy focus for resistance that might further prejudice the company’s income.54


Culture played an essential role in the hacienda peons’ resistance to changes in labor conditions on Andean haciendas. As hacendados modified traditional obligations and work rhythms in an effort to modernize agricultural production, workers perceived a threat to their customary rights and privileges embodied in the concepts of reciprocity and redistribution. These traditional Andean concepts, which have their counterparts in many peasant societies throughout the world, were preserved in customs that ensured the survival of the peons. Seen most clearly in the case of La Candelaria, the changes in the hacienda regime posed a real threat to the continued subsistence of the labor force. The landowner, by not sharing the risks of agriculture in the yanapacu arrangement, refusing to make more land available to an expanding hacienda population, and declining to accept a personal stake in the survival of his peons through godfathership ties, precipitated a subsistence crisis in the middle 1920s. The strike by desperate workers was an attempt to reestablish traditional relations between hacendado and peon.

In turn, the case of the SAGIC haciendas was somewhat more complex. The company administrators also substantially changed the hacienda regime but quite consciously tried to promulgate some paternalistic measures that redounded to the company’s benefit. The exigencies of efficient production to feed the demands of the distillery, however, inevitably came into conflict with a variety of customs. Only a year after the founding of SAGIC, the administration was faced with a prolonged strike and a riot at Ingahuasi, as well as numerous instances of poor work discipline. What is striking is that, despite the impressive resources that SAGIC had at its disposal, it was unable to eliminate these problems. Rather, the administrators were forced to back down in the face of concerted opposition. Despite many important changes since the 1920s, traditional customs persist; even today the peons of Ingahuasi continue to celebrate the festival of Tentación the week after carnival.


For the changes in labor conditions, see, for example, Friedrich Katz, “Labor Conditions on Haciendas in Porfirian Mexico: Some Trends and Tendencies,” HAHR, 54 (Feb. 1974), 1–47. A recent reappraisal of labor conditions is contained in Arnold J. Bauer, “Rural Workers in Spanish America: Problems of Peonage and Oppression,” HAHR, 59 (Feb. 1979), 24—63. See also David McCreery, “Debt Servitude in Rural Guatemala, 1876–1936,” HAHR, 63 (Nov. 1983), 735–759.


Herbert G. Gutman, Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America: Essays in American Working-Class and Social History (New York, 1976). Also see David Montgomery, “Gutman’s Nineteenth-Century America,” Labor History, 19 (Summer 1978), 416–429. E. P. Thompson’s article, “Time, Work-Discipline and Industrial Capitalism,” Past and Present, 38 (Dec. 1967), 56–97, was especially influential for Gutman’s analysis.


E. P. Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present, 50 (Feb. 1971), 76–136.


James C. Scott, The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia (New Haven, 1976).


The literature on Andean Indian uprisings and strikes during the early twentieth century is growing continuously. See, for example, Manuel Burga and Alberto Flores-Galindo, Apogeo y crisis de la república aristocrática: Oligarquía, aprismo y comunismo en el Perú, 1895–1932 (Lima, 1979); Wilfredo Kapsoli E., Los movimientos campesinos en el Perú: 1879–1965 (Lima, 1977), Jorge Flores Ochoa and Abraham Valencia E., Rebeliones indígenas: Quechuas y Aymarás (Cuzco, 1980), Silvia Rivera, “Rebelión e ideología: Luchas del campesinado aymara del altiplano boliviano,’ Historia Boliviana, 1:2 (1981), 83–100, and Tristan Platt, Estado boliviano y ayllu andino: Tierra y tributo en el Norte de Potosí (Lima, 1982), pp. 132–147.


See Gwendolin B. Cobb, “Supply and Transportation for the Potosí Mines,” HAHR, 29 (Feb. 1949), 25–45; Lewis Hanke, The Imperial City of Potosí: An Unwritten Chapter in the History of Spanish America (The Hague, 1956). For an elaboration of the concept of the “Peruvian economic space,” centered on the Potosí mines, see Carlos Sempat Assadourian, El sistema de la economía colonial: Mercado interno, regiones y espacio económico (Lima, 1982). The late colonial disintegration of the viceroyalty is ably discussed in Guillermo Céspedes del Castillo, “Lima y Buenos Aires: Repercusiones económicas y políticas de la creación del Virreinato de la Plata,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 3 (1946), 669–874. For the application of Assadourian’s ideas to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, see Carlos Sempat Assadourian, Heraclio Bonilla, Antonio Mitre, and Tristan Platt, Minería y espacio económico en los Andes, siglos xvi–xx (Lima, 1980), pp. 45–103.


