By Anuschka Van 't Hooft

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Additional info for The ways of the water: A Recontruction of Huastecan Nahua Society through its Oral Tradition

Sample text

At first, these new population nuclei are small and the settlers keep cooperating in the original rancho’s communal affairs, under the status of an anexo or annexation, until their settlement is large enough and has certain facilities to function as an independent community. People recall these stages in the history of their komunidad. The reconstruction of these stages and the final establishment as an independent entity, as expressed by Nahuas, provides a unique valuation of the community concept; it is worthwhile to examine it further.

Tlen etl nojkí tlayij. They also clear the beans. Tlan axueli tlajchinoaj noja san kiochpanaj nopa tlasoli. If they can’t burn the rubbish they again just sweep the rubbish away. Kimeuaj ya san patsi momeua. They clean [the bean field], but once it is cleaned. Uan kiouitekij nopa etl, euitekij kiiluiaj kema kikalakiyaj nopa etl. And they harvest beans, they sift them as they say when they bring in the beans. Teipa tlen chili, pues, ax mas motoka nika ni tokomunidad, pampa ayok kineki elis. Then the chili, well, it is not sown a lot in our community anymore, because it doesn’t want to produce anymore.

No drop is wasted, and by covering the buckets they prevent the stored water from getting filthy. Just like the basins receive their water from the springs in the sacred hill called Chikauas, the river running through this southern part of the municipality, officially named San Miguel but simply called arroyo or stream 42 The ways of the water. A reconstruction of Huastecan Nahua society through its oral tradition __________________________________________________________________________________ (lines 57-58), originates in the area’s highest peak --some 700 meters above sea level (Del Ángel Bautista 1991:12;15).

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