Artisanal Lineages, Communities of Practice and Learning Traditions in Muisca otive goldwork (Colombia): An Initial Exploration
This is an abstract from the "The Movement of Technical Knowledge: Cross-Craft Perspectives on Mobility and Knowledge in Production Technologies" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Technological and stylistic regularities in material culture are often used to define archaeological ‘cultures’, and variously interpreted as resulting from communities of practice, learning traditions and/and imitation, together with consumer or patron demands. Disentangling these factors is not easy, especially in the absence of workshop remains.
Here we present some initial thoughts from our attempts to clarify these parameters as they shaped the tradition of Muisca votive goldwork. Typical of the Eastern Highlands of Colombia and spanning over a millennium (AD 600-1600), this tradition is epitomised in the tunjos –anthropomorphic figurines made by the lost-wax technique using a combination of sheets and coils in a distinctive schematic style. By recording and analysing typologies and microstyle together with artisanal gestures and other idiosyncratic traits, and coupling this with chronological information, we identify individual artisans as well as clusters of objects that derive from specific learning traditions or communities of practice. We test the hypothesis that the production of Muisca votive goldwork was separate from that of body ornaments, and restricted to a small number of lineages who transmitted technical knowledge vertically. This learning mode, with some drift and copy error, would suffice to explain the apparent regularity of the Muisca ‘canon’.
Cite this Record
Artisanal Lineages, Communities of Practice and Learning Traditions in Muisca otive goldwork (Colombia): An Initial Exploration. Marcos Martinón-Torres, Maria Alicia Uribe Villegas. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451653)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
South America: Andes
min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 24094