Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico

Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico

Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico

Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico

Excerpt

One cannot speak or write about the community irrigation ditches of New Mexico without using the Spanish terminology of their physical and organizational structure, if one is to do justice to them. The Spanish vocabulary that inhabits the following account roughly corresponds to that which I normally use in my dealings with my own ditch and would be common to others who are actively part of a ditch association in northern New Mexico, whether their first language is Spanish or English.

The term acequia, which can refer to both the actual irrigation channel and to the association of members organized around it, derives from the Arabic as-saquiya. Each acequia is individually governed by a comisión of three landowner parciantes, or member- shareholders. Parciantes are assessed in work or money and obtain water from . . .

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