from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The chapter-house of a cathedral or collegiate church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A local government council in some Spanish-speaking communities.
  • noun A town hall in some Spanish-speaking countries


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish, from Latin capitulum.



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  • "Cochineal's indigenous producers also found the business profitable--too profitable, in the opinion of the Tlaxcalan cabildo, the council of elite Indians that oversaw daily life in the province. Concerned that the very success of the trade was leading to social disorder, the council prohibited the cultivation of cochineal in 1552. Evidently the measure failed, for nine months later, in March 1553, the council devoted an entire meeting to the cochineal problem. ...

    Like most elite Tlaxcalans, they were fervent Catholic converts, and they noted with dismay that cochineal growers 'devote themselves to their cochineal on Sundays and holy days; no longer do they go to church to hear mass as the holy church commands us.' Even worse, 'they buy pulque and then get drunk. ...

    What bothered the council most, however, was that the Tlaxcalan cochineal growers no longer showed proper deference to their betters. In the best tradition of nouveaux riches everywhere, the cochineal farmers were growing uppity."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 95.

    October 5, 2017