Butterfly Imagery among the Classic Period Zapotecs of the Valley of Oaxaca
Author(s): Robert Markens
This paper explores the meaning of butterfly imagery among Classic period Zapotecs of the Valley of Oaxaca. Images of butterflies, or parts of their anatomy, sometimes appear on effigy vessels found in tombs. The effigy vessels represent rulers, or other individuals of high social-standing, as jaguars, owls or the Fire Serpent. I argue that rulers of Zapotec urban centers were perceived to have a number of specific naguales or alter-egos that constitute the moral basis of political power. The inclusion of butterfly elements in effigy vessels conveys the ruler's faculty of transformation into his/her spirit companions.
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Butterfly Imagery among the Classic Period Zapotecs of the Valley of Oaxaca. Robert Markens. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429468)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15844