List of illustrations

  • Seated turtle-shell drummer
  • Adela Breton on horseback with her guide
  • View of the Ameca-Etzatlán valley with the town of Teuchitlán below
  • Map, p. 12
  • A figure from the Hacienda Guadalupe tumulus excavation near Etzatlán, Jalisco
  • Map, p. 11
  • Volcán de Colima, Jalisco
  • Lake Chapala basin, Jalisco
  • Canyon of the Río Santiago, near Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • Seated chieftain
  • Seated male pair rhymically gesturing
  • Female figure with hands on knees
  • Ritual dancer with a crocodile mask
  • Dancer wearing a deity headdress
  • Standing male holding an incensario
  • Warrior pair
  • Seated female figure with a red hand sign
  • Seated female figure with a red hand sign
  • Seated figure with polychrome facepaint
  • Seated male figure rhythmically gesturing
  • Standing musician holding a whistle and rattle
  • Female figurine
  • Standing couple
  • Female rasp player seated on a stool
  • Contortionist
  • Contortionist
  • Standing male figurine with hands crossed over stomach
  • Male figurine with a finely modeled coiffure
  • Teardrop bottle with a dog effigy head
  • Performer balancing ball on nose
  • Vessel
  • Acrobat-juggler vessel
  • The principal ritual precinct at Teuchitlán, Jalisco
  • Drawing of tomb no. 4
  • Map of Teuchitlán core area and periphery
  • Shallow bowl with a concentric red and black pattern
  • Bowl with a grid-and-dot pattern
  • Bowl with a dotted pattern
  • Platform complex at La Noria
  • Remains of circular precincts and plan and elevation of a major shaft tomb at San Andres, Jalisco
  • Plan of the upper complex at Cerro de los Monos, La Providencia, Jalisco
  • Seated male figure with an upraised weapon in his hand
  • Seated male figure with a shoulder cape
  • Two standing male warriors with darts
  • Marriage pair
  • Coatimundi pendant
  • Necklace
  • Diagram showing demographic implosion in the Teuchitlán area
  • Unexcavated valley site at Santa Quiteria, districts of Arenal and Amatitlán, Jalisco
  • Plan of the Mesa Alta complex at Santa Quiteria
  • Bowl with emblematic pseudo-cloisonné designs
  • Bowl with emblematic pseudo-cloisonné designs
  • Olla with a pseudo-cloisonné design
  • Roll-out view of olla
  • In the small valley below the Guachimontón complex at Teuchitlán, large springs still supply irrigation ditches between raised fields
  • Reconstruction drawing of the Guachimontón complex at Teuchitlán, Jalisco
  • Partial view of the burials in the north chamber of the shaft tomb in Huitzilapa, Jalisco
  • Rows of maguey agave cactus cover the fields of Huitzilapa, below the Volcán de Tequila
  • Archaeological sites of the Huitzilapa community, between the towns of Magdalena and Tequila, on the lower slopes of the Volcán de Tequila
  • Plan of the Huitzilapa site showing the ballcourt above, the large ceremonical circle adjoining the cruciform platform plaza F-1, an dthe smaller west plaza F-4 where the shaft tomb is located
  • Plan of west plaza F-4, showing platforms, foundations of the circular enclosing wall, and the location of the shaft-tomb entrance
  • Plan and cross-section drawing showing the two-chambered shaft-tomb in relation to the platform in the west plaza F-4 at Huitzilapa
  • The north chamber seen from the shaft entrance
  • Plan of the burials and offerings in the north and south chambers
  • In the north chamber of the Huitzilapa tomb, remains of the chieftain are shown in the process of archaeological excavation
  • Huitzilapa tomb offerings include three multiple-strand necklaces of shell
  • Burial mask
  • Figurine pendant
  • Figurine pendant
  • Codex Magliabechiano: Detail depicting a funerary bundle
  • Conch shell
  • Plate with serpentine design
  • Plate with serpentine design
  • In the north chamber of the shaft tomb at Huitzilapa, this ballplayer figure originally stood by the feet of the deceased chieftain
  • Ballplayer figure
  • Offerings and grave goods discovered in the north chamber of the tomb at Huitzilapa, Jalisco
  • Archaeological sites in West Mexico left deeply pitted and destroyed by looters
  • Drawing of a normal cervical vertebra and one of the congenitally deformed vertebrae found in five of the six skeletal remains at Huitzilapa
  • Seated female figure
  • Seated polychrome female figure with tattoos
  • Burial types throughout ancient West Mexico
  • Ceremonial spear point
  • Ceremonial club with a human face
  • Plate with a lobed rosette pattern
  • Bowl with multiple sets of vertical bands
  • Bowl with four sets of vertical bands
  • In the second chamber at Huitzilapa the jumbled position of the skeletal remains indicates that these individuals received secondary burial in this tomb
  • Remnants of insect puparia adhered to the surface of a ceramic vessel
