A CACIQUE (Spanish: ; Portuguese: ; feminine form: CACICA) is a
leader of an indigenous group, derived from the Taíno word kasikɛ
for the pre-Columbian tribal chiefs in the
Bahamas , the Greater
Antilles , and the northern
Lesser Antilles . In the colonial era,
Spaniards extended the word as a title for the leaders of practically
all indigenous groups that they encountered in the Western Hemisphere
Spanish America ,
Spain , and Portugal, the term also
has come to mean a political boss or leader who exercises significant
power in the political system known as CACIQUISMO.
* 1 History
* 2 Caciquismo and Caudillismo
* 3 Taino dynasty
* 4 Notable native caciques of the Americas
* 5 See also
* 6 Further reading
* 7 References
Cacique comes from the Taíno word kassiquan, meaning "to keep
Hatuey monument plaque.
Tupac Amaru II , Andean
cacique who led a massive rebellion in 1781.
In Taíno culture, the cacique rank was apparently established
through democratic means. His importance in the tribe was determined
by the size of his tribe rather than his warlord skills since the
Taínos were mostly a pacifist culture. They also enjoyed several
privileges for their standing: they lived in a larger rectangular hut
in the centre of the village, rather than the circular huts of other
villagers, and they had a special sitting place for the areytos
(ceremonial dances) and the ceremonial ball game.
Spaniards extended the usage of cacique to refer to leaders at the
town or village level in virtually all indigenous groups in Spanish
America . Caribbean caciques who did not initially oppose the Spanish
were co-opted into being intermediaries between the Spanish and their
communities, but their cooperation was transitional and most revolted,
resulting in their deaths in battle or by execution. Two famous early
colonial-era caciques are
Hatuey (Cuba) and
who are now national heroes in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. At the
base of the monument to
Hatuey the historical plaque reads: "To the
memory of Chief Hatuey, unforgettable native, precursor of the Cuban
fight for freedom, he offered his life, glorifying his ideals while
tormented by the flames on 2/2/1512. Monuments Delegation of Yara ,
Hatuey was a historical character in the 2010 film Even the
In central Mexico in the colonial era, the Spanish more successfully
utilized the leaders of the much more hierarchically-organized
indigenous peoples to function as intermediaries in the system of
colonial rule. The hierarchy and nomenclature of indigenous leadership
there might survive internally within communities, but the Spaniards'
designation of caciques did not necessarily correspond to the
hereditary indigenous system of leadership. Those men willing to
cooperate with the colonial rule replaced those with hereditary and
traditional claims to leadership. The Spanish recognized the
indigenous nobility as nobles within newly established colonial
system, and caciques' status along with their families was reinforced
by their being allowed to hold the Spanish noble honorific don and
doña. Some caciques had entailed estates called CACICAZGOS. The
records of many of these Mexican estates are held in the Mexican
national archives in a section Vínculos ("entails"). The
establishment of Spanish-style town government was used as a
mechanism to replace traditional rule. Spanish manipulation of cabildo
elections. In some areas the traditional, members hereditary lineages
became office holders on the town councils.
In the Andean region the term kuraka was also used as an alternative
to cacique. In Peru, the Spaniards had allowed the caciques to
maintain their titles of nobility and perquisites of local rule so
long as they were loyal to the Spanish monarch. In the late eighteenth
century, a massive uprising, the Tupac Amaru rebellion (1781), often
called the "Great Rebellion," was led by
Tupac Amaru II , a cacique
who claimed to be a descendant of the Inca royal line. At independence
Simón Bolívar abolished noble titles, but the power and
prestige of the caciques was already in decline following the Great
Rebellion. Unlike the early Caribbean caciques who rebelled shortly
after the imposition of Spanish rule, the Tupac Amaru rebellion came
after 250 years of colonial rule.
CACIQUISMO AND CAUDILLISMO
An extension of the term cacique is CACIQUISMO ("boss rule") can
refer to a political system dominated by the power of localpolitical
bosses , the caciques. In the post-independence period in Mexico, the
term retained its meaning to refer to indigenous leaders, but took on
the more general usage of a local or regional leader. Some scholars
make a distinction between caudillos (political strongmen ) and their
rule, CAUDILLISMO, and caciques and caciquismo. One Argentine
intellectual, Carlos Octavio Bunge viewed caciquismo as emerging from
anarchy and political disruption and then evolving into a "pacific"
form of "civilized caciquismo," such as Mexico's
Porfirio Díaz (r.
1876-1911). Argentine writer Fernando N.A. Cuevillas views caciquismo
as being "nothing more than a special brand of tyrant."
In Spain, caciquismo appeared in late 19th-century
Spain and early
20th-century . Writer Ramón Akal González views Galicia in
northwest of Spain, as having remained in a continual state of
strangulated growth over centuries as a result of caciquismo and
nepotism. "Galicia still suffers from this anachronistic caste of
caciques." Spanish strongman El
Francisco Franco (1892-1975)
was born in Ferrol in Galicia.
