Growing Inability of Maya Communities to Provide Subsistence

John D. Early

in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043838 | DOI:
Growing Inability of Maya Communities to Provide Subsistence

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Beginning in the colonial period and continuing into the first part of the twentieth century, an accumulation of external and internal pressures on Maya communities finally resulted in their inability to obtain subsistence from what remained of their lands. External pressures were the result of migrations of ladinos into Maya areas accompanied by legal or illegal acquisition of Maya land. Internal pressure was population increase. Despite poor living conditions, there was slow population increase due to the paradox of high infant and child mortality resulting in high fertility. The result was a subsistence crisis in which the Maya were forced to seek wage labor as impoverished agricultural workers.

Keywords: land shortage; migration; land seizure; population increase

Chapter.  4026 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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