Volume 68, Number 4, Abstracts

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Birth of a Language: The Formation and Spread of Colonial Yucatec Maya
by William F. Hanks

Shared Image Metaphors of the Corn Lifeway in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest
by Dorothy K. Washburn

Source-Sink Dynamics and Their Applicability to Neolithic Period Persistence in Marginal Areas: An Illustration from the U.S. Southwest
by David A. Phillips, Jr.

Tara, the M3, and the Celtic Tiger: Contesting Cultural Heritage, Identity and a Sacred Landscape in Ireland
by Kathryn Rountree

Book Reviews

Birth of a Language: The Formation and Spread of Colonial Yucatec Maya

William F. Hanks
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, CA

KEY WORDS: Colonial Mesoamerica, Indigeneity, Language contact, Maya, Missionary linguistics, Translation

ABSTRACT: This paper outlines the establishment of Catholic missions among the Maya in colonial Yucatan, Mexico. A central element in the broader project of reducción (re-ordering, subjugation, missionization) was conducted in the Maya language, which was also the language of governance and the Indian towns. As a result, the colonial period marks the emergence of a new variety of Maya language, born of translation, appropriated by Maya speakers, and ultimately (and ironically) used as an instrument of resistance to colonial oppression. I call this language variety Maya reducido and trace its formation in the translation practices and pedagogy of the Franciscans, who shaped the early missions and codifi ed the new, pervasively neologistic variety in grammars, dictionaries, and catechisms. Maya reducido spread into the Indian towns and ultimately into every genre of Maya discourse, including the Books of Chilam Balam. This would have profound consequences for the historical formation of the language and the people who speak it.

Shared Image Metaphors of the Corn Lifeway in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest

Dorothy K. Washburn
American Section, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

KEY WORDS: American Southwest, Ancestral Pueblo, Corn lifeway, Maize metaphor, Mesoamerica, Ritual song texts

ABSTRACT: The corn lifeway originated in Mesoamerica and spread throughout the Americas. Unresolved is the mechanism by which this lifeway entered the American Southwest. In this article I offer new kinds of evidence to support the argument that corn was brought north with migrating maize farmers (e.g., Carpenter et al. 2002; Matson 2002), in contrast to the prevailing view that corn diffused northward via a down-the-line, group-to-group process (e.g., Merrill et al. 2009). I posit that if corn moved into the Southwest with migrating farmers, one should expect to find many similarities in the way a life dependent on corn is conceptualized and ritualized and, accordingly, in the way this belief system is manifest on media from the two areas. I specifically explore representations that are based on the maize metaphor—the concept that equates human life stages with those of corn growth. I use three forms of evidence to argue for and interpret the shared presence of this metaphorical perspective that heretofore have not been considered: (1) information about corn that explicates its growth stages and how they are manifested, (2) depictions of the natural resources needed to promote these stages of corn growth, and (3) informant testimony and ritual song texts that metaphorically describe the stages of corn growth.

Source-Sink Dynamics and Their Applicability to Neolithic Period Persistence in Marginal Areas: An Illustration from the U.S. Southwest

David A. Phillips, Jr.
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

KEY WORDS: Patches, Metapopulations, Source-Sink dynamics, Demography, Maize, US Southwest

ABSTRACT: Source-sink dynamics, developed in bioecology, may help archaeologists understand the persistence of Formative period populations in seemingly marginal areas. In the illustrations provided, the flow of people or maize from a donor area to a recipient area can aid human persistence in both areas, in contrast to the case where no resource flow occurs. Although this essay focuses on the US Southwest and Chaco Canyon, source-sink dynamics are potentially applicable across the globe.

Tara, the M3, and the Celtic Tiger: Contesting Cultural Heritage, Identity and a Sacred Landscape in Ireland

Kathryn Rountree
School of People, Environment, and Planning, Massey University, Auckland, NZ.

