Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship by Bradley E. Ensor

By Bradley E. Ensor

By contextualizing periods and their kinship habit in the total political financial system, Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship presents an instance of ways archaeology may help to provide an explanation for the formation of disparate sessions and kinship styles inside an old state-level society.

Bradley E. Ensor offers a brand new theoretical contribution to Maya ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archaeological examine. instead of working exclusively as a symbolic order unobservable to archaeologists, kinship, based on Ensor, kinds concrete social family members that constitution lifestyle and will be mirrored within the fabric is still of a society. Ensor argues that using cross-culturally pointed out and proven fabric signs of postmarital place of abode and descent team association let archaeologists—those with the main direct fabric proof on prehispanic Maya social organization—to overturn a conventional reliance on competing and problematical ethnohistorical models.
Using contemporary facts from an arch aeological undertaking in the Chontalpa Maya zone of Tabasco, Mexico, Ensor illustrates how archaeologists can interpret and clarify the variety of kinship habit and its impression on gender inside of any given Maya social formation.

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Chase and D. Chase 1992). Several of the contributed chapters entertained the role of kinship among the pre­columbian Maya. ­Webster (1992:153–155) assumed a lin­eage structure existed at C ­ opan with both interlin­eage ranking and internal ranking. Fox et al. (1992) used the Quiche ethnohistoric descriptions of ranked lin­eages forming a “segmentary state” from Carmack’s (1981) ethnohis­tori­cal work, along with an ar­ chaeo­logi­cal sequence claimed to exhibit the absorption of semi-­independent and self-­sufficient lin­eages at Utatlán.

Whereas the prior debate was over whether the Maya had unilineal or double descent, this was the first influential work to suggest the Maya had neither. Ethnohis­tori­cal Structural Functionalism and the Archaeology of Social Or­ga­n i­za­t ion The 1970s to the close of the millennium can be considered a period of transition from structural-­functionalist approaches dominated by ethno­h istory 18 / Chapter 1 and Tikal succession data to a “takeover” by archaeologists working first with settlement pattern studies, followed by processual models to explain Maya cultural developments.

He then argued that the Kariera sys­tem was the basis for the Maya proto­sys­tem. However, he suggests that by the Classic period, the sys­tem converted to cross-­cousin marriage among commoners and a matrilateral elementary marriage sys­tem among elite patrilin­eages similar to the Kachin (whereby women of higher nobility are married to men of lower nobility) (Hage 2003). Despite the reemergence of the Kariera model, patrilineal models still influence recent discussion on the precolumbian Maya.

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