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Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico Paperback – July 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As mayordomo Crawford supervises the annual spring clearing of his association's acequia, determines the amount of water that each parciante will receive, and is partially responcible for record keeping and payrolls. A parciante's share of water is determined by the nature of his plantings and for a larger part, the weather. As manager of his ditch Crawford must also contend with family feuding, annual dues or "delincuencias" and parciantes who "cheat" by diverting water to their lands.
Crawford's observations take more into account than the physical labor and political hierarchy associated with the maintenance of an acequia. His words create a meaningful perspective of life among the residents of an old northern New Mexican farming community and his story reveals a group of people that have been chronicled by few writers and generally ignored or forgotten by everyone else.Read more ›
MAYORDOMO is a fascinating story of this system, as told by Stanley Crawford, an Anglo outsider who moved to Northern New Mexico around 1970 and began farming in the foothills of the Sangre de Christo Mountains of Northern New Mexico, something which he has continued to do up to now, selling his produce at, among other outlets, the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Crawford's property lay along one of nine acequias in a high mountain valley, and compelled by his dependence on the acequia for his fields and crops, he became involved in the traditional, largely Hispanic, system of water allocation. He eventually was elected mayordomo of his acequia (nearly by default, the job often entailing more headaches than it is worth in either pay or prestige). MAYORDOMO is the story of one year of his service in that role, from March 1985 to March 1986.
There are two principal aspects to the book.Read more ›
This is Crawford's account of his experience as the mayordomo of an acequia from March, 1985 to March, 1986. A low paid job, it is, and certainly there is a fair amount of frustration in managing the conflicting and competing interests of those in the community who benefit from the precious liquid that the acequia carries, bringing life to the desert. On the other hand, it is very real and meaningful work, in the natural world. Managing the physical labor and the allocation of this resource on a fair basis must be immensely satisfying, and one senses all of this from Crawford's account.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great description of what it takes to keep a centuries old practice running in modern day New Mexico.Published 3 months ago by PeterO2
I was recently elected Mayordoma of a small ditch association in Northern New Mexico. This book is hard to understand if you have not walked in those particularly muddy shoes, but... Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by G. Gore
This is an outstanding, thoughtful, and thoroughly delightful memoir. I assign it to university students in a class on the history of water.Published on August 2, 2011 by D. Fairchild Ruggles
Stanley Crawford is not a bad writer. He's not.
But "Mayordomo" is not a good book.
It is EXCRUCIATINGLY boring, and that's coming from someone who is obsessed with New... Read more