In analyzing the historical development of Meso- and Andean-American society, historians have stressed the hacienda’s destructive impact on native settlements, which, once broken down, became disposed to the adoption of Spanish traits. This view focuses primarily on the hacendado’s acquisition of Indian land and labor and the resultant destruction, partial or complete, of traditional Indian forms of cultivation, trade, and ultimately social relationships. To the extent that the hacendado forced communal Indians to resettle in newly opened lands, cultivate European crops, and engage in European trade, he encouraged the Indians to abandon their traditional rituals and adopt readily available Spanish patterns as replacements. 1