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Wearing Culture
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Wearing Culture connects scholars of divergent geographical areas and academic fields—from archaeologists and anthropologists to art historians—to show the significance of articles of regalia and of dressing and ornamenting people and objects among the Formative period cultures of ancient Mesoamerica and Central America.

Documenting the elaborate practices of costume, adornment, and body modification in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Oaxaca, the Soconusco region of southern Mesoamerica, the Gulf Coast Olmec region (Olman), and the Maya lowlands, this book demonstrates that adornment was used as a tool for communicating status, social relationships, power, gender, sexuality, behavior, and political, ritual, and religious identities. Despite considerable formal and technological variation in clothing and ornamentation, the early indigenous cultures of these regions shared numerous practices, attitudes, and aesthetic interests. Contributors address technological development, manufacturing materials and methods, nonfabric ornamentation, symbolic dimensions, representational strategies, and clothing as evidence of interregional sociopolitical exchange.

Focusing on an important period of cultural and artistic development through the lens of costuming and adornment, Wearing Culture will be of interest to scholars of pre-Hispanic and pre-Columbian studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. vii-xviii
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  1. Tables
  2. pp. xix-xx
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xxi-xlvi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xlvii-l
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  1. 1. The Sitio Conte Cemetery in Ancient Panama
  2. Karen O’Day
  3. pp. 1-28
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  1. 2. Barely There but Still Transcendent
  2. Laura Wingfield
  3. pp. 29-60
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  1. 3. Ties That Bind
  2. Rosemary A. Joyce
  3. pp. 61-78
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  1. 4. The Naked and the Ornamented
  2. Jeffrey P. Blomster
  3. pp. 79-114
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  1. 5. Aspects of Dress and Ornamentation in Coastal Oaxaca’s Formative Period
  2. Guy David Hepp and Ivy A. Rieger
  3. pp. 115-144
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  1. 6. Dressed Ears as Comeliness and Godliness
  2. John E. Clark and Arlene Colman
  3. pp. 145-206
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  1. 7. Unsexed Images, Gender-Neutral Costume, and Gender-Ambiguous Costume in Formative Period Gulf Coast Cultures
  2. Billie J. A. Follensbee
  3. pp. 207-252
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  1. 8. More Than Skin Deep
  2. Katherine A. Faust
  3. pp. 253-294
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  1. 9. Making the Body Up and Over
  2. Sophie Marchegay
  3. pp. 295-322
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  1. 10. Framed
  2. Caitlin Earley and Julia Guernsey
  3. pp. 323-350
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  1. 11. Wrapped in the Clothing of the Sacred
  2. Whitney Lytle and F. Kent Reilly III
  3. pp. 351-372
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  1. 12. The Symbolic Vocabulary of Cloth and Garments in the San Bartolo Murals
  2. Karon Winzenz
  3. pp. 373-410
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  1. 13. Early Maya Dress and Adornment
  2. Matthew G. Looper
  3. pp. 411-446
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  1. 14. Conclusion
  2. John W. Hoopes
  3. pp. 447-478
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 479-494
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