ABSTRACT

The north-eastern shores of Huinaymarca had acted as a powerful magnet to late nineteenth century expansionist landlords. Excessive abuses of the hacienda system since that time, together with the lakeside dwellers’ traditional reputation for belligerency and the communities’ nearness to La Paz, made it inevitable that the study area should become the scene of social unrest and violence during the early days of the National Revolution. Llamacachi’s myriad of small, cultivated lakeside fields are flanked by the extensive single-crop hacienda fields of Chua Visalaya on the eastern side and Compi to the west. In common with lakeside colonos, Llamacachenos planted unimproved seeds and tubers, storing them until needed; potatoes had been small and often blighted. In Llamacachi, as in all lakeside communities, marriages had been negotiated with land and livestock prospects the prime parental consideration. Including a freeholding in the analysis of agrarian reform made it possible to broaden the comparisons of agricultural productivity and economic efficiency in pre-reform times.