In Indian Mexico (1908) eBook

Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).
for this errand that the presidente of Tequixistlan had gone to the cabecera.  Had he been at home, perhaps we would have had no difficulty, but as it was we found the government disjointed and nerveless.  Constant nagging and harrying were necessary in carrying out our wishes.  The town itself was not bad.  It stands upon a sort of terrace, at a little height above the neighboring river.  The town-house is a long building, occupying the whole upper end of the large rectangular plaza; at the lower end is the fine church and curato.  Along the sides were tiendas, school, etc., well built adobes and plastered over with tinted plaster.  Behind the church beyond the river rises a handsome background of mountains.  The long corridor in front of the municipal-house was fine and broad, with a high roof and brick pavement.  Oleanders bloomed before this corridor.  The view from it was fine, and the air cool there even in the middle of the day.  We accordingly took possession of it, working and sleeping there.  So far as personal comfort was concerned, we were well cared for.  We had good meals, comfortable cots, plenty of food for the horses, but, as we have said, the work lagged, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that we could accomplish it.

There is little distinctive about the Chontals, as we saw them.  The women dress much like the Zapotec women in the neighboring towns.  The men present nothing notable in dress.  Outside the plaza, the houses were built of light materials, and resembled the ordinary cane-walled, thatched huts of the Zapotecs.  The people appeared to be badly mixed, and this not only with white, but also with negro blood.  Nevertheless, as we worked upon subject after subject, a fairly defined type seemed to grow upon us.  We could see that the Chontals are tall, with rather well-shaped faces, though somewhat high cheek-bones, with light complexions, and with wavy or curly hair.  When the work was finished, we had great difficulty in securing carriers to bear our burdens to San Bartolo.  Enormous prices were demanded, and at last, angry over the attempted extortion, we threatened to leave all our stuff behind us, and hold the town responsible, reporting them to the authorities when we should reach Oaxaca, demanding that damages should be collected.  These threats had the desired effect.  The secretario, who had been the only member of the town government displaying energy in our behalf, promised by all that was sacred that our goods should be delivered promptly at San Bartolo; that if they were not already there on our arrival, we might safely arrange for further transportation from that town, convinced that the goods would come before we left.

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In Indian Mexico (1908) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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