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Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico
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Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Irrigation ditches are the lifelines of agriculture and daily life in rural New Mexico. This award-winning account of the authors experience as a mayordomo, or ditch boss, is the first record of the life of an acequia by a community participant.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published July 1st 1993 by University of New Mexico Press (first published 1988)
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M. Sarki
Jan 15, 2014 M. Sarki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Pretty much a complete bore and a book a person with absolutely nothing better to do with one's life would read. That person is not I. A disappointing read that never got me out of the ditch. And if the book did get better later on perhaps old Stanley should have started there.
Susan Eubank
Here are the questions we discussed at the Reading the Western Landscape Book Club at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

• How did the author’s writing style affect your reading of the book?
• What was the most astonishing fact you learned?
• Give examples of how this rural environment significantly differs from our urban one? Are there beneficial aspects of that environment that could be adapted to urban areas?
• Give an example of something interesting you learned from one of
Japhet Els
May 05, 2008 Japhet Els rated it really liked it
Crawford writes with concern about the potential effect of new water laws on a close-knit Hispanic community currently operating their irrigation ditch (or acequia) under traditional Spanish laws. Fed only by melting snow, the Acequia de la Jara is of central importance to the landowners in this hilly area of sparse rainfall, for their crops depend on it. Overseeing maintenance and fair usage of the ditch is thus crucial, and following a centuries-old custom Crawford was elected mayordomo to ove ...more
Jul 21, 2016 Justin rated it really liked it
Much to like about this book. Crawford provides an insider's look at the culture and politics of acequia farming in northern New Mexico. This "year in the life of" account is informative, insightful and, buttressed by strong writing, a treat to read, though there were moments, late in the book, when the dryness of the subject matter led to brief stints of boredom.
Mar 09, 2013 Anita rated it really liked it
Poetry in the telling of mundane life in northern NM. If you're interested in the culture and people that hasn't really changed in many, many years then find a quiet moment to read this. Don't expect action or much movement. This is just a visual slice of life on a farm and its people.
Stephen Haynes
Jun 20, 2016 Stephen Haynes rated it it was amazing
Lovely little book that dives deep into a very narrow subject. I love the history of acequias wound in with the day to day life of keeping the water flowing in a parched land.
Bob Finch
Jun 02, 2014 Bob Finch rated it liked it
Shelves: history, new-mexico
Nice memoir of a gringo majordomo (ditch boss) in Taos, New Mexico.
frankly, I couldn't get into it. even tho I love that part of the country and the rural lifestyle, this book just couldn't hold my interest
Sally Schlehlein
Feb 02, 2016 Sally Schlehlein rated it liked it
Interesting little read, I was fascinated with the ditch running and the history of the Asequias in New mexico.
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Shelves: own
Rio Arriba is so foreign and yet feels so like home. <3
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Crawford is the author of "Gascoyne," "Petroleum Man," "Log of the S.S. The Mrs Unguentine," "A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm," "Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico," "The River in Winter," and "Some Instructions to My Wife Concerning the Upkeep of the House and Marriage and to my Son and Daughter Concerning the Conduct of their Childhood." He lives in ...more
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