Archaeology of Mothering in 19th Century Colonial Yucatán

Author(s): Minette Church

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Women’s Work: Archaeology and Mothering" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The investigation of mothering naturally parallels that of childhood in archaeological literature. Arguments for the status of women as the last colonized population and childhood as a colonial construct make looking at mothering in colonial contexts compelling and necessary. In Spanish and British colonial Yucatán, it can be difficult to separate “traditional” indigenous parenting and gender constructs from those imposed by Catholic and Protestant clergy, by the Porfirian liberal republic (MX), and by Victorian and Edwardian settler colonists (British Honduras). Nevertheless, archaeologists cannot ignore half of gender AND close to half of the age cohorts populating sites just because colonial document-writers usually did so. Data we can triangulate on Maya mothering in colonial Yucatán – material culture, primary documents, photographs, ethnographies – improve our understanding of how indigenous mothering differed from colonial constructs of parenting, and how mothering differed from settlement to settlement based on dimensions of practice, political economy, and geography.

Cite this Record

Archaeology of Mothering in 19th Century Colonial Yucatán. Minette Church. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457604)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


childhood Colonial Maya Parenting

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
19th 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): 876