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Motherhood at Majaltepec: A Hypothesis Based on an Early Colonial Period Cemetery in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca

Author(s): Ricardo Higelin Ponce De Leon ; Stacie King

Year: 2017

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Summary

In 2011 and 2013, the Nejapa/Tavela Archaeological Project explored a possible Early Colonial period cemetery (A.D. 1550-1650) at the site of Majaltepec. The excavated portion of the cemetery included eight individuals from five burials, wherein four were sub-adults, at least one of which is likely a woman, and four were children. In spite of the overall poor preservation, it is clear that the children and sub-adults were buried together, without accompanying household members of older ages and both sexes. By bringing together ethnohistorical and archaeological information from Oaxaca on marriage and child-rearing, we argue that the Majaltepec funerary rituals represent cultural hybridization of indigenous and Spanish practices connected with the social and cultural construction of motherhood and mothering. In particular, we argue that the close bond between young mothers and children attested in ethnohistorical accounts from the 1800s and 1900s extended from life into death, impacting funerary rituals during the Early Colonial period.


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Cite this Record

Motherhood at Majaltepec: A Hypothesis Based on an Early Colonial Period Cemetery in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca. Ricardo Higelin Ponce De Leon, Stacie King. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430938)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15338

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