By Bradley E. Ensor
By contextualizing sessions and their kinship habit in the total political economic system, Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship presents an instance of ways archaeology will help to provide an explanation for the formation of disparate periods and kinship styles inside of an historical state-level society.
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Additional resources for Crafting Prehispanic Maya Kinship
In an influential article on patrilineal clan or gan izat ion in a Nahuat community in Tlaxcala, Mexico, Nutini (1961:63– 66) also compiled the growing evidence for patrilineal descent groups in the 16th-century Yucatán and Alta Verapaz regions, and in the 20th-century Tzeltal-Tzotzil area and Lacandonia. Nutini pulls together evidence from Tozzer (1907), Beals (1932), Eggan (1934),Villa Rojas (1947), Guiteras (1951), Fray Diego de Landa’s Relación de las Cosas deYucatán, and Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas’ Apologetica Historia, all of which indicated varying forms of patrilineal descent, patrilineal inheritance, and patrilineal descent groups spanning much of the Maya macroregion from the 16th to 20th centuries.
Within generations, gender-and age-sets are also distinguished by kin terms. Perhaps most importantly, the terms used for sets of indiv iduals reflect social group membership and the importance of those groups to ego. Terms distinguish between those belonging to ego’s household and its resources and to those who do not. Terms distinguish between those belonging to ego’s descent group and its resources and to those who do not. The terms indicate whom one can or cannot marry. For instance, a person may not be able to marry someone with kin terms applied to mother’s or father’s descent groups, but all those in the remaining groups (of a marriageable generation) may be distinguished by a set of terms that apply to potential spouses.
Sanders (1989) used settlement pattern data for the Copan area, interpreting different class-based systems. , Ashmore 1981:47–54; Kurjack and Garza T. 1981; Rice and Puleston 1981:137–141), which are well known to reflect ethno graphically described Maya patio groups. Rice and Puleston (1981:140–141) and Sanders (1981:358) specifically associated the plazuelas with patrilocality, following Haviland’s (1968:106, 1972:136–138) earlier interpretations. Rice and Puleston (1981:141) also indicated that these unilocal households appear to have had different craft specializations.