The Caste War of Yucatan

The Caste War of Yucatan remains an important part of Yucatan history. After centuries of domination by the Spanish blooded and European born, The Maya revolted against the cruelty and the encomienda style slavery that they endured.

The Encomienda form of indentured servitude had occurred for centuries. Under this system those that lived on the land now owned by the Hacendados and Criollos were essentially required to live out their life on the hacienda and were required to make their purchases at the company store. Never earning enough money to pay their debt, this left them in a state of indentured servitude.

In Tekax, approximately 80 miles south of Merida, stands the House of Three Floors. Tekax was once the capital of Yucatan, in 1845, and saw many attacks by the Mayan locals.

The "House of Three Floors"

house of three floors, caste war of yucatan, Tekax

The House of Three Floors continues to be owned by the Machain family and Don Luis will gladly give a tour of the House. He is a prime source of history in Tekax and will show you and tell the history of attacks on the home by locals and show you the machete marks on the massive doors of this castle made during the many Indian attacks.

During these attacks the local “Blue Bloods”, as Don Luis tells, would come to the fortress and the local townspeople would hold festivities while the mayan peon rebels were contemplating how to get past the massive doors.

During one of these attacks the rebels looked like they were going to get in and the locals inside were warned to retreat to the second floor but since the rebels had failed in the past, they paid no heed. The rebels did manage to enter and those remaining on the ground floor were massacred.

Don Luis’ also talks of how his great-grandfather was attacked while returning on his horse from making his rounds of his plantation. Don Machain was struck many times in the head with machetes but managed to make it back home where he later died of his injuries.

Stories such as these continue to be told by elders and many still harbor animosity toward the indigenous population for these attacks on their ancestors.

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