Ancient Maya Women by Traci Ardren

By Traci Ardren

The flood of archaeological paintings in Maya lands has revolutionized our knowing of gender in old Maya society. The dozen members to this quantity use quite a lot of methodological strategies―archaeology, bioarchaeology, iconography, ethnohistory, epigraphy, ethnography―to tease out the main points of the lives, activities, and identities of ladies of Mesoamerica. The chapters, such a lot dependent upon fresh fieldwork in important the US, research the position of girls 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 subject matters. In every one case, the complexities and nuances of gender kinfolk is highlighted and the restrictions of our wisdom said. those items characterize a massive strengthen within the realizing of Maya socioeconomic, political, and cultural life―and the archaeology of gender―and should be of significant curiosity to students and scholars.

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The men:' I postuhu rha! 1nd domestic work with women- be it house-lot garden work, food production, marketing, or the increasing significance of craft production fo r household and suprahousehold taxation and income. This tradition overrides the blatant bet that both sexes participate 111 the variolls milpa agricultural tasks. The Et hnohistoric Record: Continuity and Change T he Popel Vuh provides an imeresting perspf'ctive on examin1l1g the longel'ity of Maya agricu ltural gender idrologies.

Redfield suggests that the culturally determined gender roles "have shown in Yucatan a high degree of resistance to change" (194 I: 174). 2). Male children between the ages four and twenty-three spend 20 percent of their agricultural activities weeding, 7 percent planting, 38 percent harvesting, and 10 percent performing related agricultural tasks. Female children spend 9 percent of their agricultural work weeding, 5 percent planting, 19 percent harvesting, and 24 percent of the time performing related activities such as processing seed for planting, transporting goods between village and milpa, monitoring crops, and hunting and trapping vermin.

Using intensification techniques farmers transformed Chan Noohol's gently sloping land into a productive agricultural landscape. People's habitual agricultural and domestic practices structured space and its use at Chan Noohol in such a way that the agricultural and domestic spheres were spatially and socially entwined. The social and spatial relations of Chan Noohol farmers' agricultural technology created a situation in which work around the house would have been gendered male and female. If Chan Noohol-type social relations are more widely applicable to the multitude of Late Classic farming settlements that constitute the majority of the Late Classic landscape, it may be that such social relations provided a practical basis for more widespread notions of collaborative gender relations among Classic Maya farmsteading families.

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Ancient Maya Women by Traci Ardren
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