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MLA
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History
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Essay
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English (U.S.)
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The Mayan Cargo System (Essay Sample)

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This was a paper to explain the structure, origin and operation of the Mayan Cargo System.

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The Mayan Cargo System
This paper sets out to discuss the Mayan Cargo system as a social- economic system that has been developed over time and was founded to encourage the re-investing back to the society. As the system evolved it amalgamated the olden Mayan traditional cultures and the Catholic traditions that had existed in this area since the seventeenth century with Spanish interaction with the region. The social system involves four levels through which each man is expected to pass and through which he is obligated to a period of serving his community. At each step he pays his village a certain percentage of his earned income. As the man progresses through each level, he attracts greater levels of responsibility and attains more respect, prestige and honor in the community. This paper discusses the structure and working of the cargo system of the Mayan people of Southern Mexico and Northern Guatemala
At the beginner level are young men who have been admitted in the system for the first time which lasts for one year. The young men are supposed to do menial tasks for older men in the chain like running errands, tending to higher or elder members’ beck and call. (Searles and Lee 158). Progressively the members of the cargo system host more prestigious festivals and feasts for the community. Given that financial wealth hardly accumulated, prestige and social status is greatly enhanced. Membership of the cargo system gives them social advantages over non-members, and over lower level members of the system. (Searles and Lee 159).
The leveling mechanisms are value or form of social organization that evens out wealth in society. It is supposed to ensure that social goals are achieved alongside economic goals thus those who desire power and prestige will distribute as much wealth as they receive. Prestige can be a benefit of economic choice and thus preside is defined as that social honor or respect is another value toward which people may direct their energies. In some societies prestige is linked with inc...
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