At approximatety eight o'clock in the morning on the 22nd of June, 1719, Don Gaspar Agüero de los Reyes y San Pelayo, the alcalde mayor (Spanish magistrate) of the district of Villa Alta, Oaxaca, prepared to depart on horseback from the town square of the Zapotec pueblo of San Juan Juquila toward four disputed parcels of land. Standing with him in the square were the cabildo officers of San Juan Juquila and San Juan Tanetze, who had been engaged in a legal battle over the land for four years. Their lawyers stood with them. Juan Tirado, a district interpreter, and court witnesses (in lieu of an official notary) translated and notarized the proceedings. From his perch on the back of his horse, the alcalde mayor read the legal decision in the dispute, which the interpreter translated for the benefit of the Zapotec officials. The auxiliary judge, who rendered the decision in the case from the distance and comfort of the diocesan seat of Antequera, had ordered that the land in question should be divided equally between the two pueblos. The lawyer for the cabildo of Tanetze voiced his official protest and vowed to appeal the case to the Real Audiencia. The alcalde mayor registered the protest. Then, he addressed another group of men who had been waiting in the wings: Juan de Yllescas, Andrés Ramos, Juan Baptista, Pedro Hernandes, and Nicolas Santiago, all natives of the Zapotec pueblo of San Miguel Talea, and all of whom had testified in an earlier probanza on behalf of the pueblo of Juquila. Through his interpreter, the magistrate swore them in as witnesses and ordered them to guide the group to the disputed territory, identify the parcels of land and their borders, and determine where they should be divided. From this point on, the Zapotec witnesses took the lead and proceeded toward the disputed territory along the Camino Real, with their “faces pointing south.” In this manner, the legal ritual of boundary marking (amojonamiento) began.