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Tourism, Tradition, and Acculturation: Weekendismo in a Mexican Village Author(s): Theron A. Nunez, Jr. Source: Ethnology, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jul., 1963), pp. 347-352 Published by: University of Pittsburgh- Of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3772866 . Accessed: 06/04/2011 09:32
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tourist somewhat and impressionistically. have been concerned with the filtering down or diffusion of urban cultural forms to the village level. within the general framework of acculturation theory.. al? profile subjectively and urban class structure though data from studies of urbanization are invaluable. I suggest that tourism may be studied and understood weekendismo. urban leisure What are some of the consequences class in a Mexican peasant village? Cajititlan. and one of its forms that results in contact with rural communities may be called. Tradition. primarily such as Lewis (1959) and Little (19SS. In newly industrializing urban classes.g. certain special problems of description sis present themselves. at Berkeley University of California In recent years anthropologists have tended to examine rural-urban acculturation from two points of view. while others. patterns Some. e. Fishing and animal husbandry occupy a few families. the urban tourists of as representing a "donor" may be thought culture. in Spanish. and analy? However. community. Village Nunez. the second largest city of It is primarily an agricultural Mexico.Tourism. of a weekending. Fallers (1954) and Srinivas (1956). The "profile" of urban life presented by tourists to a rural host community is a distorted one and is not clearly understood The anthropologist must draw the by the peasant. patterns of countries. the village has enjoyed a high degree of political isola? Traditionally under the jurisdiction tion and autonomy. have focused upon the in changed forms of behavior that characterize peasant immigrants urban centers. 1962). dependent upon the growing of corn and beans for subsistence and upon a few cash in irrigated plots along chilis and tomatoes?planted crops?mainly the lake shore. is a typical highland Mexico mestizo village. A frequent pattern of leisure use is tourism. for example.800 inhabitants live along the shore of a small and picturesque lake 32 kilometers from Guadalajara. whose 1. while the host population may be viewed as a "recipient" culture. Jalisco. Jr. Weekendismo in and a Acculturation: Mexican Theron A. although it is technically of the cabecera of the municipio (county seat) some twenty kilometers 347 . with the emergence of well-to-do leisure use typical of Western European societies begin to develop. In this paper I suggest an additional context for the study of rural-urban contact and acculturation.
ever been one. the village. in 1962 for the annual of Americans visited the community early fiesta. of the ejido system of land distribution during the agrarian reforms of the 1920s marked a diminution of overt and violent conflict between and distribution of ejido lands prompthe barrios. and. a new the revolutionary reforms that followed fighting. Cajititlan is a male-oriented society. Social control is a function of the church and public opinion rather than of police or political authority. a division that function has no current religious (nor can any be remembered) The barrios tend to and has no basis in class or wealth distinctions. armed. There is no periodic market. the consciousness The "tourists" are. . in that acquisition ted a degree of village unity and cooperation. bus service is today available to the Cajititlences. interested in land specuIn 1959 two Guadalajara businessmen. social organization.348 ETHNOLOGY An elected village council. conquest have been felt most acutely in the areas of political authority. it profited by the agrarian largely passed the village by. and revolution wars of independence The Mexican Cajititl6nces. public offices are normally nor do they carry much prestige. Pri? to extremely where women are relegated form what of the ideal male role in this community mary components or "cult of masculinity. and Blood feuds are common. of a road into Cajititlan. and one American couple has purchased a lake-front building site. has a long history of casual contact with the city of Cajititlan to which one traveled by horse or burro or on foot. conquest immediate of this second The numerous consequences Cajititlan. is hereditary. and membership The establishment be endogamous. wealthy middle and upper class Guadalajarans." has been called the machismo syndrome the most important symbols of which are the horse. in the main. headed by an unpaid mayor. purchased tracts of lake-shore They "discovered" prop? that the construction of a erty. forms away. 1530. the local government. skill in their use as a man of action. and values. economies. not sought after. where most aspects of public life are open only to men and subordinate status. the pistol. a number However. and period tourists invaded of acculturation began. most adult males own pistols and many appear in public traditionally. and persuaded the state government road and subsequent of the natural beauty of the area exploitation would enhance the state's tourist resources. nor has there apparently social organization is the The most striking feature of Cajititlan division of the village into two equal and rival barrios. Guadalajara. Face-to-face contact with Guadalajaran a new profile of urban life into weekend tourists in Cajititlan brings of the villager. although In 1960. As with much of the state of Jalisco. most previous contact with this urban center has been confined to slum and market areas. then an Indian settle? Spanish conquistadores entered Cajititlan. Neverthe? Daily less. beginning ment. began to promote the construction lation. the European acculturation of the in March.