  • Seated hunchbacked dwarf
  • Male figure covered with sores
  • Standing female figure wearing a skirt
  • Male figurine with detailed coiffure and diaper loincloth
  • Seated male figure wearing a helmet
  • Seated male figure wearing a beaked helmet
  • Seated male figure held by a female figure
  • Elderly female figurine holding a bowl and cane
  • Elderly female figure with a cane
  • Seated elderly male figure with a black facial design
  • Seated male figure holding a bowl and drinking tube
  • View of an agave field near Tequila, Jalisco
  • Standing marriage pair
  • Seated chieftain with female attendants
  • Model of a house on a platform
  • Model of a house-like pavilion on a platform
  • Cylinder vase roll-out
  • Model of a house on a platform
  • Seated marriage pair
  • Model of a house on a platform
  • Couple carried on a litter
  • Seated female figure holding a plate
  • Elephantine female figure holding a vessel with a tumpline
  • Model of a houselike pavilion on a platform
  • Seated male figure holding a cup and an acocote gourd sucking tube
  • Incised vessel on a four-legged animal support
  • Seated male figure holding a vat and drinking cup
  • Codex Nuttall: Pulque scene
  • Reproductions of a pulque-drinking scene
  • Cylindrical vessel
  • Tray with mammiform legs
  • Tripod plate with a four-part chevron design
  • Cylindrical tripod vessel
  • Oval-shaped vessel with geometric designs
  • A farmer drawing maguey sap (aguamiel)
  • Male figure carrying a maguey agave heart with a tumpline
  • Codex Borbonicus: Maguey god
  • Seated male figure with right arm raised, holding a cup
  • The night between All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2) on the island of Janitzío , Lake Pátzcuaro
  • Model of a circular ceremonial center
  • Schematic drawing of the cylindrical Tizoc stone
  • Codex Borbonicus: Detail of the Aztec feast of Huey Miccaylhuitl
  • Standing warrior holding a dart
  • Standing warrior
  • Codex Mendoza: Detail of Aztec capture scenes
  • Prisoner
  • Prisoner
  • Drinking warrior with trophy heads
  • Vessel with trophy heads
  • Standing female figure
  • Seated female figure
  • Female figure
  • Monumental standing female figure with geometric designs
  • Seated rotund figure with hands on hips
  • Vessel in the form of a kneeling skeletonized woman
  • Seated mother with eighty-seven children
  • Female figure with an apron table
  • Seated female figure
  • Kneeling female figure
  • Kneeling female figure
  • Codex Borbonicus: Earth goddess Tlazolteotl
  • Codex Borgia: Five figures of Tlaloc
  • Model of a house
  • Standing couple
  • Model of a ceremonial center
  • Plan of the ceremonial center model
  • Detail of two marriage couples seated on opposite sides of the circular altar or pyramid
  • Marriage pair
  • Standing male figure
  • Standing female figure
  • Marriage pair seated on stools and holding bowls
  • Seated marriage pair
  • Seated female
  • Marriage pair
  • Family group
  • Codex Mendoza: Aztec marriage scene
  • Codex Borbonicus: The primordial male and female creative forces, personified as Ometecuhtli-Omecihuatl
  • Model of a funerary scene
  • Model of a funeral procession and cheek-piercing ceremony
  • Funerary Cheek-Piercing Ritual
  • Funerary cheek-piercing rite
  • Two ceremonial blades
  • Seated chieftain
  • Model of a circular ceremonial center
  • Plan of the Guachimontón complex at Teuchitlán
  • Ring of dancers with musicians
  • Ring of dancers
  • Watercolor rendering of a mosaic shield with cosmic designs
  • Ceremonial shield with mosaic sun-disk design
  • Drawing of ceremonial shield with mosaic sun-disk design
  • Codex Fejérváry-Mayer: Cosmological diagram
  • Huichol Indians' Father Sun and Grandfather Fire
  • Huichol Indians' Father Sun and Grandfather Fire
  • Huichol Indians' Father Sun and Grandfather Fire
  • Huichol Indians' Father Sun and Grandfather Fire
  • Ceremonial Village Scene with a Flying Figure
  • Model of a pochotl tree surrounded by four feasting couples
  • Vessel in the form of a section of pochotl (ceiba) tree
  • Model of a Tree-Climbing Ritual
  • Chalchihuites mountains over the hall of columns at Alta Vista in Zacatecas
  • First flash of light a few days before equinox sunrise at Alta Vista
  • Equinox sunrise at Alta Vista showing long shadows cast by the crowd in attendance and the sunlight shaft part way up the zigzag entry corridor
  • Model of a ballcourt
  • Codex Borbonicus: Illustration of a ballcourt
  • Ballcourt at Xochicalco, Morelos (AD 900–1000)
  • Drawings of eight ballgame figurines
  • Seated ballplayer
  • Drawing of a ballplayer figurine holding a ball
  • Marriage pair
  • Standing ballplayer
  • Drawing of a ballplayer figurine wearing a traditional-style yoke
  • Drawing of a ballplayer figurine wearing a phallic-style yoke