Antonio Mitre, Los patriarcas de la plata: Estructura socioeconómica de la minería boliviana en el siglo xix (Lima, 1981); Herbert S. Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society (New York, 1982), pp. 141–161; Leon E. Bieber, “El potencial de desarrollo de los empresarios mineros bolivianos de la segunda mitad del siglo xix,” Revista ciencias sociales (Quito), 4:12 (1981), 139–157; Erwin Grieshaber, “Survival of Indian Communities in Nineteenth-Century Bolivia” (Ph.D. Diss., University of North Carolina, 1977); Platt, Estado boliviano y ayllu andino, pp. 73–94; Nicolás Sánchez-Albornoz, Indios y tributos en el Alto Perú (Lima, 1978), pp. 187–218.


Alberto Flores-Galindo, Arequipa y el sur andino: Ensayo de historia regional (siglos xviii-xx) (Lima, 1977), pp. 45–137; Manuel Burga and Wilson Reátegui, Lanas y capital mercantil en el sur: La Casa Ricketts, 1895–1935 (Lima, 1981).


Klein, Bolivia, pp. 161–170, Juan Albarracín Millán, El poder minero en la administración liberal (La Paz, 1972).


Ramiro Condarco Morales, Zárate, el “TemibleWillka: Historia de la rebelión indígena de 1899 (La Paz, 1966); Daniel W. Cade, “Spatial Displacement of Latin American Seats of Government: From Sucre to La Paz as National Capital of Bolivia,” Revista Geográfica (Río de Janeiro), No. 73 (Dec. 1970), 43–57.


Erick D. Langer, “Rural Society and Land Consolidation in a Declining Economy: Chuquisaca, Bolivia 1880–1930” (Ph.D. Diss., Stanford University, 1984), esp. chpt. 2 and 3. For the effect of hacienda expansion on the northern Potosí communities, see Platt, Estado boliviano, pp. 123–132.


The only detailed study of an Andean hacienda strike during the early twentieth century is that by Wilson Reátegui, Explotación agropecuaria y las movilizaciones campesinas en Lauramarca-Cusco (Lima, 1977). Although for a somewhat later date, Clifford R. Barnett, an anthropologist who participated in the Cornell Project on Hacienda Vicos in the department of Ancash, has much suggestive material in “An Analysis of Social Movements on a Peruvian Highland Hacienda” (Ph.D. Diss., Cornell University, 1960).


Will Payne and T. W. Wilson, Missionary Pioneering in Bolivia, with Some Account of Work in Argentina (London, n.d.), p. 89.


See, for example, Rafael A. Reyeros, El ponguaje: La servidumbre personal de los indios bolivianos (La Paz, 1949), p. 135; Daniel Heyduk, “Huayrapampa: Bolivian Highland Peasants and the New Social Order” (Ph.D. Diss., Cornell University, 1971), pp. 61–67; Katherine Barnes von Marschall, Revolution and Land Reform in Chuquisaca and Potosí (La Paz, 1970), pp. 17–19.


“Hacienda Cororo,” Archivo José Rodríguez (hereinafter AR), Sucre, p. 141 ; Juan Ramírez Ramírez, “Historia de la Hacienda El Patronato,” unpublished ms. in possession of author, 1978; Barnes, Revolution and Land Reform, pp. 9–27; and Heyduk, “Huayrapampa,” pp. 61–67.


“Libro de cuentas corrientes con los harrienderos [sic] de esta finca del Lavadero desde el año 1913,” Archivo Virgilio Toledo, Sucre, fs. 74–75. Also, see Heyduk, “Huayrapampa,” pp. 61—67, and Barnes, Revolution and Land Reform, p. 35.


For Cinti, see, for example, Juan Ramírez Ramírez, “Historia de la Hacienda El Patronato,” unpublished ms. ; “Libro Diario San Pedro,” Archivo de la Sociedad Agrícola, Ganadera e Industrial de Cinti, San Pedro (hereinafter cited as ASAGIC). For Hacienda Presto, see Juzgado de Instrucción Tarabuco (hereinafter cited as JIT; all judicial documents are identified by the year they were filed and their case number) 1917:62 and “Hacienda Cororo,” AR, p. 141.


See, for example, “Libro de resoluciones, Tomina 1910–1911,” Archivo del Tesoro Departamental de Chuquisaca, Sucre, p. 7.