swimming. The villager is almost always addressed by the visitor in the familiar or It might be said that a temporary verb forms. From the outset weekend visitors were able to enjoy the resort possibilities of the village. from the tourist point of view. evident in this relation? Social-class behavior. known as Los Bungalos. Mercedes automobiles and uniformed servcan buy. boating. The visitors from Guadalajara bring with them the paraphernalia of a twentieth and water skies. for his part. These units. char? Cajititlan acteristics with which they. The new image of urban Mexican life presented to the people of is one of wealth and presumably limitless leisure. a highly placed of the road into Cajititlan. for one of the initial promotors of the road had constructed seven motel units. however. or have remodeled in an urban fashion. does not participate in or understand The relationship be? the daily life of the village. although these facilities are confined to their own use. facilities. as peasant Mexicans. is frequently with the villager relegated to a lower class vis-ci-vis the tourist. plots. second-person the interaction of characterizes transient relationship patron-client tourists and villagers. Eight new houses have been built since the opening of the new road. which brings the tourists to Cajititlan. The average tourist.IN WEEKENDISMO A MEXICAN VILLAGE 349 Construction of the new graded vehicular road. however. He has continued resource. cannot identify. have built rather elaborate existing structures houses. leisure activity. They seem unaware that the profile of urban culture to which they and represents are now exposed is extremely selective weekend. ants?whatever This profile of urban culture is so money remote from the experience of the Cajititlan peasant that many of the and the section of the villagers think that the tourists are Americans. and running They have introduced plumbing water to the community. to make the village more certain "reforms. ship. was completed in 1960 and linked the village to the well-traveled route between Guadalajara and the Lake Chapala resort area. with water sports the lake shore. and waterThe wealthier visitors have purchased lake-front skiing." designed instituting These reforms. and build houses is now called village where the tourists congregate Barrio Americano. along were ready for occupancy of the road. have dramatically reform was the assignment and far-reaching The most important . appealing altered local culture patterns. outcentury leisure class: speedboats door barbecue and transistor radios. and four traditional houses have been leased or purchased for remodeling. beach umbrellas equipment and brief bathing suits. tween the urban tourist and his village hosts is primarily economic. of the urban and peasant Such is the discontinuity ways of life. upon the completion Most tourists drive to Cajititlan on a Saturday or Sunday morning to spend the day picnicking. Upon the completion state official took an active interest in the internal affairs of the village as a tourist of newly accessible and in the development Cajititlan to be a frequent visitor and innovator.
these edicts thus far with only verbal reaction?in much the same have traditionally bowed to outside way that peasants authority. The members of the were not consulted. to dispute bets. an order against stray dogs (strays are shot by the rurales). stitute the first effective law enforcement has known in Cajititlan modern times.350 to the ETHNOLOGY of three rural police. The Cajititldnces have not. undertaken and enforced unilaterally with the idea that the village would be more suitable and safer for tourists. tourism. that the three-man force of rurales is augmented on weekends and fiesta days. to kill and be killed for a point of honor?are is directed against Resentment being infringed upon. Since the arrival of the rurales in January. while the younger men tend to feel that their rights ?to race horses. order is mixed: older family heads tend to welcome the security of armed authority. failed to respond in a posi? tive way to the economic opportunities presented them by tourism. have land. and two measures taken by them have struck at the core of the male-oriented The rurales have. which was not infrequently The by violent disputes. Some of these measures are striking. It should be noted. and a combination inn and restaurant has come into existence. two beer pavilions have been constructed on the lake shore. normally used for the production been sold as building sites. Reaction to the new law and 1962. Large parcels of lake-front of cash garden crops. directly re? community The heavily armed rurales con? sponsible to the state government. no such deaths have occurred. called rurales. however. to fire off a magazine of expensive ammunition in conspicuous display. The plaza has taken on a market as local merchants stock larger quanduring weekends atmosphere . This was a traditional pastime and a competitive expression of a masculine skill. in emphasizing the relationship between the ad? vent of outside police authority and tourism. the rurales themselves and not against the reason for their presence. although less behavior. jailing as a punishment for drunkenness and for urinating in the streets. gun play. the abolition of the wearing of the tradi? tional white cotton trousers (called calzones) on the grounds that All of these measures were they are underwear and hence indecent. One member of the community has set himself up as a real estate broker. Other measures initiated by the state government. accompanied a community rurales have also successfully where less de-pistolized than a year ago it was not uncommon for adult males to wear pistols to church. enforced the abolition of horse racing. annually recorded in the delegacion (city hall) two or three deaths from fire arms. In the brief period since the road was completed. on orders value system. where feuding or any serious dispute might result in Cajititlan. community they have accepted Nevertheless. soliciting bids on locally owned from weekend visitors and charging a 23^ per cent comproperty mission on any property sold. restrict traditional the prohibition of hunting with arms in the nearby hills. the prohibition of livestock in the streets. from the state.