  • Drawing of a ballplayer figurine wearing a Tuxcacuesco-style wrapped yoke
  • Drawing of female ballplayer figurine wearing a traditional-style yoke
  • Drawing of a ballplayer or warrior figurine wearing a traditional-style yoke and holding a bat
  • Drawing of a figurine wearing a yoke with a jaguar-head hacha and playing a conch-shell trumpet
  • Drawing of a female ballplayer figurine wearing a woven yoke
  • Ballplayer figurine wearing a woven yoke
  • Figurine throwing a ball
  • Drawing of a headless figurine with a trophy head hanging around its neck
  • Ballgame figurine
  • Model of a ballcourt
  • Model of a ballgame with spectators
  • Model of a ballcourt
  • Combat scene with two ballplayers
  • Crouching male figure with a smoking tube and animal visor
  • Dog transforming into a human
  • Animal curing scene
  • Shaman with a tree growing from his back
  • Shaman carrying a human figure on his back
  • Male figure inhaling intoxicating snuff
  • Hunchbacked dwarf gesturing with paired peyote buds
  • Reclinatorio with a dog's head in rear
  • Reclinatorio
  • Cylindrical vase with four reliefs
  • Elderly pair
  • Male figure blowing through a tube into a bowl
  • Mother goddess figure
  • Woman lying on a metate
  • Personification of the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi)
  • Grave marker depicting a horned figure
  • Seated male figure with a horned headdress
  • Seated dwarf with a bird necklace
  • Shaman with a young initiate hanging down his front
  • Male figure with a horned headdress
  • Vessel in the form of a human head
  • Two shamans in combat
  • Model of a teponaztle drum
  • Two shamans riding a drum
  • Seated drummer
  • Dog wearing a mask with a human face
  • Model antler with a human head
  • Antler fetish
  • Shark swallowing a man
  • Male figure with a shark headdress
  • Seated male figure wearing a conch-shell headdress
  • Seated chieftain with a conch shell and headdress
  • Seated warrior
  • Model of a Strombus conch shell
  • Turbinella conch shell
  • Drawing of Stela 11
  • Pectoral and Maya inscription (on reverse)
  • Detail from a mural in the Temple of Agriculture
  • Detail from the façade of the Palace of the Plumed Conch Shells
  • Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent
  • Drawings of celestial monsters from Altar 41
  • Drawing of the rear face of Stela 11
  • Drawing of an inscription from a royal stela (the Hauberg Stela)
  • Standing figure carrying ritual devices
  • Detail from a fresco panel
  • Figure presenting a drinking vessel
  • Seated chieftain wearing a headdress with a horn and dog's head
  • Bottle with three crayfish supports
  • Mercado Libertad, Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Nopal cacti were cultivated in groves for their edible tender paddles and juicy tuna fruits
  • Preparing the harvested tuna fruits for market involves brushing away their fine needles
  • Duck
  • Male figure carrying a vessel with a tumpline
  • Coatimundi
  • Prairie dog
  • Joined ducks
  • Crab
  • Turtle
  • A tlachiquero trims the leaves of the maguey agave
  • Sugary mescal for sale in the market
  • Vessel with roasted maguey leaves (mescal)
  • Dancing dogs
  • Old pregnant snarling dog
  • Parrot
  • Vessel with zapotes
  • Vessel with squashes
  • Heaps of squash in a Guadalajara market
  • Squash vessel with parrot supports
  • Vessel in the form of a bowl of pitayas
  • Bowl of pitayas
  • Vessel in the form of an organ cactus
  • Vessel with cuahuayote fruits
  • Vessel with shrimps
  • Vessel with crabs
  • Vessel with crayfish
  • Roasted dog on the platter
  • The Sayula basin
  • By the end of July, rains have covered the lake bed with a thin sheet of water and the fields in the southern part of the basin have dramatically turned green
  • Seasonal rains bringout smaller organisms, shellfish, and small fish, attracting flocks of birds to the shallow basin
  • From the surrounding hillsides to the lake bed, three distinct ecological zones are seen in the Sayula basin
  • Vessel with armadillos
  • Flocks appearing during the height of the rainy season suggest the teeming wildlife that once populated the entire Jalisco lake-basin region
  • Duck
  • Heron
  • At Cerritos Colorados, foundations of ancient buildings appear amid heaps of broken pottery remaining from the dry-season saltworks
  • Chronology of the Sayula basin in relation to the Teuchitlán area and the Colima/southern Jalisco sequences
  • Map of the Sayula basin showing Usmajac phase and Verdía subphase site locations
  • Typical Usmajac-phase shaft tomb of the type found at the Cerro del Agua Escondida site
  • Plan of sector 3 of the Cerro del Agua Escondida site
  • Representative selection of Usmajac-phase pottery
  • Representative selection of Usmajac-phase pottery
