By Jon C. Lohse, Fred, Jr. Valdez

ISBN-10: 0292705719

ISBN-13: 9780292705715

A lot of what we presently find out about the traditional Maya issues the actions of the elites who governed the societies and left files in their deeds carved at the enormous structures and sculptures that stay as silent testimony to their energy and standing. yet what can we comprehend of the typical folks who worked to construct the temple complexes and palaces and grew the foodstuff that fed all of Maya society? This pathfinding publication marshals a wide range of archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic proof to provide the fullest realizing to this point of the lifeways of old Maya commoners. Senior and rising students give a contribution case reports that study such features of commoner existence as cost styles, loved ones association, and subsistence practices. Their studies hide lots of the Maya sector and the complete time span from Preclassic to Postclassic. This vast diversity of knowledge is helping get to the bottom of Maya commoners from a faceless mass into person actors who effectively tailored to their social surroundings and who additionally held fundamental accountability for generating the meals and plenty of different items on which the full Maya society depended.

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Domestic Group Hierarchy and Related Ceremonies While Zinacanteco domestic groups are ordinarily composed of extended families living in their separate compounds, over time they go through a developmental cycle (see Goody 1958). An elder son and his family set up an independent household on land near that of his father’s house. As the sons bring home wives from other lineages, the couples live at first in the father’s house. As they grow older and have more children, each married son will build his own house within the compound.

Three days of preparation precede the actual fiesta and involve many male helpers as well as the work of the women in cooking and serving the enormous quantities of food required to feed the cargo holders. The Zinacantecos find this life in the Ceremonial Center exciting, but it is also tension ridden because of the heavy expenses and work and because they are living in the Ceremonial Center among people from many different hamlets whom they do not know and may not trust. There is always the danger, for example, that harmful witchcraft rituals may be carried out by envious members of other lineages.

Vogt Soul loss can also occur when an evil person performs a witchcraft ritual in a cave to ‘‘sell’’ the inner soul to the Earth Lord, who then uses the person as a servant. At the same time the ancestors install the inner soul in the human embryo, it is also installed in the embryo of a wild animal, such as a jaguar, ocelot, coyote, or smaller animal, like a squirrel. These animal spirit companions are kept in four corrals inside the ‘‘Senior Large Mountain,’’ a large volcano rising majestically to over 9,000 feet east of Zinacantan Center.

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Ancient Maya Commoners by Jon C. Lohse, Fred, Jr. Valdez


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