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Very brief introduction to the history of Vicos

Researchers date human presence in this area to 12,000 years B.P. with evidence for complex social organization dating 4,000 thousand years ago. During colonial and republican times the population attached to the land maintained the same status as serf-bound laborers even though the land changed hands many times.

The hacienda refers to a large landholding with a resident population who serve the needs of the landowner or renter. In the case of Vicos, in 1951 when researchers recorded labor obligations, one male from every family had to provide 159 days per year of agricultural labor while women and children cared for the hacienda herds. Additional labor was required of women as cooks and as household servants. Men had to give extra labor as hacienda guards and to care for hacienda horses. In exchange for their labor, Vicosinos received usufruct rights over agricultural plots and grazing. In Peru, the hacienda system was abolished in 1969 by the Agrarian Reform, but in Vicos significant changes in land ownership and labor developed between 1952 and 1966 during the Cornell-Peru Project.