The Emergence of the Kaqchikel Polity: Ethnogenesis in the Postclassic Guatemalan Highlands

Author(s): Iyaxel Cojti-Ren

Year: 2017


In this paper I will explore how the western Kaqchikel managed from being military auxiliaries to the K’iche’ kingdom to become and independent and expansionist polity, and how this transition was reflected in the material culture of their two last settlements. I will use ethnohistorical documentation to inform how the western Kaqchikel conceived their auto determination, and how they reached it after they abandoned their first capital Chi Awar after breaking their political alliances with the K’iche’ to start a new chapter of their sociopolitical life as an independent polity at Iximche. Archaeological data will be presented to corroborate ethnohistorical information regarding the Kaqchikel occupation of Chi Awar, the drastic abandonment of this site, and specially to discuss how the material culture let us know better about the lifestyle the Kaqchikel had at Chi Awar as and emerging polity but still under the dominance of the K’iche’. This research intends to be a diachronic study about the inception of a new political community in the highlands of Guatemala and to enrich the discussion about the Mesoamerica’s political geography in late Postclassic Mesoamerica.

Cite this Record

The Emergence of the Kaqchikel Polity: Ethnogenesis in the Postclassic Guatemalan Highlands. Iyaxel Cojti-Ren. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429960)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17077