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Senses of Space: Religious Aesthetics as Heritage among Maya Speaking Christians in Yucatan and a Hindu diaspora in Amsterdam

Author(s): Laura Osorio Sunnucks ; Priya Swamy

Year: 2017

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Summary

Ethnography and ethnoarchaeology have been central to the rich development of research on multisensorial experiences of religion across cultural contexts (Meyer 2005, Moors 2005, Chao 2008). This paper will concretize the links between these religious experiences and strategic group making by presenting two cases; a Hindu diaspora in Amsterdam and Maya speaking Christians in Yucatan, Mexico. In Santa Elena, Yucatan, Mayaness is contested through tensions between various Christian denominations and culturally specific Maya conceptions of the relationships between space, materiality and personhood. The ways in which other forms of sensing, specifically in the engagement with pre-Columbian heritage remains, will be shown to contribute to the marginalised position of Mayaness within dominant cultural spaces. Within a Hindu diaspora in the Netherlands, ‘correct’ sensorial experiences of Hindu heritage become central to acts of protest in their campaign against the cultural and neo-colonial appropriation of the spring festival of Holi.

We will explore the intersection between the creativity of religious thought (the symbolic world) and the politics of strategic group-making, alongside the implications of this discussion for indigenous and minority heritage management.


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Senses of Space: Religious Aesthetics as Heritage among Maya Speaking Christians in Yucatan and a Hindu diaspora in Amsterdam. Laura Osorio Sunnucks, Priya Swamy. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429276)


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Abstract Id(s): 15140

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America