Ancient Maya Women (Gender and Archaeology) by Traci Ardren

By Traci Ardren

The flood of archaeological paintings in Maya lands has revolutionized our figuring out of gender in historical Maya society. The dozen individuals to this quantity use a variety of methodological strategies―archaeology, bioarchaeology, iconography, ethnohistory, epigraphy, ethnography―to tease out the main points of the lives, activities, and identities of girls of Mesoamerica. The chapters, such a lot dependent upon contemporary fieldwork in vital the US, research the position of ladies in Maya society, their position within the political hierarchy and lineage buildings, the gendered department of work, and the discrepancy among idealized Mayan womanhood and the day-by-day truth, between different issues. In each one case, the complexities and nuances of gender kin is highlighted and the restrictions of our wisdom said. those items symbolize a massive strengthen within the figuring out of Maya socioeconomic, political, and cultural life―and the archaeology of gender―and may be of serious curiosity to students and scholars.

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H ome agricultural fi eldwork. Data provided by Karen L Kramer, University of New M exico, Albuquerque, frum " Variation in Children 's Work among Modern Maya Subsi5lence Agriculturalists" 11999b). LA 60H. 4). 2-),car birth imcn'al; Kraml'[ 1999a), as they have been in the past century, [he wom,m spend a majority of thcir reproducti\'j> careers nursmg. 10 conclude. rhe ethnographic record suggrsrs thar won1l,'n can and do participate in various agricuhural activities; howrver, nursing Maya women rarely do.

The documents regularly mention men working in cornfields, hunting, carrying wood, and building houses. Women, on the other hand, are described as grinding maize, cooking, making tortillas, buying and selling goods, sewing, spinning yarn, and carrying water jugs and babies. More specific to agricultural tasks, Redfield and Villa Rojas (1934) mention that house gardens were prepared by men, both men and women planted the seeds, and women generally did the watering and weeding. For the modern Taracan area, West (1948) also makes reference to the women cultivating the houselot gardens using digging sticks and metal hoes.

At times, the gender- and age-work relations in particular spaces may have looked quite different at Chan Noohol. , a field), but at other times, when women were at work cooking and men were at work on some other task, people's work would have been differentially situated in space. 7 People's similar or different daily work was coordinated in space in such a way that could facilitate interaction and communication rather than separation. Throughout the day, the interrelatedness of people's work and lives would have been visible.

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