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Mesoamerican Ritual Economy
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In Mesoamerican Ritual Economy, scholars examine the extent to which economic processes were driven by and integrated with religious ritual in ancient Mesoamerica. The contributors explore how vibrant and sometimes disturbing rituals--human blood sacrifice and self-mutilation, "flowery wars" and battling butterfly warriors, sumptuous feasting with chocolate and tamales, and fantastic funerary rites--intertwined with all sectors of the economy. Examining the interplay between well-established religious rites and market forces of raw material acquisition, production, circulation, and consumption, this volume effectively questions the idea that materialism alone motivates the production, exchange, and use of objects. Exploring the intersection of spirituality and materiality, Mesoamerican Ritual Economy will be of interest to all scholars studying how worldview and belief motivate economic behavior. The authors consider a diverse set of Mesoamerican cultural patterns in order to investigate the ways in which ritual and economic practices influenced each other in the operation of communities, small-scale societies, and state-level polities.
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Table of Contents

Contents; List of Figures; List of Tables; Contributors; Preface; 1: Mesoamerican Ritual Economy: Materialization as Ritual and Economic Process; E. Christian Wells and Karla L. Davis-Salazar; Part I: Acquisition; 2: Faenas, Ferias, and Fiestas: Ritual Finance in Ancient and Modern Honduras; E. Christian Wells; 3: Ritual, Crafting, and Agency at the Classic Maya Kingdom of Cancuen; Brigitte Kovacevich; 4: Addicted to Rituals of Contested Meanings in Colonial Mexico; Enrique Rodriguez-Alegria; 5: Ritual Pilgrimage and Material Transfers in Prehispanic Northwest Mexico; E. Christian Wells and Ben A. Nelson; 6: Ritual, Politics, and Pottery Economies in the Classic Maya Southern Lowlands; Antonia E. Foias; Part II: Consumption; 7: Ritual Consumption and the Origins of Social Inequality in Early Formative Cop n, Honduras; Karla L. Davis-Salazar; 8: Polity Produced and Community Consumed: Negotiating Political Centralization through Ritual in the Lower Rio Verde Valley, Oaxaca; Sarah B. Barber and Arthur A. Joyce; 9: Material Dimensions of Aztec Religion and Ritual; Frances F. Berdan; 10: The Roles of the Ballgames in Mesoamerican Ritual Economy; Barbara W. Fash and William L. Fash; Part III: Reflection; 11: Ritual and Political Economies; Katherine A. Spielmann; 12: Ritual Economy and the Negotiation of Autarky and Interdependence in a Ritual Mode of Production; John M. Watanabe; Index

About the Author

E. Christian Wells and Karla L. Davis-Salazar are assistant professors of anthropology at the University of South Florida.

Reviews

?This book effectively expresses a growing awareness among archaeologists that there is much to be learned by examining the complex interplay of the religious, material, and political realms.? -- Edward M. Schortman "Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Kenyon College" "This book effectively expresses a growing awareness among archaeologists that there is much to be learned by examining the complex interplay of the religious, material, and political realms." -- Edward M. Schortman "This book is a welcome contribution to our understanding of economics and religious activities and the production and use of material culture (human-crafted artifacts and naturally occurring objects) in ritual ceremonies and in maintaining and enhancing ..".a great service to anyone interested in how the continual ritual cycle affected society." - Julia A. Hendon, "American Anthropologist" This book effectively expresses a growing awareness among archaeologists that there is much to be learned by examining the complex interplay of the religious, material, and political realms." - Edward M. Schortman, Professor and Chair of Anthr" ."..a great service to anyone interested in how the continual ritual cycle affected society." - Julia A. Hendon, "American Anthropologist" "This book effectively expresses a growing awareness among archaeologists that there is much to be learned by examining the complex interplay of the religious, material, and political realms." - Edward M. Schortman, Professor and Chair of Anthr

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