Transforming the body: fire in mortuary practices in ancient Michoacán, Mexico

Author(s): Gregory Pereira

Year: 2015


Ethnohistoric sources from prehispanic Michoacán highlight the symbolic importance of fire for the Postclassic Tarascan state. The fact that Curicaueri, the principal Tarascan god, was a fire god and that cremation was used during the warriors’ and ruling elite’s funerary rites, emphasizes its symbolic and social importance. In this presentation, I will examine the different roles played by fire in ritual transformations of the human body. I will consider the ethnohistoric sources as well as the archaeological record. Human remains reveal a wide range of practices dated to the Late Postclassic and earlier periods. I will discuss both funerary and non-funerary contexts.

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Cite this Record

Transforming the body: fire in mortuary practices in ancient Michoacán, Mexico. Gregory Pereira. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395570)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;