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A Tale of Two Pueblos: Varying Consumption Practices and Market Dependence Within the Margins of the Spanish Colonial Empire in Mexico

Author(s): Lisa Overholtzer ; John Millhauser

Year: 2017

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Summary

Studies of Spanish colonial capitalism often exclude Mesoamerica or relegate it to a peripheral and dependent role in the emerging global economy. Despite pre-Hispanic antecedents for many capitalist practices, such as market-based circulation and market dependence, the economy that emerged in New Spain is often portrayed as a function of the European economy. In contrast, we follow Pezzarossi in considering how colonial shifts in consumption were informed by pre-Hispanic practices and were not strictly the result of top-down forces emanating from the capital. Furthermore, we answer the call of postcolonial theory to decenter and resist flattening Indigenous experiences of capitalism and colonialism by tracing the paths of two neighboring Indigenous communities—Xaltocan and San Bartolomé Salinas—located outside the metropole. Although both participated in the same market networks, their paths diverged by the early 17th century congregaciones, and Xaltocan survives today while San Bartolomé Salinas lies vacant. Materials as diverse as pottery, cutlery, and animal bones tell disparate tales of each community’s colonial economic encounter. They also allow us to begin to consider intra-regional variation in shifting market engagement across the pre-Hispanic to early Colonial transition, and their possible implications for the varying endurance of these places.


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A Tale of Two Pueblos: Varying Consumption Practices and Market Dependence Within the Margins of the Spanish Colonial Empire in Mexico. Lisa Overholtzer, John Millhauser. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431351)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15363

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