The Archæology of Ethnogenesis: Race and Sexuality in by Barbara L. Voss

By Barbara L. Voss

This leading edge paintings of ancient archaeology illuminates the genesis of the Californios, a group of army settlers who cast a brand new id at the northwest fringe of Spanish North the US. considering 1993, Barbara L. Voss has carried out archaeological excavations on the Presidio of San Francisco, based by means of Spain in the course of its colonization of California's principal coast. Her examine on the Presidio varieties the root for this wealthy examine of cultural id formation, or ethnogenesis, one of the assorted peoples who got here from frequent colonized populations to serve on the Presidio. via an in depth research of the panorama, structure, ceramics, garments, and different points of fabric tradition, she lines transferring contours of race and sexuality in colonial California.

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The Archæology of Ethnogenesis: Race and Sexuality in Colonial San Francisco

This leading edge paintings of ancient archaeology illuminates the genesis of the Californios, a neighborhood of army settlers who cast a brand new identification at the northwest fringe of Spanish North the USA. considering 1993, Barbara L. Voss has performed archaeological excavations on the Presidio of San Francisco, based through Spain in the course of its colonization of California's imperative coast.

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It is by attending to the “microphysics of power” (de Certeau 1984:xvi) within the ongoing negotiation of governmentality and discipline (Foucault 1975, 1978) that we are most likely to obtain glimpses of the ongoing play between fixity and fluidity in the articulation of social identities. Practice and Performance Theoretical pluralism is an epistemological asset for archaeology generally and for the study of past identities especially (Longino 1990; Wylie 1992b, 1996a). Social theories provide models for analyzing and interpreting observed archaeological phenomena; they aid archaeologists in conceptualizing and coping with our research findings.

If ethnicity is forged through perceptions of common heritage or ancestry and through cultural diªerence from others, how is it diªerent from race and nationality, which commonly reference the same components? Even class, often defined strictly in terms of economic status or relationship to the means of production, has been amply demonstrated to be a vehicle of cultural transmission Ethnogenesis and the Archaeology of Identity 27 and diªerentiation (for example, Bourdieu 1984). For every “rule” that draws strict distinctions between ethnicity, race, class, citizenship, and nation, a historical or ethnographic exception can be found to prove that the situation is far more complex.

When a descendant of the colonial population pulls out a well-worn map to show me which villages in Spain his ancestors came from, how do I reconcile that conversation with the historical documents I’ve read that list his great-great-great-great-great grandparents as mulatos and indios from mining towns in Sonora, Mexico? The only discernable “truth” about historical identities in Spanish-colonial and Mexican Alta California is that they were constantly changing. Other researchers have reached similar conclusions: “We were struck,” write Brian Haley and Larry Wilcoxon (2005:433, 442) of their genealogical research on colo- Ethnogenesis and the Archaeology of Identity 11 nial families in Santa Barbara, “by how abundant and well documented identity changes in particular family lines were.

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