American Indian culture
Tequio is an indigenous word for traditional communal work among the Oaxacan tribes of Mexico.
This sort of cooperative work is similar to a "bee" or barn-raising in rural American
farming communities, and still is an expected obligation of community members in many villages.
Today tequio can be used to refer either to this traditional kind of communal work, or to any collective group
or volunteer organization. The word comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) language, but tequios are most important in
the Mixtecan-Zapotecan tribes, such as the Zapotec, Mixtec, Trique, Mixe, and Amuzgo. Sometimes tequio is
also known by its Zapotecan name, guendalizaŠ. In Amuzgo the native name for tequio is tz'ian tz'on.
Here are links to our webpages about the Oaxacan tribes and languages:
Here are links to more Internet resources about the tequios (in Spanish):
El Tequio: el rostro indigeno de la cooperacion
And here are a few good books about the indigenous Mexicans of Oaxaca:
The Covenants with Earth and Rain: Exchange, Sacrifice, and Revelation in Mixtec Society
The Mixtecs of Oaxaca: Ancient Times to the Present
Behind God's Back
The Mesoamerican Indian Languages
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