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Fashioning Society: The Use of Facial Adornments for Social Identification in Late Postclassic Tlaxcallan, Mexico

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Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
In pre-Hispanic Central Mexico, communities frequently practiced various forms of embodying social identity through the use of facial adornments. Ornaments were placed in the ears, nose, and lips to materialize aspects of both self and collective identity. Important characteristics, such as age, gender, status, kinship, and ethnicity can be better understood through analysis of facial ornaments recovered from archaeological sites. Recent research at the Late Postclassic (AD 1420-1521) city of Tlaxcallan has provided insight into how facial ornamentation varied within the central highlands of Mexico. Typological analysis of ornaments and figurines recovered at Tlaxcallan and comparative examinations between Tlaxcalteca and Aztec historical documents has provided evidence to support varying embodiment practices between these groups. Despite their shared Nahua identity and close proximity, the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs chose to emphasize significantly different aspects of identity within their own social hierarchies. The persistent conflict and varying political organization between these communities is reflected in their embodiment practices. Thus, these objects have the potential to reveal how larger sociopolitical interactions can affect local collective identities. Through this comparative analysis, I demonstrate how the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs identified aspects of social identity through analysis of facial ornamentation.
Title: Fashioning Society: The Use of Facial Adornments for Social Identification in Late Postclassic Tlaxcallan, Mexico.
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Name(s): Costa, Angelica, Author
Barber, Sarah, Committee Chair
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Committee Member
Callaghan, Michael, Committee Member
Fargher, Lane, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In pre-Hispanic Central Mexico, communities frequently practiced various forms of embodying social identity through the use of facial adornments. Ornaments were placed in the ears, nose, and lips to materialize aspects of both self and collective identity. Important characteristics, such as age, gender, status, kinship, and ethnicity can be better understood through analysis of facial ornaments recovered from archaeological sites. Recent research at the Late Postclassic (AD 1420-1521) city of Tlaxcallan has provided insight into how facial ornamentation varied within the central highlands of Mexico. Typological analysis of ornaments and figurines recovered at Tlaxcallan and comparative examinations between Tlaxcalteca and Aztec historical documents has provided evidence to support varying embodiment practices between these groups. Despite their shared Nahua identity and close proximity, the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs chose to emphasize significantly different aspects of identity within their own social hierarchies. The persistent conflict and varying political organization between these communities is reflected in their embodiment practices. Thus, these objects have the potential to reveal how larger sociopolitical interactions can affect local collective identities. Through this comparative analysis, I demonstrate how the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs identified aspects of social identity through analysis of facial ornamentation.
Identifier: CFE0007749 (IID), ucf:52401 (fedora)
Note(s): 2018-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, Anthropology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Mesoamerica -- Mexico -- Aztec -- Tlaxcallan -- Late Postclassic -- Facial Adornment -- Ornaments -- Social Identity -- Nahua
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007749
Restrictions on Access: public 2019-06-15
Host Institution: UCF

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