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I Know Why The Caged Parrot Squawks: A Distributional Analysis of Casas Grandes Macaw Cage Stones and the Organization of a Ceremonial Industry

Author(s): Andrew Fernandez

Year: 2017

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Summary

The prehistoric exchange of macaws and their feathers was a ritually charged cultural phenomenon observed across the Southwestern United States and portions of Northern Mexico. Nowhere was the integration of this industry more apparent than at Paquimé, the principal center of the Casas Grandes culture, in present day Northern Chihuahua, Mexico. The residents of Paquimé and some of its outlying community members imported, bred, raised, and ritually sacrificed various species of macaws by the hundreds. A central component of the aviculture program was the development of a ground stone cage door ring and corresponding cage plug. The rings and plugs are found in a variety of forms and finishes, though they are normally referenced as a general artifact type. Using Geographic Information Systems software, the site-wide distribution of the cage stones was evaluated by type and location. My results suggest a division between full-time aviculture specialists and part-time domestic practitioners, based on the preferential use of high-quality finished stones in some areas over others where rough and repurposed stones were adequate.


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Cite this Record

I Know Why The Caged Parrot Squawks: A Distributional Analysis of Casas Grandes Macaw Cage Stones and the Organization of a Ceremonial Industry. Andrew Fernandez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432057)


Keywords

General
Gis Ground Stone macaw

Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16382

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