Nineteenth-Century Tobacco Economics and Lacandon Maya Culture Change

Author(s): Joel W. Palka

Year: 2018


Tobacco became a major commodity in the Spanish colonies in the late colonial period. But the importance of tobacco increased in post-independence times when the new republics developed their economies and free markets. The ingestion of tobacco also reached new highs at this time. Lacandon Maya in the remote forests of Mexico and Guatemala entered globalization by mastering tobacco cultivation and exchange. The Lacandon produced superb, cheap tobacco that they traded for foreign goods. Tobacco energized the post-colonial frontier economy, which led to extensive interaction and indigenous culture change. Shifts in Lacandon horticultural techniques, marriage practices, and religion took place. Their importance in the tobacco trade helps explain why nineteenth-century Lacandon Maya archaeological sites are surprisingly full of metal tools, fancy ceramics, and medicine bottles.

Cite this Record

Nineteenth-Century Tobacco Economics and Lacandon Maya Culture Change. Joel W. Palka. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441228)


Maya Tobacco Trade

Geographic Keywords
North America United States of America

Temporal Keywords
Nineteenth Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 949