ABSTRACT

This chapter looks at a response to declining numbers of villagers made by the Chinantecs of Santiago Comaltepec. To reduce their reliance on unpaid collective work and communal service, they have replaced some municipal tequios with paid labour and are providing a salary for municipal cargos in the home village. This has made the community a more attractive proposition to young people, and may provide a foundation for a better economic future. But it also signifies a move away from the strict communalist ethos of service upon which village governance and community membership has long been based.