Lavishly illustrated with nearly 400 color images, Painting the Maya Universe is the most thorough study and brilliant display of Classic Maya ceramic painting yet published. Building on twenty years of research and debate, Dorie Reents-Budet and her collaborators Joseph W. Ball, Ronald L. Bishop, Virginia M. Fields, and Barbara MacLeod bring together many perspectives, including the art historical, archaeological, epigraphical, and ethnohistorical, to examine one of the world’s great but overlooked painting traditions. With an emphasis on sixth- to eighth-century pottery featuring both pictorial and hieroglyphic imagery, Painting the Maya Universe presents an extraordinary exploration of the cultural roles and meanings of these Guatemalan, Belizean, and Mexican elite painted ceramics. Maya pottery is discussed both in aesthetic terms and for the important information it reveals about Maya society, artistry, politics, history, religion, and ritual. The range of ceramic painting styles developed during this period is also presented and defined in detail. Painting the Maya Universe is the first publication to present a definitive translation of the hieroglyphic texts painted on these objects. With many glyphs deciphered here for the first time, this analysis reveals much about how these vessels were perceived and used by the Maya, their owners’ names, and, in several cases, the names of the artists who created them. This information is combined with archaeological and other data, including nuclear chemical analyses, to correlate painting styles with specific Maya sites. Published in conjunction with Duke University Museum of Art and an exhibition touring the United States, Painting the Maya Universe presents an astonishing visual record as well as a monumental scholarly achievement. With photographs by Justin Kerr, the foremost photographer of pre-Columbian art, it includes over 90 unique full-color rollout photographs, each showing the entire surface of an object in a single frame. The book also addresses the questions and controversy regarding the loss of information that occurs when objects are removed from their archaeological context to become part of public and private collections. Painting the Maya Universe will energize discussion of Maya pottery, hieroglyphic texts, and iconography. Its photographs, a lasting resource on this great painting tradition, will stimulate and delight the eye. It is a breakthrough in art history and Latin American scholarship that will enrich general readers and scholars alike.
Building on Sol Tax's pioneering work of the economic organization of Panajachel in the 1930s, Hinshaw describes this Guatemalan village and analyzes the differences among Indians in other villages responding to environmental, social, and economic changes in the next quarter century. This book offers a unique examination of belief patterns and social relations, and the continuity and change in the society's worldview.
In Paper Cadavers, an inside account of the astonishing discovery and rescue of Guatemala's secret police archives, Kirsten Weld probes the politics of memory, the wages of the Cold War, and the stakes of historical knowledge production. After Guatemala's bloody thirty-six years of civil war (1960–1996), silence and impunity reigned. That is, until 2005, when human rights investigators stumbled on the archives of the country's National Police, which, at 75 million pages, proved to be the largest trove of secret state records ever found in Latin America.
The unearthing of the archives renewed fierce debates about history, memory, and justice. In Paper Cadavers, Weld explores Guatemala's struggles to manage this avalanche of evidence of past war crimes, providing a firsthand look at how postwar justice activists worked to reconfigure terror archives into implements of social change. Tracing the history of the police files as they were transformed from weapons of counterinsurgency into tools for post-conflict reckoning, Weld sheds light on the country's fraught transition from war to an uneasy peace, reflecting on how societies forget and remember political violence.
Drawing on testimonies from contra collaborators and ex-combatants, as well as pro-Sandinista peasants, this book presents a dynamic account of the growing divisions between peasants from the area of Quilalí who took up arms in defense of revolutionary programs and ideals such as land reform and equality and those who opposed the FSLN.
Peasants in Arms details the role of local elites in organizing the first anti-Sandinista uprising in 1980 and their subsequent rise to positions of field command in the contras. Lynn Horton explores the internal factors that led a majority of peasants to turn against the revolution and the ways in which the military draft, and family and community pressures reinforced conflict and undermined mid-decade FSLN policy shifts that attempted to win back peasant support.
This volume records the perspectives of a highly diverse group of prominent individuals who met late in 1988 in an important international symposium concerned with the continuing conflicts in Central America. Included are presentations by leading conservative and liberal scholar-authors; high ranking diplomats from the governments of Mexico, the United States, and Nicaragua; directors of conservative and liberal think tanks; a spokesperson for a state governor opposed to Ronald Reagan’s policy of sending National Guard troops to “train” in Central America; a centrally involved media practitioner; and a media critic. It also includes an unofficial translation of the final report of the International Verification and Follow-up Commission established by the Arias Peace Agreement. A preface and an introduction by the editors set this lively and historic debate in context.
