Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Figures

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pp. ix-xiv

Tables

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pp. xv-xvi

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Preface

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pp. xvii-xl

This volume begins with the premise that the ritual and ideological lives of commoners in the Mesoamerican past were rich and vibrant but remain seriously undertheorized by archaeologists and moderately underrepresented in the evidence often targeted by data recovery. Using frameworks such as household and landscape archaeologies, community studies, and...

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1: Commoner Ritual, Commoner Ideology

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pp. 1-32

The purpose of this volume is to elucidate the roles of commoners in ancient Mesoamerica as active ideological agents who participated in numerous ways in religious expression and ritual practice. The lacunae in understanding these roles is somewhat understandable given that ritual...

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2: Tradition and Transformation

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pp. 33-54

Fifty years ago Robert Redfield divided the educated elite and the illiterate peasants into two categories when he wrote of the “great tradition of the reflective few, and [the] . . . little tradition of the largely unreflective many” (1956:41–42). Although he perhaps envisioned more of a continuum than...

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3: Commoner Ritual at Teotihuacan, Central Mexico

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pp. 55-82

Prehispanic societies were integrated by different means. No one can doubt that ritual was one of the main integrative mechanisms, because it “links generations, unites men from different descent groups, unites women from different families, [and] connects the living to their ancestors...

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4: Ritual and Ideology Among Classic Maya Rural Commoners at Cop

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pp. 83-122

The most visible remains of Central America’s and Mexico’s Classic Maya (a.d. 250–900) culture are the stone temples towering amidst jungle overgrowth, grand palaces, tombs laden with exotic objects, elaborate sculptures, and hieroglyphs, all of which in some way relate to ancient ideologies...

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5: Smoke, Soot, and Censers

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pp. 123-142

Across time and space in Mesoamerica, household ritual behavior has been viewed as an important facet of everyday life. Research, however, has primarily focused on elite ritual behavior, with little attention paid to ritual behavior of commoner households. This chapter examines household level...

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6: Commoner Rituals, Resistance, and the Classic-to-Postclassic Transition in Ancient Mesoamerica

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pp. 143-184

Early Colonial period documents in Mesoamerica provide many examples of expressions of resistance and rebellion by indigenous peoples against Spanish colonial authorities (Jones 1989; Restall 1997; Terraciano 2001). Yet within these documents there are occasional references to the discontent...

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7: Shrines, Offerings, and Postclassic Continuity in Zapotec Religion

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pp. 185-212

One of the most drastic changes in prehispanic Mesoamerica occurred around a.d. 800 with the demographic and political decline of a number of the great Classic period centers: Teotihuacan in Central Mexico; Tikal, Palenque, and many others in the Maya area; and Monte Alb

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8: Altar Egos

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pp. 213-250

Domestic ritual is a defining practice in social reproduction. It can provide significant points of contrast for distinguishing social identities, such as ethnicity, gender, class, and religion—defining the “us” as opposed to the “them.” It can take different forms, including religious and secular...

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9: A Socioeconomic Interpretation of Figurine Assemblages from Late Postclassic Morelos, Mexico

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pp. 251-280

The tradition of producing, trading, and consuming ceramic figurines was of great significance in the religion of Central Mexican Postclassic cultures. Figurines with images depicting women, men, plants, animals, temples, and deities have been found in public arenas (e.g., temples) but more notably...

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10: Steps to a Holistic Household Archaeology

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pp. 281-294

Mesoamerica offers the archaeologist interested in commoner ritual and ideology a rich prehistory, a written record of ancient practices, an ethnohistorical record of contact times, and some modern groups who have maintained strong continuities with their past. This book’s treatment of...

Contributors

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pp. 295-296

Index

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pp. 297-304