MESOAMERICAN PLAZAS ARENAS OF COMMUNITY AND POWER

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Mesoamerican Plazas

Author : Kenichiro Tsukamoto
ISBN : 9780816598793
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.96 MB
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Until now, archaeological and historical studies of Mesoamerican plazas have been scarce compared to studies of the surrounding monumental architecture such as pyramidal temples and palaces. Many scholars have assumed that ancient Mesoamericans invested their labor, wealth, and symbolic value in pyramids and other prominent buildings, viewing plazas as by-products of these buildings. Even when researchers have recognized the potential significance of plazas, they have thought that plazas as vacant spaces could offer few clues about their cultural and political roles. Mesoamerican Plazas challenges both of these assumptions. The primary question that has motivated the contributors is how Mesoamerican plazas became arenas for the creation and negotiation of social relations and values in a community. The thirteen contributions stress the significance of interplay between power relations and embodied practices set in specific historical and material settings, as outlined by practice theory and performance theory. This approach allows the contributors to explore broader anthropological issues, such as the negotiation of power relations, community making, and the constitution of political authorities. Overall, the contributions establish that physical interactions among people in communal events were not the outcomes of political machinations held behind the scenes, but were the actual political processes through which people created, negotiated, and subverted social realities. If so, spacious plazas that were arguably designed for interactions among a large number of individuals must have also provided critical arenas for the constitution and transformation of society.
Category: Social Science

Political Strategies In Pre Columbian Mesoamerica

Author : Sarah Kurnick
ISBN : 9781607324164
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.2 MB
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Political authority contains an inherent contradiction. Rulers must reinforce social inequality and bolster their own unique position at the top of the sociopolitical hierarchy, yet simultaneously emphasize social similarities and the commonalities shared by all. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica explores the different and complex ways that those who exercised authority in the region confronted this contradiction. New data from a variety of well-known scholars in Mesoamerican archaeology reveal the creation, perpetuation, and contestation of politically authoritative relationships between rulers and subjects and between nobles and commoners. The contributions span the geographic breadth and temporal extent of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica—from Preclassic Oaxaca to the Classic Petén region of Guatemala to the Postclassic Michoacán—and the contributors weave together archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data. Grappling with the questions of how those exercising authority convince others to follow and why individuals often choose to recognize and comply with authority, Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica discusses why the study of political authority is both timely and significant, reviews how scholars have historically understood the operation of political authority, and proposes a new analytical framework to understand how rulers rule. Contributors include Sarah B. Barber, Joanne Baron, Christopher S. Beekman, Jeffrey Brzezinski, Bryce Davenport, Charles Golden, Takeshi Inomata, Arthur A. Joyce, Sarah Kurnick, Carlo J. Lucido, Simon Martin, Tatsuya Murakami, Helen Perlstein Pollard, and Víctor Salazar Chávez.
Category: Social Science

Urbanization And Religion In Ancient Central Mexico

Author : David M. Carballo
ISBN : 9780190251062
Genre :
File Size : 49.54 MB
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"Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico examines the ways in which urbanization and religion intersected in pre-Columbian central Mexico, with a primary focus on the later Formative period and the transition to the Classic period. The major societal transformations of this interval occurred approximately two-thousand years ago and over a millennium before Mexico's best known early civilization, the Aztecs. David M. Carballo presents a synthesis of data from regional archaeological projects and key sites such as Teotihuacan and Cuicuilco, while relying on the author's own excavations at the site of La Laguna as the central case study. A principal argument is that cities and states developed hand in hand with elements of a religious tradition of remarkable endurance and that these processes were fundamentally entangled. Prevalent religious beliefs and ritual practices created a cultural logic for urbanism, and as populations urbanized they became socially integrated and differentiated following this logic. Nevertheless, religion was used differently over time and by groups and individuals across the spectra of urbanity and social status. This book calls for a materially informed history of religion, with the temporal depth that archaeology can provide, and an archaeology of cities that considers religion seriously as a generative force in societal change"--
Category:

Archaeology Of Performance

Author : Takeshi Inomata
ISBN : 9780759114401
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 54.9 MB
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Collection of original articles exploring theatricality in the ancient world and how it affected social life and politics.
Category: Social Science

