Networks of Power: Politcal Relations in the Late by Edward Schortman, Patricia Urban

By Edward Schortman, Patricia Urban

Little is understood approximately how past due Postclassic populations in southeast Mesoamerica equipped their political family. Networks of strength fills gaps within the wisdom of this little-studied quarter, reconstructing the process political heritage within the Naco Valley from the fourteenth via early 16th centuries. Describing the cloth and behavioral styles touching on the past due Postclassic interval utilizing elements of 3 settlements within the Naco Valley of northwestern Honduras, the ebook specializes in how contests for strength formed political buildings. Power-seeking participants, together with yet now not constrained to ruling elites, trusted networks of allies to aid their political goals. Ongoing and partly profitable competitions waged inside networks ended in the incorporation of unique principles and imported goods into the day-by-day practices of all Naco Valley occupants. the end result used to be a delicate hierarchical constitution ceaselessly liable to the tasks of brokers working on neighborhood and far away stages.Networks of strength describes who was once serious about those competitions and during which networks they participated; what assets have been mustered inside of those webs; which tasks have been fueled by means of those resources; and the way, and to what volume, they contributed to the fulfillment of political goals.

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Extra info for Networks of Power: Politcal Relations in the Late Postclassic Naco Valley, Honduras (Mesoamerican Worlds: From the Olmecs to the Danzantes)

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There is a general resemblance between Chinautla vessels and the polychromes found in the Late Postclassic Naco valley; in both instances geometric designs are painted in red and black on the cream-slipped surfaces of generally open bowls. Like Nolasco and La Victoria examples, Chinautla vessels are commonly supported by three modeled legs; it is unclear if the polychromes from the Naco valley were also elevated in this manner. These general resemblances in form and decoration most likely represent common participation in interaction nets through which broadly similar pottery vessels and their canons of decoration moved during the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries across the southeastern and eastern Maya highlands and western Honduras (Sharer 1978: 66; see also Wauchope’s “Bright Paint Style,” 1970: 108, 110–112).

The central premise of this approach, considered in greater detail in chapter 2, is that basic elements of political structure—such as office, rank, status, and role—influence human behavior only to the extent that they and their relations are enacted in the numerous events through which power is wielded by goal-seeking individuals (Mauss 2007; Monaghan 1995; Schortman 2008). Such events unfold within fields of expectations, resource distributions, and patterned interpersonal connections that come down from previous generations.

Both the Naco and Sula valleys possess a distinctive class of ceramics characterized by open bowls, frequently supported by three legs in the form of stylized bird heads, feet, or both. 2). Originally defined as Nolasco Bichrome (Wonderley 1981: 157–172, 1985: 261, 263), other representatives of this class made using a different paste recipe have been recognized at Sites PVN 144 and PVN 306 (glossed as La Victoria Bichrome in these cases; Urban 1993b: 60–61). Designs found in both taxa consist of “X’s,” guilloches, curvilinear and geometric elements, stylized feathers, and “serpent jaws” (Urban 1993b: 57–58; Wonderley 1981: 157–172).

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