Political leadership in a Mayan village in southern British Honduras

Howard, Michael Carlton (1973) Political leadership in a Mayan village in southern British Honduras. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis analyzes local-level political leadership in a Kekchi and Mopan Mayan speaking community in southern British Honduras. The analysis of political leadership is based upon a model centered around the premise that a political leader necessarily makes choices in relation to different strategies. These choices, in turn, are based upon the leader's perception of personal resources and the socio-cultural environment. -- The beginning of the thesis, after a theoretical discussion of political leadership, examines the villagers' social, cultural, historical and economic environment. The remainder of the thesis deals with the political and administrative structure of Pueblo Viejo (the village studied) and with village leaders. There is a fair amount of descriptive material presented. This is to provide a fuller understanding of the dynamics of the political leader's actions and of his environment. It is also hoped that some of the information will add to the relatively meagre ethnological and ethnohistorical data for this area. -- The social structure of Pueblo Viejo is encapsulated within a larger national structure. And, although a good deal of social and cultural isolation and autonomy remain, there have been changes in recent years in terms of increasing integration into national society. This has especially been true in the economic sector. -- However, in the realm of basic cultural norms there has been considerable continuity. -- Political leaders in Pueblo Viejo have had to deal with problems inherent in the more "conservative" areas of their society and culture as well as adapting to changes in others. To date, the traditional leaders have been able to maintain their statuses, due largely to the continuity of certain norms relating to authority and legitimacy, and to adapt successfully to changes. In fact, they have often been in the forefront in encouraging certain kinds of change.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7653
Item ID: 7653
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 255-268.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Belize
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ethnology--Belize; Mayas

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