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The Kowoj: Identity, Migration, and Geopolitics in Late Postclassic Peten, Guatemala

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Overview

Neighbors of the better-known Itza in the central Petén lakes region of Guatemala, the Kowoj Maya have been studied for little more than a decade. The Kowoj: Identity, Migration, and Geopolitics in Late Postclassic Petén, Guatemala summarizes the results of recent research into this ethno-political group conducted by Prudence Rice, Don Rice, and their colleagues.

Chapters in The Kowoj address the question "Who are the Kowoj?" from varied viewpoints: archaeological, archival, linguistic, ethnographic, and bioarchaeological. Using data drawn primarily from the peninsular site of Zacpetén, the authors illuminate Kowoj history, ritual components of their self-expressed identity, and their archaeological identification. These data support the Kowoj claim of migration from Mayapán in Yucatán, where they were probably affiliated with the Xiw, in opposition to the Itza. These enmities extended into Petén, culminating in civil warfare by the time of final Spanish conquest in 1697.

The first volume to consider Postclassic Petén from broadly integrative anthropological, archaeological, and historical perspectives, The Kowoj is an important addition to the literature on late Maya culture and history in the southern lowlands. It will be of particular interest to archaeologists, historians, ethnohistorians, art historians, and epigraphers. Mesoamerican Worlds Series

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870819308
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Series: Mesoamerican Worlds Series
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Prudence M. Rice and Don S. Rice have co-directed research into the Maya occupation of the Petén lakes region of Guatemala for more than thirty-five years. The Kowoj is based on their archaeological and historical investigations, begun in 1994, of the sixteenth- to eighteenth-century political geography of the region. They are co-editors, with Arthur Demarest, of The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands (UPC).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Maps, Tables, and Appendixes

Pt. I Introduction to the Postclassic- and Contact-Period Kowoj Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 1

1 Introduction to the Kowoj and Their Peten Neighbors Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. Don S. Rice Rice, Don S. 3

Pt. II Who Were the Kowoj? Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 17

2 The Kowoj in Geopolitico-Ritual Perspective Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 21

3 The Kowoj in Ethnohistorical Perspective Grant D. Jones Jones, Grant D. 55

4 The Linguistic Context of the Kowoj Charles Andrew Hofling Hofling, Charles Andrew 70

Pt. III The archaeology of the Kowoj: Settlement and Architecture at Zacpeten Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 81

5 Zacpeten and the Kowoj: Field Methods and Chronologies Timothy W. Pugh Pugh, Timothy W. Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 85

6 Defensive Architecture and the Context of Warfare at Zacpeten Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. Don S. Rice Rice, Don S. Timothy W. Pugh Pugh, Timothy W. Romulo Sanchez Polo Polo, Romulo Sanchez 123

7 Kowoj Ritual Performance and Societal Representations at Zacpeten Timothy W. Pugh Pugh, Timothy W. Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 141

8 Residential and Domestic Contexts at Zacpeten Timothy W. Pugh Pugh, Timothy W. 173

9 Zacpeten Group 719, the Last Noble Residence Timothy W. Pugh Pugh, Timothy W. Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. Leslie G. Cecil Cecil, Leslie G. 192

Pt. IV The Archaeology of the Kowoj: Pottery and Identity Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 217

10 Technological Styles of Slipped Pottery and Kowoj Identity Leslie G. Cecil Cecil, Leslie G. 221

11 The Iconography and Decorative Programs of Kowoj Potery Prudence M. RiceRice, Prudence M. Leslie G. Cecil Cecil, Leslie G. 238

12 Incense Burners and Other Ritual Ceramics Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 276

Pt. V Additional Perspectives on the Kowoj Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 313

13 The Symbolism of Zacpeten Altar 1 David Stuart Stuart, David 317

14 Postclassic Trade: Sources of Obsidian at Zacpeten Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. Leslie G. Cecil Cecil, Leslie G. 327

15 The Bioarchaeology of Ritual Violence at Zacpeten William N. Duncan Duncan, William N. 340

16 The Kowoj and the Lacandon: Migrations and Identities Timothy W. Pugh Pugh, Timothy W. 368

Pt. VI Conclusions 385

17 Summary and Concluding Remarks: The Kowoj through a Glass, Darkly Prudence M. Rice Rice, Prudence M. 387

References Cited 396

Index 439

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