Compadrazgo was (and is) a system of spiritual kinship that is very similar to godparentage. In New Mexico, the practice dated back to the arrival of Spanish conquistadores and it continues even today. During the nineteenth century, compadrazgo involved more than choosing godparents for a child–it was also connected to the practices of patron-client relationships and the partido system. The patrón was typically given the honor of becoming padrino to the children of those indebted to him; in return, he promised to provide for the spiritual and material needs of the child and his or her family. When Anglos increasingly took control of partidario relationships in the early twentieth century, the element of compadrazgo was neglected.
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