In the Philippines, the term cacique democracy was coined by Benedict
Anderson . It has been used to describe the political system where in
many parts of the country local leaders remain very strong, with
almost warlord-type powers. The Philippines was a colony of Spain
from the late sixteenth century until the
Spanish-American War of
1898, when the United States assumed control. The U.S. administration
subsequently introduced many commercial, political and administrative
reforms. They were sometimes quite progressive and directed towards
the modernization of government and commerce in the Philippines.
However, the local traditional Filipino elites, being better educated
and better connected than much of the local population, were often
able to take advantage of the changes to bolster their positions.
There is no consensus in the scholarly literature about the origins
Murdo J. MacLeod suggests that the terms cacique and
caudillo "either require further scrutiny or, perhaps, they have
become so stretched by the diversity of explanations and processes
packed into them that they have become somewhat empty
List of Taínos
* Agüeybaná (The Great Sun)
Agüeybaná II (The Brave)
NOTABLE NATIVE CACIQUES OF THE AMERICAS
Cunhambebe of the Tupinambás of São Paulo
Araribóia of the Temininós of Espirito Santo
Tibiriçá of the Tupiniquims of São Paulo
Sepé Tiaraju of the Guarani Missions
Felipe Camarão of the Potiguara
Guaicaipuro of the Teques and Caracas
Tamanaco of the Mariches and Quiriquires
Saguamanchica of the Muísca of Bogotá
Aquiminzaque of the Muísca of Bogotá
Inacayal of the Tehuelche
Saturiwa of the Timucua (People Named after him)
Acuera of the Timucua (People Named after him)
* Ais of the Ais (People Named after him)
* Carlos of the
Calusa (People Named after him)
* Catacora of Acora and Puno
Gregorio de San Juan
Gregor MacGregor , he claimed to be cacique of Poyais, a fictional
Central American country.
* Abercrombie, Thomas A. "Tributes to Bad Conscience: Charity,
Restitution, and Inheritance in
Cacique and Encomendero Testaments of
Sixteenth-Century Charcas" in Dead Giveaways: Indigenous Testaments of
Mesoamerica and the Andes, Susan Kellogg and Matthew Restall
, eds. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press 1998,pp. 249-289.
* Anderson, Benedict. "
Cacique Democracy in the Philippines: Origins
and Dreams", New Left Review, I (169), May–June 1988
* Bartra, Roger et al.,Caciquismo y poder político en el México
rural. 8th ed. Mexico: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1986.
* Caciquismo in twenieth-century Mexico. London: Institute for the
Study of the Americas, 2005.
* Costa y Martínez, Joaquín, Oligarquía y caciquismo: como la
forma actual de gobierno en España, urgencia y modo de cambiarla.
Zaragoza: Guara Editorial, 1982.
* Costa y Martínez, Joaquín, Oligarquía y caciquismo:
colectivismo agrario y otros escritos (antología). Madrid : Alianza
* de la Peña, Guillermo. "Poder local, poder regional: perspectivas
socio-antropológica." In Poder local: poder region, Eds. Jorge Padua
and Alain Vanneph. Mexico City: Colegio de México-CEMCA 1986..
* Díaz Rementería, Carlos J. El cacique en el virreinato del
Perú: estudio histórico-jurídico. Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla,
* Falcón, Romana. Revolución y caciquismo: San Luis Potosí,
1910-1938. México, D.F.: Centro de Estudios Históricos, Colegio de
* Forced marches soldiers and military caciques in modern Mexico.
Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012
* Friedrich, Paul. "The Legitimacy of a Cacique". In Local-Level
Politics: Social and Cultural Perspectives, ed. by Marc J. Swartz.
Chicago: Aldine 1968.
* Girón, Nicole. Heraclio Bernal, bandolero, cacique o precursor de
la Revolución?. México : Instituto Nacional de Antropología e
Historia, SEP, Departamento de Investigaciones Históricas, 1976.
* Heine, Jorge. The last cacique: leadership and politics in a
Puerto Rican city. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.
* Joseph, Gilbert M. "Caciquismo and the Revolution: Carrillo Puerto
in Yucatán" in
Caudillo and Peasant in the Mexican Revolution, 1980
* Kern, Robert, The caciques: oligarchical politics and the system
of caciquismo in the Luso-Hispanic world. Albuquerque, University of
New Mexico Press
* MacLeod, Murdo J. , "Cacique, Caciquismo" in Encyclopedia of Latin
American History and Culture, vol. 1, pp. 505-06. New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons 1996.
* Martínez Assad, Carlos, ed. Estadistas, caciques, y caudillos.
Mexico City: UNAM-IIS 1998.
* Ramírez, Susan, "The 'Dueños de Indios': Thoughts on the
Consequences of the Shifting Bases of Power of the 'Curaca de los
Viejos' Under the Spanish in Sixteenth-Century Peru," Hispanic
American Historical Review 67, no. 4 (1987):575-610.
