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Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an Indian chieftain in Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America before the Spanish conquest. The post of cacique was usually hereditary in a particular clan or family. The caciques and their descendants formed the aristocratic elite among the Aztecs, Mayans, and other tribes. Some of the caciques went over to the side of the Spanish colonialists and became feudal landowners and officials.

In Latin America and in Spain, influential politicians from among landowners, the bourgeoisie, and the military who have seized power in a particular region of the country are called caciques. The system of administration whereby the central government exercises its authority in localities with the help of caciques has come to be known as caciquism.


Zorita, A. Breve y sumaria relación de los señores de la nueva España. Mexico City, 1942.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The acquisition of family-owned El Sol Foods is a testament to Cacique's commitment to offering consumers a breadth of authentic Hispanic foods.
Distribution of the new Cacique salsa products will begin regionally in the western US this May, with nationwide rollout beginning this summer.
En estos casos el pueblo indigena quedaba casi vacio, permaneciendo finalmente el cacique y su familia inmediata, quienes no tuvieron la obligacion de emigrar, aunque la mayoria de ellos se desplazaron junto con su gente.
Don Juan Arapa, jilaqata principal de los olleros, denuncio que don Felipe Caquia, cacique de Guancane, "enbio un yndio que derribasen los mojones y asi los an derribado y echado por tierra y a mi me an amenazado sus yndios que me an de matar" (21).
In the present study, we have sought to understand the sociocultural context of the relationship between feijoada and samba at Cacique de Ramos, which has been established as a reference in defense of traditional samba and partido alto (a type of samba in Brazil) becoming an emblematic icon in Rio de Janeiro suburbs.