How have the institutions of authority in this region changed over time? Government structures, kinship relations, voluntary associations have all undergone radical changes over the past century. The techniques of political economy, that is an examination of the institutions that guide the production and distribution of resources, helps us understand how local people perceive and react to changing power relations in this community. This section creates a portrait of the ways in which national institutions of governance and international trends in commerce have empowered and disempowered local people.
The first essay in this section is an introduction to the basic categories guiding the division of labor and notions of authority at the village level—age and gender. The second essay is an exploration of how the structure of domestic life has changed in reaction to fundamental shifts in state policy.