Glossary of Spanish
and Zapotec Terms
Zapotec words are spelled in accordance with the International Phonetic Alphabet.
agencia a population center under
the control of a municipio
agricultores agriculturists (usually
with land)
ahijadas/hijadas goddaughters
ahijados/hijados godsons; godchil-
dren in general
a la fuerza obligatory
alcaldes judges
alcaldes mayores regional adminis-
trative offices of the crown during
the colonial period
almud dry measure that when filled
with corn is equivalent to two
artesanía artisanry, crafts
artes populares indígenas indige-
nous folk arts
atole corn-based drink
ayuntamiento town council
banfoco (Banco de Fomento de
Cooperativas) Bank for the
Promotion of Cooperatives
bεngul an elderly person
bεnguna women
bε:n(i) lo’getš people of Teotitlán
bε:n(i) reh person from here
cochineal-dyed wool cloth
worn as a skirt
bracería program to recruit Mexi-
cans to work in the United States
under contract; the body of
people so employed
bracero contract worker under a
U.S. program for Mexican work-
ers; by extension, any person who
migrates to the United States to
work as a manual laborer
cacique political boss
cargo civil or religious office within
the community government or
church committee
cliente regular customer
cnc (Confederación Nacional
Campesina) pri-controlled
peasant union
cocei (Coalición de Obreros,
Campesinos, y Estudiantes del
Istmo) Coalition of Workers,
Peasants, and Students of the
cocopa (Comisión de Concordia y
Pacificación) Commission of
Concord and Pacification
cofradía religious corporation
established to pay for ceremonies
sponsored by the cult of a saint
comadre a child’s godmother in
relation to the biological parents
comité de la iglesia church commit-
compadrazgo ritual kinship
compadre a child’s godfather in
relation to the biological parents
concuño sister-in-law’s brother
contentar to go to appease the
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