One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in Latin America or the Spanish-speaking Caribbean) a native chief.
- ‘They lived under nine independent caciques or chiefs, and possessed a simple religion devoid of rites and ceremonies, but with a belief in a supreme being, and the immortality of the soul.’
- ‘By February the Indian caciques (leaders or chieftains) saw the Spaniards were at their mercy and refused to provide any more provisions.’
- ‘She is traditionally represented with two other figures, that of a black henchman, el Negro Felipe, and of an Indian cacique, Guaicapuro.’
- ‘In matters of traditional religion, which encompasses much of what white people associate with government, a cacique among the Pueblos and a kikmongwi among the Hopi have serious responsibilities to the people.’
- ‘The Guarani caciques exchanged women to formalize their alliance with the Spanish against the hostile peoples of the Chaco.’
- 1.1 (in Spain or Latin America) a local political boss.
- ‘It was committed to class struggle in a country that had scarcely had a bourgeois revolution, and to political action in spite of the manipulation of elections by local landowners or caciques.’
- ‘Tlatoani (head honcho), cacique, and caudillo - these words glisten on the pages of the derisive gubernatorial lexicon.’
- ‘Many such communities are still ruled by caciques (local strongmen) according to ‘uses and customs,’ which may fly in the face of such constitutional rights as religious freedom.’
- ‘As in Cuba, Jamaica's inhabitants divided their island into provinces, each ruled over by a cacique assisted by village headmen or sub-chiefs.’
- ‘Gifts of a pair of scissors or a looking glass were made to the caciques or village headmen from time to time to keep them friendly.’
- ‘A share tenant system has made most farmers captives of landlords, or caciques.’
- ‘Others, such as caciques, used the mission system itself to improve their material interests and cultural autonomy.’
- ‘He said he had heard that nobody in the islands could stand up to the Admiral's power and so before he was deprived of his land and his authority as a cacique he wished to see the wonders of Spain.’
- ‘Moreover, new caciques emerged in the wake of agrarian reform, as officials of the agrarian bank and ejidal bosses entrenched themselves locally.’
Mid 16th century: from Spanish or French, from Taino.
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