Gender And Power In Prehispanic Mesoamerica

Author : Rosemary A. Joyce
ISBN : UVA:X004471160
Genre : History
File Size : 81.2 MB
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Gender was a fluid potential, not a fixed category, before the Spaniards came to Mesoamerica. Childhood training and ritual shaped, but did not set, adult gender, which could encompass third genders and alternative sexualities as well as "male" and "female." At the height of the Classic period, Maya rulers presented themselves as embodying the entire range of gender possibilities, from male through female, by wearing blended costumes and playing male and female roles in state ceremonies. This landmark book offers the first comprehensive description and analysis of gender and power relations in prehispanic Mesoamerica from the Formative Period Olmec world (ca. 1500-500 BC) through the Postclassic Maya and Aztec societies of the sixteenth century AD. Using approaches from contemporary gender theory, Rosemary Joyce explores how Mesoamericans created human images to represent idealized notions of what it meant to be male and female and to depict proper gender roles. She then juxtaposes these images with archaeological evidence from burials, house sites, and body ornaments, which reveals that real gender roles were more fluid and variable than the stereotyped images suggest.
Category: History

The Blood Of Guatemala

Author : Greg Grandin
ISBN : 0822324954
Genre : History
File Size : 29.92 MB
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DIVA study of the political and cultural formation of one of Guatemala's indigenous communities that explores the nationalization of ethnicity, the preservation of Mayan identity, and the formation of a brutally repressive state./div
Category: History

Mortuary Landscapes Of The Classic Maya

Author : Andrew K. Scherer
ISBN : 9781477300510
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82.99 MB
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From the tombs of the elite to the graves of commoners, mortuary remains offer rich insights into Classic Maya society. In Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya: Rituals of Body and Soul, the anthropological archaeologist and bioarchaeologist Andrew K. Scherer explores the broad range of burial practices among the Maya of the Classic period (AD 250–900), integrating information gleaned from his own fieldwork with insights from the fields of iconography, epigraphy, and ethnography to illuminate this society’s rich funerary traditions. Scherer’s study of burials along the Usumacinta River at the Mexican-Guatemalan border and in the Central Petén region of Guatemala—areas that include Piedras Negras, El Kinel, Tecolote, El Zotz, and Yaxha—reveals commonalities and differences among royal, elite, and commoner mortuary practices. By analyzing skeletons containing dental and cranial modifications, as well as the adornments of interred bodies, Scherer probes Classic Maya conceptions of body, wellness, and the afterlife. Scherer also moves beyond the body to look at the spatial orientation of the burials and their integration into the architecture of Maya communities. Taking a unique interdisciplinary approach, the author examines how Classic Maya deathways can expand our understanding of this society’s beliefs and traditions, making Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya an important step forward in Mesoamerican archeology.
Category: Social Science

Confronting Consumption

Author : Thomas Princen
ISBN : 0262661284
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 47.72 MB
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Essays that offer ecological, social, and political perspectives on the problem of overconsumption.
Category: Business & Economics

Mayas In The Marketplace

Author : Walter E. Little
ISBN : 0292705670
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.16 MB
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Selling handicrafts to tourists has brought the Maya peoples of Guatemala into the world market. Vendors from rural communities now offer their wares to more than 500,000 international tourists annually in the marketplaces of larger cities such as Antigua, Guatemala City, Panajachel, and Chichicastenango. Like businesspeople anywhere, Maya artisans analyze the desires and needs of their customers and shape their products to meet the demands of the market. But how has adapting to the global marketplace reciprocally shaped the identity and cultural practices of the Maya peoples? Drawing on over a decade of fieldwork, Walter Little presents the first ethnographic study of Maya handicraft vendors in the international marketplace. Focusing on Kaqchikel Mayas who commute to Antigua to sell their goods, he explores three significant issues: how the tourist marketplace conflates global and local distinctions. how the marketplace becomes a border zone where national and international, developed and underdeveloped, and indigenous and non-indigenous come together. how marketing to tourists changes social roles, gender relationships, and ethnic identity in the vendors' home communities. Little's wide-ranging research challenges our current understanding of tourism's negative impact on indigenous communities. He demonstrates that the Maya are maintaining a specific, community-based sense of Maya identity, even as they commodify their culture for tourist consumption in the world market.
Category: Social Science