  • Marriage pair
  • Map of the Pacific Coast from West Mexico to Peru
  • Codex Mendoza: Detail illustrating typical Mesoamerican clothing
  • Relación de Michoacán: Detail showing the unique male breeches worn by Tarascan males and a tunic-clad chieftain seated on a stool
  • Relación de Michoacán: Detail showing Tarascan males seated on stools and wearing checkered, tunic-like shirts
  • Relación de Michoacán: Detail showing a high-status wedding
  • Relación de Michoacán: Detail portraying the goddess Xaratanga wearing typical Tarascan female attire
  • Couple with a child
  • Female figure
  • Male figure
  • Figure wearing a short shirt and breeches
  • Female figure
  • Joined male-female pair
  • Drawing of a stirrup-spout vessel
  • Drawing of a stirrup-spout vessel
  • Seated chieftain wearing a double carved-tusk pendant
  • Drawings of whale-tooth (a, c) and pig tusk (b) pendants set in gold
  • Hunchback
  • Female figure
  • Textile fragment displaying a checkered pattern with geometric repeating designs within each square
  • Tunic
  • Axe-monies
  • Relacíon de Michoacán: Detail depicting a Tarascan priest clad in a checkered, tunic-like shirt and wearing a large pair of golden tweezers around his neck
  • Drawings of a Tarascan tweezers
  • The painted jay inhabits only a small region in West Mexico, separated by four thousand kilometers from its morphologically close relative, the white-tailed jay of Ecuador and Peru
  • Vessel in the form of a dog
  • The thorny oyster Spondylus princeps
  • Illustration of a balsa raft sailing past a Spanish galleon near the mouth of the Bay of Guayaquil in Ecuador
  • Codex Mendoza: Tribute tally
  • Pendant in the form of a mythic double-headed creature with serpentine motifs
  • Bead necklace and pendant in the form of a large fish eating a small fish
  • Ceremonial earspools and earspool attachments
  • Circular pendant with a serpentine motif (necklace)
  • Seated figure
  • Necklace
  • Female figure
  • Vessel in the form of gourds
  • Compound vessel
  • Standing female figure with geometric designs
  • Standing female figure with geometric designs
  • Three ceremonial dancers
  • Standing dancer with ritual attire
  • Group of conical-headed "teco" figurines
  • Phallic dancer with removable headdress
  • Conch shell
  • Mirror
  • Standing male figure with a patterned shirt and conical hat
  • Plan of the Cuicuilco pyramid
  • Great Plaza at Teotihuacan
  • Ballcourt at La Quemada, Zacatecas
  • Grand stairway at La Quemada, Zacatecas
  • Plan of La Quemada, Zacatecas
  • Aerial view of Poverty Point, Louisiana
  • Plan of Poverty Point, Louisiana
  • Plan of Moundville, Alabama
  • Figure of a man bearing a burden of pottery
  • Snarling dog
  • Seated marriage pair
  • Family Group
  • Joined pair
  • Family Group
  • Standing female figure
  • Family group
  • Sleeping dog
  • Storyteller figure
  • Burial mask
  • Duck
  • Group of fourteen heads
  • Ribbed jar
  • Seated ithyphallic dwarf
  • Sleeping female figure
  • Standing dancer with animal on helmet
  • Squash vessel with parrot supports
  • Vase with iguana supports
  • Vessel with parrot legs and a serpentine design
  • Standing male figurine
  • Standing dancer with a removable headdress
  • Grotesque seated female figure
  • Squatting warrior wearing a helmet
  • Standing warrior holding a dart
  • Standing warrior holding a dart
  • Standing warrior holding a dart
  • Figure of a high-ranking matron
  • Elongated figure with hands on hips
  • Standing figure wearing a headdresss with twin circular motifs
  • Half-gourd vessel with frog designs
  • Vessel with a modeled face and geometric designs
  • Burial mask with geometric designs
  • Burial mask with geometric designs
  • Reclining female figure
  • Seated figure with a striped head
  • Standing figure with a painted face and torso
  • Reclining figure
  • Seated pair
  • Seated pair
  • Seated elderly male figure with a striped face
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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Lenders to the Exhibition
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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Anyone traveling across the United States from Okracoke to Chicago, or along the Mississippi and through the Dakotas past Wenatchee to Seattle, or southwest between Acoma and Tehachapi Pass, will be naming the names of Amerindian peoples and the titles they gave to the landscape. From Central Mexico southward to Guatemala, the memory of early peoples and places is marked by the ruins of cities, pyramids, and processional ways at Teotihuacan, Monte Albán, Uxmal, Tikal, and scores of other ancient …
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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