In 1875, after being acquitted for the murder of his wife’s lover, Eadweard Muybridge spent a year photographing along the Central American Pacific Coast, particularly in Guatemala and Panamá. Upon his return to California in 1876, he published a very limited number of albums of the photographs (11 are known), each of which was unique in size and scope. In 2007, photographer Byron Wolfe (born 1967) tracked down and cataloged every known Muybridge Central American photograph. Then, with cultural geographer Scott Brady, he traveled to many of Muybridge’s sites to rephotograph them. Through photographic collage, interpretive rephotography, illustrations and essays, this book examines an exceptionally rare series by Muybridge. Also included is a catalogue of every known Muybridge Central American picture.
Political authority contains an inherent contradiction. Rulers must reinforce social inequality and bolster their own unique position at the top of the sociopolitical hierarchy, yet simultaneously emphasize social similarities and the commonalities shared by all. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica explores the different and complex ways that those who exercised authority in the region confronted this contradiction.
New data from a variety of well-known scholars in Mesoamerican archaeology reveal the creation, perpetuation, and contestation of politically authoritative relationships between rulers and subjects and between nobles and commoners. The contributions span the geographic breadth and temporal extent of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica—from Preclassic Oaxaca to the Classic Petén region of Guatemala to the Postclassic Michoacán—and the contributors weave together archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data.
Grappling with the questions of how those exercising authority convince others to follow and why individuals often choose to recognize and comply with authority, Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica discusses why the study of political authority is both timely and significant, reviews how scholars have historically understood the operation of political authority, and proposes a new analytical framework to understand how rulers rule.
Contributors include Sarah B. Barber, Joanne Baron, Christopher S. Beekman, Jeffrey Brzezinski, Bryce Davenport, Charles Golden, Takeshi Inomata, Arthur A. Joyce, Sarah Kurnick, Carlo J. Lucido, Simon Martin, Tatsuya Murakami, Helen Perlstein Pollard, and Víctor Salazar Chávez.
Politics, Economy, and Society in Bourbon Central America, 1759-1821 examines how the Spanish policies known broadly as the Bourbon Reforms affected Central American social, economic, and political institutions. Although historians have devoted significant attention to the purpose and impact of these reforms in Spain and some of Spain's other New World colonies, this book is the first to explore their impact on Central America.
These reforms profoundly changed aspects of Central America's politics and society; however, these essays reveal that changes in the region were shaped both internally and externally and that they weakened the region's ties to metropolitan Spain as often as they reinforced them. Contributors focus on specific policy changes and their consequences as well as transformations throughout the region for which no direct Bourbon inspiration appears to be responsible. Together they demonstrate that whether or not the Crown achieved its primary goals of centralization and control, its policies nevertheless provided opportunities for evident, often subtle, and occasionally unintentional shifts in the colonial government's relationship to its constituent populations. Contributors include Christophe Belaubre, Michel Bertrand, Jordana Dym, Jorge H. González, Timothy Hawkins, Sajid Alfredo Herrera, Gustavo Palma, Eugenia Rodriguez, Doug Tompson, and Stephen Webre.
The past two decades have seen an explosion of research on Postclassic Mesoamerican societies. In this ambitious new volume, the editors and contributors seek to present a complete picture of the middle and late Postclassic period (ca. AD 1100-1500) employing a new theoretical framework.
Mesoamerican societies after the collapse of the great city-states of Tula and Chichen Itza stand out from earlier societies in a number of ways. They had larger regional populations, smaller polities, a higher volume of long-distance trade, greater diversity of trade goods, a more commercialized economy, and new standardized forms of pictorial writing and iconography. The emerging archaeological record reveals larger quantities of imported goods in Postclassic contexts, and ethnohistoric accounts describe marketplaces, professional merchants, and the use of money throughout Mesoamerica by the time of the Spanish conquest. The integration of this commercial economy with new forms of visual communication produced a dynamic world system that reached every corner of Mesoamerica.
Thirty-six focused articles by twelve authors describe and analyze the complexity of Postclassic Mesoamerica. After an initial theoretical section, chapters are organized by key themes: polities, economic networks, information networks, case studies, and comparisons. Covering a region from western Mexico to Yucatan and the southwestern Maya highlands, this volume should be in the library of anyone with a serious interest in ancient Mexico.
This volume presents a comprehensive examination of the work of René Zavaleta Mercado (1939–1984), the most notable Bolivian political thinker of the twentieth century. While Zavaleta did not live to see the triumph of the indigenous social movements that have made Bolivia famous in recent years, his writings influenced many of the activists and ideologues who made today’s changes possible. This exploration of Zavaleta’s work by Luis Tapia, a contemporary political analyst who has been a colleague of many of the central actors in today’s government, presents a detailed panorama of Bolivian history that establishes the context of Zavaleta’s analysis of the events of his time, from the revolutionary nationalist movement which took power in 1952 through the military dictatorships that followed it from 1964 onwards to the popular protests that eventually defeated the dictatorship and restored democratic government in 1982. The book will be necessary reading for anyone who wants to understand the decades of history and the ideological currents that laid the groundwork for the rise to power of the neo-indigenists lead by Evo Morales in the twenty-first century.