KEY WORDS: Celtic Tiger, Contested site, Heritage, Identity, Ireland, M3 motorway, Nationalism, Sacred landscape, Tara

ABSTRACT: This article explores the intersubjectivities of person and place, present and past, imagination and memory, heritage and identity, in the context of a decade-long dispute over the Irish government’s decision to build a motorway through the iconic landscape of Tara in County Meath. Tara has performed as a mnemonic for innumerable cultural narratives from the Neolithic to the twentieth century—stories materialized in the archaeological monuments and sedimented in the landscape. The state’s backing of the motorway signaled a departure from the traditional, state-encouraged yoking of Tara with Irish roots, identity, and nationalism and pointed to a major reconfiguration of the state’s relationship with its cultural heritage at the height of the economic boom called the Celtic Tiger. Public debate became entangled with bitterly contesting views about the republic’s economic and political direction. The paper argues that the campaign to “save Tara” was a fight as much for intangible heritage as for tangible heritage.

Book Reviews

Leighton C. Peterson: Telling Stories in the Face of Danger: Language Renewal in Native American Communities, Paul Kroskrity, ed.

Tryphenia B. Peale-Eady: Slam School: Learning through Conflict in the Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Classroom, by Bronwen Low

Peter G. Roe: Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia: Reconstructing Past Identities from Archaeology, Linguistics, and Ethnohistory, Alf Hornborg and Jonathan D. Hill, eds.

Bret Gustafson: Roosters at Midnight: Indigenous Signs and Stigma in Local Bolivian Politics, by Robert Albro

Alan Kilpatrick: The Shaman’s Mirror: Visionary Art of the Huichol, by Hope MacLean

Katina T. Lillios: Between Art and Artifact: Archaeological Replicas & Cultural Production in Oaxaca, Mexico, by Ronda L. Brulotte

Cristobal Valencia: Space of Detention: The Making of a Transnational Gang Crisis between Los Angeles and San Salvador, by Elana Zilberg

Philip K. Bock: Jazz Cosmopolitism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana, by Steven Feld

Michael Herzfeld: Bad Souls: Madness and Responsibility in Modern Greece, by Elizabeth Anne Davis Roberto J. González: Dangerous Liaisons: Anthropologists and the National Security State, Laura McNamara and Robert Rubinstein, eds.

Regna Darnell: Expanding American Anthropology, 1945–1980: A Generation Reflects, Alice Beck Kehoe and Paul L. Doughty, eds.

Anne Buchanan and Kenneth Weiss: Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice, by Catherine Bliss

Osbjorn M. Pearson: A Companion to Paleopathology, by Anne L. Grauer Ann M. Palkovich: Social Bioarchaeology, Sabrina C. Agarwal and Bonnie A. Glencross, eds.

Rebecca Storey: Living with the Dead: Mortuary Ritual in Mesoamerica, James L. Fitzsimmons and Izumi Shimada, eds.

Olivia Navarro-Farr: Indigenous Peoples and Archaeology in Latin America, Cristóbal Gnecco and Patricia Ayala, eds.

Charles R. Riggs: Ancient Households of the Americas: Conceptualizing What Households Do, John G. Douglass and Nancy Gonlin, eds.

Ariane O. Pinson: Meetings at the Margins: Prehistoric Cultural Interactions in the Intermountain West, David Rhode, ed.

Connie I. Constan: Southwestern Pithouse Communities, AD 200–900, Lisa C. Young and Sarah A. Herr, eds.

Matthew J. Barbour: Revolt: An Archaeological History of Pueblo Resistance and Revitalization in 17th Century New Mexico, by Matthew Liebmann

Wesley Bernardini: Population Circulation and the Transformation of Ancient Zuni Communities, by Gregson Schachner

Francis E. Smiley: Foragers and Farmers of the Northern Kayenta Region: Excavations along the Navajo Mountain Road, by Phil R. Geib

Christine Van Pool: Investigating Archaeological Cultures: Material Culture, Variability, and Transmission, Benjamin W. Roberts and Marc Vander Linden, eds.

Mike Parker Pearson: Ideologies in Archaeology, Reinhard Bernbeck and Randall H. McGuire, eds.

Lawrence G. Straus: Information and Its Role in Hunter-Gatherer Bands, Robert Whallon, William A. Lovis, and Robert K. Hitchcock, eds.

Lawrence G. Straus: High Resolution Archaeology and Neanderthal Behavior: Time and Space in Level J of Abric Romani (Capellades, Spain), Eudald Carbonell i Roura, ed.

Tamara L. Bray: The Menial Art of Cooking: Archaeological Studies of Cooking and Food Preparation, Sarah R. Graff and Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría, eds.

Department of Anthropology