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Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship

Bradley E. Ensor

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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p. v

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This book combines long-term interests in kinship research and Mesoamerican archaeology. The work is a compilation and elaboration of a series of interrelated conference papers (Ensor 2008a, 2011a, 2011b) and ideas originally forming part of another topic presented in Ensor et al. (In press). My general interest in kinship research has been most notably influenced by the perspectives of...

Notes on Terminology

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pp. xi-xiii

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Introduction: Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship

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pp. 1-14

This book is about the ways that models (hypotheses) on prehispanic Maya kinship have been crafted by scholars and about the ways that prehispanic Maya societies variably crafted kinship. After more than eight decades of research to identify an ancient...

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1. A Brief History of Ancient Maya Kinship Studies

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pp. 15-28

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the trends and diversity in interpretation on prehispanic Maya kinship. The following does not attempt to describe the different kinship models—the subject of Chapter 2—but instead is intended to provide a better understanding of the history of thought on this subject. In the following...

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2. Implications of the Kinship Models

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pp. 29-56

This chapter has two objectives. The first is to highlight the importance of kinship to the study of past societies in general terms. The second is to describe the major competing models that have been proposed for the ancient Maya and to discuss their implications. Keeping in mind that many readers, particularly most archaeologists...

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3. Problems with Models on Ancient Maya Kinship

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pp. 57-68

In reviewing the literature on prehispanic Maya kinship, a number of problems become apparent. First, nearly all of these studies explicitly or implicitly attempt to arrive at a uniform conclusion on pan-Maya kinship using observations from only one Maya culture, or at best a few that were widely separated by both space...

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4. Archaeological Approaches to Class, Kinship, and Gender

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pp. 69-84

Having identified the major problems with the ethnohistorical and ethnographical hypotheses on ancient Maya kinship, leading to the conclusion that archaeology must approach the subject through a class-based analysis of local Maya societies by period, this chapter focuses on the methods for that objective. The chapter is divided...

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5. Islas de Los Cerros

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pp. 85-94

The present chapter provides a brief overview of Islas de Los Cerros (a coastal Chontal Maya community) and its tributary relationship to Comalcalco (the interior capital of the region) during the Late Classic period. Islas de Los Cerros—five adjacent mangrove islands and the peninsular center of El Bellote (Figure 3)—is located at...

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6. Class, Kinship, and Gender at Islas de Los Cerros

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pp. 95-113

Chapter 3 concluded that the best means for modeling prehispanic Maya kinship, by class and with an added gendered perspective, is through the archaeological methods described in Chapter 4. In the present chapter, those techniques are applied to Islas de Los Cerros. The coastal site complex is ideal because residential mound distributions reflect kinship behavior. However, given that all extant...

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7. Crafting Archaeological Models on Class-Based Kinship

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pp. 114-120

The quest to identify an elusive prehispanic Maya kinship system has led to multiple competing hypotheses maintained for most of a century, eventually leading to a crisis in skepticism: that archaeologists cannot approach kinship and social organization. Yet, from a position of modern hindsight, the critical review of literature...

References Cited

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pp. 121-140


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pp. 141-143

E-ISBN-13: 9780817386443
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817317850

Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 825170232
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship

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Subject Headings

  • Mayas -- Mexico -- Tabasco (State) -- Kinship.
  • Mayas -- Marriage customs and rites -- Mexico -- Tabasco (State).
  • Mayas -- Mexico -- Tabasco (State) -- Antiquities.
  • Social groups -- Mexico -- Tabasco (State).
  • Social archaeology -- Mexico -- Tabasco (State).
  • Tabasco (Mexico : State) -- History.
  • Tabasco (Mexico : State) -- Antiquities.
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