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Pre-Columbian Ball-game Handstones: Rejoinder to Clune

  • Stephan F. de Borhegyi (a1)

Abstract

On the basis of ethnohistorical data, Clune has questioned the identification and use of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican stone objects formerly known as “padlock stones” or “sling stones” and recently designated by de Borhegyi as “ball-game handstones.” According to de Borhegyi, these stones were used by players in the Mesoamerican ball game to deflect or propel a high-arching ball. Archaeological evidence strongly supports the inference that “ball-game handstones” and such ball-game paraphernalia as stone yokes and palmate stones were used in the ball game as it was played during Early and Late Classic times (A.D. 200-900) along the Gulf coast of eastern Mexico and in the Maya area. The indiscriminate use of Spanish and other early ethnohistoric records may be misleading in the reconstruction and interpretation of cultural events that occurred centuries earlier in a variety of places.

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References

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Borhegyi, Stephan F. de 1961 Ball-game Handstones and Ball-game Gloves. Essays in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology by Lothrop, S. K. and others, pp. 126–51. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
Clune, Francis J. Jr. 1963 Borhegyi's Interpretation of Certain Mesoamerican Objects as Ball-game Handstones. American Antiquity, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 241–2. Salt Lake City.
Ekholm, Gordon F. 1961 Puerto Rican Stone “Collars” as Ball-Game Belts. Essays in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology by Lothrop, S. K. and others, pp. 356–71. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
Stern, Theodore 1948 The Rubber-Ball Games of the Americas. Monographs of the American Ethnological Society, Vol. 17. J. J. Augustin, New York.
Thompson, J. Eric S. 1948 An Archaeological Reconnaissance in the Cotzumalhuapa Region, Escuintla, Guatemala. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 574, Contribution 44. Washington.

Pre-Columbian Ball-game Handstones: Rejoinder to Clune

  • Stephan F. de Borhegyi (a1)

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