Ballgames and the Social Networks of the Sierra Sur: What Can Ballcourts Tell Us About Political Negotiation in Southern Oaxaca?
Author(s): Marijke Stoll
As a specially marked category of public architecture, ballcourts were both socially-integrative and socially-divisive spaces through hosting games and other important ritual activities. Moreover, research has shown that ballgames in Oaxaca acted as mechanisms of social mediation within and between different ethnolinguistic communities. The distribution of ballcourts is therefore significant and expresses underlying social and political relationships. The Nejapa region is a frontier zone between the different ethnic territories of the Zapotec, Mixe, and Chontal-speaking peoples in the Prehispanic and modern era. It is also an important stop on interregional trade routes connecting the Central Valleys to the Isthmus, and the Altiplano of Mexico to the Soconusco region. Over the course of three field seasons, 16 ballcourts were recorded in the Nejapa region, the majority of which are found within a 20 km2 area. Outside of Nejapa, recent research in the Quiechapa and Chontal regions to the south documented significantly fewer ballcourts, while the Mixe region presents a different situation altogether. This presentation examines ballcourt features and distribution in Nejapa and surrounding regions in order to understand the political relationships between the different communities of the southeastern Sierra Sur through the medium of the ballgame.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017) •
- Mountain Towns and Crossroads: Archaeology of the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca, Mexico
Cite this Record
Ballgames and the Social Networks of the Sierra Sur: What Can Ballcourts Tell Us About Political Negotiation in Southern Oaxaca?. Marijke Stoll. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430942)
min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 17375