See Scott, The Moral Economy, for a discussion of the “safety first” principle. For arguments on hacienda profits during years of scarcity, see Enrique Florescano, Precios del maíz y crisis agrícolas en México, 1708-1810: Ensayo sobre el movimiento de los precios y sus consecuencias económicas y sociales (Mexico City, 1969) and Brooke Larson, “Rural Rhythms of Class Conflict in Eighteenth-Century Cochabamba,” HAHR, 60 (Aug. 1980), 407-430. The issue of wheat flour imports is treated in Grieshaber, “Survival of Indian Communities,” pp. 222-228, and Langer, “Rural Society and Land Consolidation,” p. 39.


See Erwin P. Grieshaber’s important review article, “Hacienda-Indian Community Relations and Indian Acculturation: An Historiographical Essay,” Latin American Research Review, 14:2 (1979), 107-128. Also see Thierry Saignes, “Políticas étnicas en Bolivia colonial siglos xvi-xix,” Historia Boliviana, 3:1 (1983), 13. For an excellent comparison between hacienda and community cultural institutions in the northern Bolivian highlands, see William E. Carter, Aymara Communities and the Bolivian Agrarian Reform (Gainesville, 1964).


See especially John V. Murra, Formaciones económicas y políticas del mundo andino (Lima, 1975). The unique features of reciprocity and redistribution in the Andes come in part from the Indians’ use in the control of different ecological levels based on altitude.


Charles J. Erasmus, “The Occurrence and Disappearance of Reciprocal Farm Labor in Latin America,” in Dwight B. Heath and Richard N. Adams, eds., Contemporary Cultures and Societies of Latin America: A Reader in the Social Anthropology of Middle and South America and the Caribbean (New York, 1965), pp. 173-199; Payne and Wilson, Missionary Pioneering, p. 90.


Interview, Esteban Arancibia, Tarabuco, Dec. 23, 1981.


Jesús Lara, Diccionario Castellano-Queshua Queshua-Castellano (La Paz, 1978), p. 245.


This custom is described in Ramírez, “Historia,” p. 3. For the redistribution of textiles in the Inca state, see Murra, “La función del tejido en varios contextos sociales y políticos,” Formaciones, pp. 145-170.


Juan Ramírez, "Monografía de Cinti,” unpublished ms., 1975. The refrain traditional in the Manteada festival, as it was called, spoken by the peons at the wine vault door, is suggestive: “Considering that the zambos [mixture between Negro and Indian] have suffered much; considering that the barrels were filled with the sweat of their brows, considering that during the year they had nothing with which to quell their thirst; considering that the patrón was stingy, he is condemned to give as a present a bottle of aged wine so that the zambos may drink.”


Juan Ramírez, Cinti, tierra de labor, en decadencia (Potosí, 1935), p. 24; Miguel López Avila, Sud Cinti: Historia y tradición (La Paz, 1981), p. 83. This term is still used by the Cinti Valley hacendados today. Reciprocity need not obligate both participants equally. See Marshall Sahlins, Stone Age Economics (New York, 1972), pp. 149-276.


See, for example, “Hacienda Cororo,” 1930, AR. The owner halved the rent that year because of low grain yields caused by fungus disease.


Bautizos-Tomo I año 1715-1745,” Archivo Parroquial de Tarabuco. According to Indian land sale records in the Notaría de Hacienda y Minas in Sucre (hereinafter NHM), none of the owners of Hacienda La Candelaria purchased community lands. This was confirmed by the owner of the property, Nicolás Rojas E., in an interview July 25, 1979, in Sucre.


“Rejistro de la rectificación del catastro en la Provincia de Tomina (1897),” Ida: 51, Archivo de Tesoro Departamental, Sucre. It is difficult to estimate the amount of demesne land used for barley cultivation. According to the 1897 rural property census, the landowner cultivated only 84 hectares out of a total of 280 hectares of cultivable land. This estimate is very low; in 1955 Agrarian Reform officials concluded that Rojas cultivated directly 143 hectares and that the arrenderos controlled another 342 hectares of cultivable lands. The same officials measured the total area of La Candelaria at 8,124 hectares. “Hacienda La Candelaria,” Expediente No. 8605, Archivo del Servicio Nacional de Reforma Agraria, Sucre. A high ratio of cultivable versus noncultivable lands is common in the extremely rugged terrain of the Chuquisaca countryside.


