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Maria’s Complaint

When the alcalde returned with Maria to the house, Dona Juana was not there but her daughter and daughter-in-law were and as soon as they saw Maria they began to threaten and insult her. The alcalde, upon seeing this, allowed Maria to depart. Santiago, Maria’s husband, had left because of the mal treatment toward Maria. They asked the judge for a change in working situation and were granted the request. The judge even intervened in the selling price of Maria who was older and less active. Maria and Santiago would have had new owners but when the principal owner passed away his son begged for their return and claimed that the family should not be held guilty for the actions of misguided daughters. Maria and Santiago were eventually returned to the household, but the mechanism to challenge owners legally existed (Taylor and Moore 2003:33).

NPS Ethnography Program