Mesoamerican Figurines: Small-Scale Indices of Large-Scale Social Phenomena

Overview

This selection of essays, covering figurines from the Olmec to the Aztec civilizations, brings together the writings of respected scholars of art history, archaeology, ethnohistory, anthropology, and social theory. By examining the use of representative figures by past cultures throughout the vast Mesoamerican region, the contributors explore and comment on these graphic representations of gender, age, ethnicity, and other social identities.

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Overview

This selection of essays, covering figurines from the Olmec to the Aztec civilizations, brings together the writings of respected scholars of art history, archaeology, ethnohistory, anthropology, and social theory. By examining the use of representative figures by past cultures throughout the vast Mesoamerican region, the contributors explore and comment on these graphic representations of gender, age, ethnicity, and other social identities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813036878
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina T. Halperin is a visiting assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Katherine A. Faust is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. Rhonda Taube is a doctoral candidate in visual arts at the University of California, San Diego. Aurore Giguet is division director of the Marjorie Barrick Museum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables xii

Preface Aurore Giguet xiii

1 Approaching Mesoamerican Figurines Katherine A. Faust Christina T. Halperin 1

Part I Context and Practice

2 Rethinking Figurines Joyce Marcus 25

3 Honduran Figurines and Whistles in Social Context: Production, Use, and Meaning in the UlĂșa Valley Jeanne Lopiparo Julia A. Hendon 51

Part II Social Identities

4 Formative Period Gulf Coast Ceramic Figurines: The Key to Identifying Sex, Gender, and Age Groups in Gulf Coast Olmec Imagery Billie J. A. Follensbee 77

5 Identity, Gender, and Power: Representational Juxtapositions in Early Formative Figurines from Oaxaca, Mexico Jeffrey P. Blomster 119

6 Early Olmec Figurines from Two Regions: Style as Cultural Imperative David Cheetham 149

Part III Cultural Aesthetics

7 Crafting the Body Beautiful: Performing Social Identity at Santa Isabel, Nicaragua Geoffrey G. McCafferty Sharisse D. McCafferty 183

8 New Fire Figurines and the Iconography of Penitence in Huastec Art Katherine A. Faust 205

9 The Beautiful, the Bad, and the Ugly: Aesthetics and Morality in Maya Figurines Rhonda Taube Karl Taube 236

Part IV Embodiment

10 The Weeping Baby and the Nahua Corn Spirit: The Human Body as Key Symbol in the Huasteca Veracruzana, Mexico Alan R. Sandstrom 261

11 Alien Bodies, Everyday People, and Hollow Spaces: Embodiment, Figurines, and Social Discourse in Postclassic Mexico Elizabeth M. Brumfiel Lisa Overholtzer 297

Part V State and Household Relations

12 Sex in the City: A Comparison of Aztec Ceramic Figurines to Copal Figurines from the Templo Mayor Cecelia F. Klein Naoli Victoria Lona 327

13 Figurines as Bearers of and Burdens in Late Classic Maya State Politics Christina T. Halperin 378

Part VI Discussion

14 Making a World of Their Own: Mesoamerican Figurines and Mesoamerican Figurine Analysis Rosemary A. Joyce 407

List of Contributors 427

Index 429

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