Ancestors in Cosmologies


This article discusses the role of ancestors in New World cosmologies. Specifically, it gives examples of how ancestors mediate cosmologies through sensory experiences, things, and places. In Eastern North America, ancestors were engaged in posts, bundles, stars, mounds, and temples. In the American Southwest, “conceptual packages” of wind, water, and breath represented the cosmological force shared by humans, ancestors, and places. Mesoamericans transformed the dead into ancestors by preparing their remains to act as conduits that enabled their spirits to live among the living.

Cite this Record

Ancestors in Cosmologies. Linda Cordell, David Freidel, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Tim Pauketat, Christine VanPool. 2010 ( tDAR id: 4789) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8JQ0Z25

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