Being Matlatzinca: Ethnicity and Household Activity at Aztec Calixtlahuaca

Author(s): Angela Huster

Year: 2018


In written sources, the Mexica provide stereotyped descriptions of other groups, many of whom had been conquered and incorporated into the Aztec Empire. I use data from the site of Calixtlahuaca to evaluate the archaeological validity of such stereotypical practices for one group, the Matlatzinca. In particular, I focus on the heavy reliance on maguey, and locally distinctive foodways relating to maize. I then consider whether these practices became more or less pronounced once the area came under Triple Alliance rule. I find that there is a modest shift toward more characteristically Aztec practices in both activities over time, but that these changes are highly unevenly distributed among households. Given that both of the activities under consideration are relatively low-visibility, household-level practices, it is unlikely that they were specifically targeted by Aztec imperial policies. This suggests that shifts toward more Aztec practices were largely voluntary actions by particular subgroups of the local population.

Cite this Record

Being Matlatzinca: Ethnicity and Household Activity at Aztec Calixtlahuaca. Angela Huster. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444524)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20320