* Roniger, Luis, "Caciquismo and Coronelismo: Contextual Dimensions
of Patron Brokerage in Mexico and Brazil." Latin American Research
Review Vol. 22, No. 2 (1987), pp. 71-99
* Saignes, Thierry. Caciques, tribute, and migration in the southern
Andes: Indian society and the seventeenth-century colonial order.
Trans. Paul Garner. London: University of London 1985.
* Salmerón Castro, Fernando. "Caciquismo" in Encyclopedia of
Mexico, vol. 1, pp. 177-179. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997.
* Spores, Ronald. "Mixteca cacicas: Status, wealth, and the
political accommodations of the native elite women in early colonial
Oaxaca" in Indian Women of Early Mexico, ed. Susan Schroeder et al.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 1997.
* Tusell, Javier, Oligarquía y caciquismo en Andalucía
(1890-1923). Barcelona : Editorial Planeta, 1976.
* Wasserman, Mark, Capitalists, caciques, and revolution: the native
elite and foreign enterprise in Chihuahua, Mexico, 1854-1911. Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.
* Wilson, Samuel M. Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of
* Wood, Stephanie. "Testaments and Títulos: Conflict and
Cacique and Community Interests in Central Mexico" in
Dead Giveaways: Indigenous Testaments of Colonial
Mesoamerica and the
Andes, Susan Kellogg and
Matthew Restall , eds. Salt Lake City:
University of Utah Press 1998, pp. 85-111.
* ^ Robert Kern, The caciques: oligarchical politics and the system
of caciquismo in the Luso-Hispanic world. Albuquerque, University of
New Mexico Press
* ^ The Catastrophe of Modernity: Tragedy and the Nation in Latin
American Literature. Bucknell University Press. 2004. pp. 136–. ISBN
978-0-8387-5561-7 . Retrieved 25 June 2013.
* ^ "Taíno Indians Culture". Topuertorico.org. Retrieved
* ^ Murdo J. MacLeod, "Cacique, Caciquismo" in Encyclopedia of
Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 1, p. 505. New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons 1996.
* ^ MacLeod, "Caciques, Caciquismo", p. 505.
Ida Altman , "The Revolt of
Enriquillo and the Historiography
of Early Spanish America," The Americas vol. 63(4)2007, 587-614.
* ^ Charles Gibson , The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of
the Indians of the Valley of Mexico, 1519-1810, Stanford: Stanford
University Press 1964, p. 36.
* ^ Guillermo S. Fernández de Recas, Cacicazgos y Nobiliario
Indígena de la Nueva España, Mexico: Biblioteca Nacional de México,
* ^ S.L. Cline, "A Cacicazgo in the seventeenth century: The case
of Xochimilco" in Land and Politics in the Valley of Mexico: A
two-thousand-year perspective. Ed. H.R. Harvey. Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press 1991.
* ^ Guido Münch, El cacicazgo de San Juan Teotihuacan durante la
colonia, 1521-1821. Mexico City: SEP, Instituto Nacional de
Antropología e Historia, Centro de Investigaciones Superiores 1976.
* ^ Robert Haskett, Indigenous Rulers: An Ethnohistory of Town
Government in Colonial Cuernavaca. Albuquerque: University of New
Mexico Press 1991.
* ^ MacLeod, "Cacique, Caciquismo", p. 505.
* ^ Cecilia Méndez, The Plebeian Republic: The Huanta Rebellion
and the Making of the Peruvian State. Durham: Duke University Press
2005, pp. 102-05.
* ^ John Lynch ,
Caudillos in Spanish America: 1800-1850. Oxford:
Clarendon Press 1992, p.6.
* ^ Mark Wasserman, Capitalists, caciques, and revolution: the
native elite and foreign enterprise in Chihuahua, Mexico, 1854-1911.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.
* ^ Fernando Díaz Díaz,
Caudillos y caciques: Antonio López de
Santa Anna y Juan Álvarez. Mexico, 1972, 3-5.
* ^ Carlos Octavio Bunge, "Caciquismo in Our America" (1918), in
Hugh M. Hamill, ed. Caudillos: Dictators in Spanish America. Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press 1992, p. 172.
* ^ Fernando N.A. Cuevillas, "A Case for Caudillaje and Juan
Perón" in Hugh M. Hamill, ed. Caudillos, p. 287.
* ^ Varela Ortega, José (2001). El poder de la influencia:
Geografía del caciquismo en España: (1875-1923). Centro de Estudios
Políticos y Constitucionales. ISBN 84-259-1152-4 .
* ^ Ramón Akal González, Obra Completa II, 1977, p. 111.
* ^ Benedict Anderson, '
Cacique Democracy in the Philippines:
Origins and Dreams', New Left Review, I (169), May–June 1988
* ^ Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson,
* ^ MacLeod, "Cacique, Caciquismo", p. 506
Cacique additional terms
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