Biography •  Folklore •  Geography •  Literature and Southwest

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Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico

Stanley Crawford

Irrigation ditches are the lifelines of agriculture and daily life in rural New Mexico. This award-winning account of the author's experience as a mayordomo, or ditch boss, is the first record of the life of an acequia by a community participant.


Stanley Crawford lives in Dixon, New Mexico.


" . . . a timeless, near-classic. . . . This is the sort of book you will read, shelve, and take down to read parts or all of again. And again."


Books of the Southwest

"Stanley Crawford has . . . turned the history of an acequia into a startling and lovely celebration of life. . . . Crawford's artistry draws the reader . . . into the lives of those simple and strong people . . . (His) narrative technique effectively leads the reader through the past's mundane tasks of yearly digging and scraping ditches . . . Mayordomo illustrates the joy of 'living life deliberately' without modern conveniences--it reveals to the reader the strength and hardihood found only in those who live close to the land and depend on the environment for survival. It is a testament to the human spirit . . . "


Western American Literature

" Mayordomo is informative non-fiction writing at its best . . . Moreover, it has been perceived as a fine piece of living archeology . . . (Crawford) applied his skill as a writer of smooth and sensitive prose."


Taos County Historical Society

"Crawford writes with clarity and true pitch about the climate, the wildlife, and the social complexities of northern New Mexico village life. . . . As a contribution to naturalist literature the book is equally rich. . . . Mayordomo is sure to become a classic regional study . . . Crawford's sensitive pen captures the conflicts and continuities with poignancy."


El Palacio

5.5 x 8 in. 248 pages 1 map