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Keywords:

  • ritual discipline;
  • coercion;
  • hegemony;
  • resistance;
  • haciendas;
  • Ecuador;
  • Andes

Mestizo and indigenous authorities on 20th-century highland Ecuadorian haciendas exercised authority through culturally hybrid practices of ritual discipline. Rather than opposing force to persuasion, I argue that hacienda discipline used coercion as part of a strategy of persuasion. This argument is tied to a social-structural as well as cultural notion of hegemony: By regulating internal social relations, authorities linked their power to the notion of morality and “respect” held by subordinates, thereby also shaping the latter's understanding of resistance.