Global Indigeneity in Southern Mexico and the Value of Social Archaeology

Author(s): Stacie King

Year: 2016


This paper explores the long-term history of the Nejapa region of southeastern Oaxaca, Mexico and the many groups of people and famous individuals that have called it home. Based on data derived from a variety of archaeological research methods, including archival documents, excavation, survey, oral history interviews, and collaborative research with contemporary residents, I argue that what might be viewed by some as a loss of indigenous identity in the present is rather a multiethnic positionality that was embraced and purposefully crafted over the course of at least 1200 years. Archaeological research in Nejapa documents the long-standing movement of peoples to and through the region for trade and economic opportunities, frequent social and political repositioning within and between valley-floor towns, rural villages, and high elevation fortified centers, as well as ongoing encounters between various local indigenous peoples, enslaved Africans, Catholic clergy, and Spanish colonial authorities that were not always – and perhaps not often – peaceful. In the end, what emerges is complex story that is difficult to trace and challenging to reconstruct, but which forces us to expand our definition of local indigeneity to one that is at once, and effectively always had been, plural and global.

Cite this Record

Global Indigeneity in Southern Mexico and the Value of Social Archaeology. Stacie King. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403775)


Spatial Coverage

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