During the course of the twentieth century a cultural movement has been evolving in the Americas, aimed at identifying and restoring a range of settings and landscapes: national preserves, historic towns and urban districts, battlefield sites, migration routes, and the ruins of early civilizations. This process has accelerated as the environment becomes ever more rapidly and permanently changed by industrial development, burgeoning cities, and mechanized cultivation. In The Necessity for Ruins
Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
When the British artist Adela Breton arrived in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, in May 1895, her interest in antiquities was aroused by descriptions of ancient ruins and artifacts in the surrounding region (see fig. 2). An adventurous and experienced traveler, she soon made arrangements to explore this area and boarded a local train heading westward into a country of broad, open basins and dun-colored mountains. The railway ran past the shallow lake of the Teuchitlán vega, glittering …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
When we began our archaeological research in the area surrounding the sites of Teuchitlán and Etzatlán in Jalisco in 1969, we simply had no idea what we were about to discover. Conventional wisdom concerning the archaeology of this region had always emphasized the presence of shaft tombs and the impressive art objects found within them. Speculations abounded concerning the functions and meanings of the large earthenware figures, the smaller figurines, and the shaft tombs themselves, but these …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
West Mexico has long been recognized as a region of shaft tombs and beautiful ceramic sculptures—both of which were manifestations of a reverence of ancestors and a belief in the afterlife. Today, these traits, among many others, are recognized as characteristic of the cultural development of this region during the period from 300 B.C. to A.D. 400 (generally identified as the Late Formative and Early Classic eras). Recent studies have brought to light evidence of complex social systems that …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
The shaft-tomb tradition of ancient West Mexico lies within a subtropical region that extends from the west coasts of Colima, Jalisco, and Nayarit through a series of highland valleys and lake basins to Guadalajara and Lake Chapala. Shaft tombs have also been found as far north as western Zacatecas and south into Michoacán. While most of the shaft tombs have been discovered within a small portion of this large area, no one has yet determined the actual extent of this distribution. Nonetheless …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Throughout the Mesoamerican world, feasts were the catalyst for significant ritual, social, and political interchange. We know from historical documents and hieroglyphic texts that pre-Hispanic peoples held over a dozen annual feasts, and that they commemorated life and death events, and brokered political and economic deals, in a milieu of feasting. These occasions were comparable to, or even exceeded, the bounty and significance of present-day state dinners or our own religious and national …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
In the silence of the night, hundreds of candles burn by the graves and the rows of baskets that have been laid out with white cloths covering the offerings of holiday bread; everything about is sprinkled with orange marigold petals (see fig. 1). Small wooden altars also stand by the low mounds, each decked with bread, dried ears of maize, and the bright pungent flowers. The village women sit in vigil, wrapped in dark shawls and the red or black folds of their woolen skirts. Their only movements …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
There is a biting chill in the morning air which nips at his toes through the weave in his sandals. His stomach, however, is still warm from the drink of hot cacao and honey that he had heated over an open fire. During the night he had taken shelter in a grove of huamuchil trees that now seem to vibrate from a faint pulsating drumbeat originating in the west. In that direction, just over a low hill of terraced farming plots, the traveler can make out tall poles stretching toward the last of the …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Everyone who visits the grand archaeological sites of Mesoamerica will find, among the tiered pyramids, open plazas, royal residences, and processional ways, certain open courts, usually made in the shape of a capital I, with parallel stands along the sides, markers set at regular intervals, and defined zones at either end. These are ballcourts, where games were played between two teams using a latex rubber