A comparison of interethnic drinking patterns demonstrates how the outcome of social revolution differs in two contrasting communities in Bolivia. Drastic social reforms introduced in the 1950's were explicitly intended to weaken the control of mestizo landlords and to give peasants a greater share of wealth and power.

Anthropological research conducted between 1956 and 1965, combining directed and non-directed interviews with participant observation in two towns of about the same size and similar agricultural, commercial, and administrative importance, reveals both the pervasiveness and the inconsistency of revolutionary change in that ethnically diverse country.

Around Montero, mestizo landlords used to drink occasionally with the Camba tenant farmers on their haciendas, but there is now almost no sociability between the groups. By contrast, around Coroico, where mestizo landlords used to scorn the Aymara tenant farmers as an almost untouchable servile caste, they now symbolize new relationships by drinking together in limited contexts.

These diametrically contrasting changes in interethnic drinking reflect significant changes in the political, economic, and other social systems of the communities.

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