trol of political power by one or the other barrio has become a matter of utmost concern. although hostility multiple operative. equivalent. beer.IN WEEKENDISMO A MEXICAN VILLAGE 351 tities than usual of such items as cigarettes. ponent of the society has taken on new importance. fruits. which might serve as functional are at this juncture equivalents. Increased and new forms of commercial activity indicate an incipient local market economy and the advent of the entrepreneur as a new and important role. unobtainable. concerned here with the effects Though I have been specifically com? urban tourists and tourism in a mestizo peasant of Mexican indicated. immediately follow? The mayor usually serves a one-year ing the arrival of the rurales. in anthro? That change involves conflict is almost axiomatic Hostilities between the two rival barrios. special elections. Parking space for automobiles is rented by owners of desirable lake-front swimming and picnic sites. traditional forms of masculine self-expression of barrio hostility a functional found in the revival and intensification Those aspects of urban culture to which they are exposed. of the (1) The men of Cajititlan. term. with regard to these village officials. segments of the urban population trialization in appropriate rural and resort seek recreation will increasingly . that political (2) There is a growing awareness power on the has been temporarily the fact that local autonomy local level?despite that power to benefit enable the group holding displaced?might in some way from the increased economic activity brought materially about by tourism. political Cajititlan had three mayors in a period of as many months. mayors. Butchers display in the plaza more fresh meat than and barbecued cracklings formerly and sell cooked-on-the-spot goat to the hungry tourists. relatively dormant pology. to be assumed once during a man's lifetime. some generalizations assumed that. while the village seeing craft for the convenience musicians serenade picnicking groups. have recently become intensified. and vegetables. I suggest at least two efficient causes for this intensification of causes are undoubtedly and conflict. soft drinks. deprived by outside authority have and competition. Local fishermen turn their canoes into sightof the visitors. of They have involved the resignation numerous political meetings and petitions. These conflicts have resulted in a general breakdown of village level cooperation. Partisanship issues has been structured along barrio lines. and the con? since the late 1920s. As noted earlier. as urban populations expand in response to indusand economic growth. The holding of political office was considered. accusation and the like. a duty or obligation comreasons an existing structural for functional Now. however. political office was not sought after and held at best. little prestige. A series of unprecedented actions has occurred since the advent of tourism. of fraud against disputes over the operation of the ejido. It may be are nevertheless munity.
M. value systems. to the larger of its possible economic resort. tourist profile must be drawn?continues I hope to have demonstrated (1) that tourism may bring about rapid and dramatic changes in the loci of authority. NOTE 1. 1956. The data upon which it is based were collected during a field trip to the community of Cajititlan. land-use patterns. 1956. Chicago. am responsible for the collection and interpretation of the data. and portions of an economy. Far Eastern Quarterly 15:481-496. A Note on the "Trickle Effect. Jalisco. In the newly developing of today's world. lasting from July. to August.352 ETHNOLOGY It is not unlikely. Actas del XXXIII Congresso Internacional de Americanistas 1: 387-402. Srinivas. 1959. L. Structural Changes in the Sierra Leone Protectorate. It is an aspect or dimension of the civilization of which it is a The culture of peasant Cajititlan has certainly and quickly part. The Culture of the Vecindad in Mexico City: Two Case Studies. because importance outside financial interests society. will attract to the host community and political tourism and its effects in a authority. Africa 25:217-233. financed through a grant from the National Science Foundation. R. I am indebted to Prof. O. special whatever or nationalism?the anthro? reason?tourism. George M. 1962. when the countries the formal apparatus of the state) takes larger society (particularly in previously interest for overlooked rural communities. I alone. should be alert to the consequences. . Lewis. (2) that it is a legitimate and necessary area of culture change research. Little. . and (3) that the study of tourism may provide another laboratory situation for the testing of acculturation theory. understood without reference to village society cannot be adequately the socio-economic structure of the larger society of which it is a part. that a potential tourist environments. K. Ethnology 1: 197-211. the technical assistance agent. Peasant Society and Culture: An Anthropological Approach to Civilization. Foster for direction and encouragement during the course of the field work and for criticism of this paper. Obviously. however. A Note on Sanskritization and Westernization. of this phenomenon of will proceed as understanding Understanding urban populations?from the nature of industrializing which the to advance. BIBLIOGRAPHY Fallers. therefore. or the trader." Public Opinion Quarterly 18: 314-321. 1961." felt the impact of industrializing Mexico the medium of through weekendismo. This paper was read. . at the 1962 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Certainly the tourist is today more ubiquitous than the missionary. all of whom have been considered as agents of diffusion and accultura? tion. is not autono? mous. nativism. 1954. in a similar form. 1955. A. Redfield. Some Traditionally Based Forms of Mutual Aid in West African Urbanization. 1962. H. Redfield (1956: 68) pologist has written: "The culture of a peasant community .
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