Pp. 171-218 (48)
Keith V. Bletzer
This chapter is based on fieldwork at the edge of another primary site farm
town. Men and women arrived for a perishable crop split season, left for one-three
weeks, before returning to harvest the crop many had planted. Observations over two
summers reveal timing required for disaggregation at the end of the first half (split
season) and full season, when the work has been finished. Sometimes expenditure of
resources left one with little food and no foreseeable employment. Group members who
gather in clusters become inter-dependent on each other. For gatherings observed in this
site, groups included a mix in backgrounds with an affinity for farm labor, as the main
reason for aggregating, which emphasizes readiness for labor, however brief it might
be, when the opportunity is offered.
Main players are introduced among those who spent time at The Market at the edge of
the farm town. Exploring the formation of clusters, several dozen individuals are
mentioned, including pinhook workers (Borado, Cien, Indigo, Juarez, Luis, Neto,
Pastor, Taro), contractors (Geraldo, Hectór, Placido, Ricardo), re-settled migrants
(Doñoni), local women (Kirabo, Pixel) and men from the town (LA and Walker), drug
users (Santo) and distributors (Stanton), men passing-through (Vasco), watchman for
The Market (Arary) and its two originators (Chano and Nacho), among others.
Abandoned properties, commodity poaching, disaggregation,
economically precarious, field-intercept, food pilfering, naturalistic settings, onthe-
season, pinhook contractors, pinhook workers, remnant crops, roadside
market, seasonal assembly, small groups, split season, time-break, time-wait,
time-work, work affinity, Work-Travel Study.