See Heyduk, “Huayrapampa,” pp. 61-65.


Much of the information from this section came from interviews with the late Nicolás Rojas in Sucre during July 1979 and subsequent conversations with his daughter, Elizabeth Rojas T.


For reports of the revolts, see José Pastor Sainz, Informe prefectural (Sucre, 1924), p. 5; Eulogio Ostria Reyes, Informe prefectural (Sucre, 1926), p. xxxii. Information on the locust plagues was obtained from Interview, Esteban Arancibia, and JIT 1927:1, f. 11v.


Patiño kept a controlling share of the company. See the articles of incorporation in NHM 1925:13; also see Price, Waterhouse, Faller, and Co., “SAGIC: Balance general al 31 de diciembre de 1926,” ASAGIC, pp. 1-2, for a complete list of shareholders. For a good summary biography of Simón Patiño, see Herbert S. Klein, “The Creation of the Patiño Tin Empire,” Inter-American Economic Affairs, 19 (Autumn 1965), 3-23.


“Libro de actas de SAGIC 1925-1970,” Archivo de la Sociedad Agrícola, Ganadera e Industrial de Cinti, La Paz (hereinafter ASAGIC-LP), pp. 2-3.


Price, Waterhouse, “Balance general de la Sociedad Agrícola, Ganadera e Industrial de Cinti, 1928, pp. 3, 10, ASAGIC. Unless otherwise noted, all references below are to ASAGIC.


Arriendos Ingahuasi 1928, Hacienda Culpina 1924,” “Libro diario San Pedro 1927-1928”; Price, Waterhouse, “Informe y balance general al 31 de agosto de 1931,” planilla B, n.p.


Price, Waterhouse, “Informe y balance 1931,” planilla B.


Price, Waterhouse, “Balance general al 31 de agosto de 1930,” pp. 128, 136.


Culpina administration to Vargas, Culpina, Jan. 9, 1926, “Correspondencia” (hereinafter all letters are in the “Correspondencia” files), ASAGIC; “Libro de actas,” ASAGIC-LP, p. 66.


Culpina to Jorge Ortiz, Culpina, June 27, 1927, July 2, 1927; “Libro diario San Pedro 1927-1928.”


The mean for rents was 59, standard deviation 39. “Arriendos Ingahuasi 1928,” passim.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, June 23, 1926.


My information on Patiño’s paternalism comes from Tristan Platt, who is studying the tin-mining operations in northern Potosí. Documents in both the San Pedro and La Paz archives make it clear that Patiño was kept apprised of SAGIC’s operations. While I did not find any personal correspondence from Patiño, his representatives in Paris often sent detailed letters to the administration in La Paz. In La Paz itself, Patiño’s representative played a predominant role in the meetings of the board of directors, especially since the tin miner and his bank, the Banco Mercantil, were a major source of financing.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Nov. 14, 1925; Oct. 17, 1928; Oct. 27, 1928.


Culpina to Ortiz, Culpina, Mar. 9, 1926; Ortiz to Culpina, San Pedro, Apr. 10, 1926; Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Aug. 28, 1925; Culpina to Ortiz, Culpina, Nov. 4, 1927; Ortiz to Culpina, San Pedro, Nov. 6, 1927. See Gutman, Work, Culture, and Society, pp. 19-21, for similar incidents in nineteenth-century North America.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Feb. 22, 1926.


Culpina to Vargas, Culpina, Mar. 2, 1926; Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Feb. 22, 1926; Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Sept. 2, 1926.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Aug. 11, 1926; Culpina to Vargas, Culpina, Aug. 23, 1926; Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Oct. 22, 1926.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Dec. 13, 1926.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Oct. 22, 1926.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, June 8, 1928; Habitantes de Ingahuasi to Sr. Fabry, Ingahuasi, Feb. 19, 1928.


Vargas to Culpina, Ingahuasi, June 1, 1928.


Folder Asunto Simeon Torres,” Culpina to Simeon Torres, Culpina, Oct. 7, 1929; Torres to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Oct. 7, 1929; Torres to Culpina, Ingahuasi, Oct. 12, 1929; Torres to Culpina, Santa Elena, Dec. 13, 1929. Vargas retired in June 1929.

Author notes


The author wishes to thank Frederick P. Bowser, Richard M. Morse, Arnold J. Bauer, Herbert S. Klein, and Thomas Whigham for their comments on the manuscript. Part of the research on this project was carried out with funding from the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Program, the Inter-American Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.