Embodying Collective Identity: Analysis of Late Postclassic Facial Ornamentation Practices in Tlaxcallan, Mexico
This is an abstract from the "Tlaxcallan: Mesoamerica's Bizarro World" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
In pre-Hispanic central Mexico, communities practiced various forms of embodying social identity through the use of facial adornments. Ornaments were placed in the ears, nose, and lips to materialize aspects of both self and collective identity, such as age, gender, status, kinship, and ethnicity. Recent research at the Late Postclassic (AD 1420-1521) city of Tlaxcallan has provided insight into how facial ornamentation varied within the central highlands of Mexico. Typological analysis of ornaments and figurines recovered at Tlaxcallan and comparative examinations between Tlaxcalteca and Aztec historical documents has provided evidence to support varying embodiment practices between these groups. Despite their shared Nahua identity and close proximity, the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs chose to emphasize significantly different aspects of identity within their own social hierarchies. The persistent conflict and varying political organization between these communities is reflected in their embodiment practices. Thus, these objects have the potential to reveal how larger sociopolitical interactions can affect local collective identities. Additionally, it highlights specific concepts of inclusivity and exclusivity within these two societies. Through this comparative analysis, we hope to provide a better understanding of how the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs chose to distinguish themselves within this relatively small region in central Mexico.
Cite this Record
Embodying Collective Identity: Analysis of Late Postclassic Facial Ornamentation Practices in Tlaxcallan, Mexico. Angelica Costa, Lane Fargher, Aurelio Lopez Corral. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452441)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;
Abstract Id(s): 26022