ball. Played for sport, to adjudicate quarrels, or for a range of ritual occasions …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Ancient West Mexican funerary art has long been famous for its ceramic representations of the natural and social world, but only recently have sacred, symbolic, supernatural, shamanic, and other phenomena outside everyday experience begun to be recognized as important subjects and functions of this art. If the “non-ordinary” is even now not always recognized for what it is, at least a dimension of the spiritual or magical is now acknowledged as a significant component of the ancient mortuary …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Pre-Columbian studies have so far produced three different interpretive models or paradigms of the cultures that existed in ancient West Mexico before the rise of the Tarascan state in the Postclassic period. These models, which might be handily tagged “Daily Life in Marginal Villages,” “Shamanism,” and “Complex Society,” were developed successively, although the latter two models were more shifts of emphasis in research than explicit efforts to progress from a critique of an earlier model. …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
For those of us who have a certain curiosity about human life, it is interesting to try to understand how different peoples lived in times past. Although the past can never be recaptured entirely, we are left with many types of evidence that allow us to imagine, with varying degrees of accuracy, how things may once have been. In this essay we will look at evidence that speaks of the interrelationship between humankind and the environment in the shaft-tomb area of Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit in …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
The art of ancient West Mexico has traditionally been treated in terms of a group of beautiful but enigmatic objects. Because of insufficient knowledge, however, the various regional styles have generally been classified according to their geographical location. In spite of the unquestionable aesthetic quality inherent in these works, few specialists have attempted to trace the origins of their social, cultural, and symbolic functions, or of the societies that created this art. The lack of …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
The conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés took place between 1519 and 1521. In the years immediately following, the newly arrived Spanish overlords methodically searched for riches in the rugged terrain and diverse ethnic pockets of their recently acquired domains. Of particular interest to those conquerors were gold, silver, and other exploitable sources of quick wealth and lofty position. Thanks to the Spaniards’ propensity for recordkeeping—the indigenous inhabitants of Mexico were the best …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
Even among archaeologists who work in the region, the definition of precisely what constitutes West Mexico remains unclear. Nevertheless, a combination of historical, geographical, and cultural features, none of which is entirely adequate on its own, can help us fix our focus on the indigenous cultures that developed in the area that today comprises the modern Mexican states of Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Michoacán, and Sinaloa, along with portions of Guanajuato, Zacatecas, and Durango. This region …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
The idea that the so-called primitive art of Africa and Oceania has had considerable influence on a number of major twentieth-century artists is hardly novel. Such a relationship was demonstrated and solidified by, among other things, Robert Goldwater’s pathbreaking study Primitivism in Modern Art, a number of exhibitions in the past half-century in London and Paris, and a major show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York ten years ago. But the impact of the pre-Columbian art of Mexico …

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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
In the following checklist, we have, wherever possible, used the names of geographical locations to designate groups of figures sharing stylistic characteristics and apparently made in workshops within a restricted area. For example, in the vicinity of Comala, Colima, numerous local workshops produced groups of figures. Each of these groups is subtly different from the next, yet these “Comala style” forms have affinities that distinguish them from, say, figures of the “San Sebastián style” of …
Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
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Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
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