Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 November 2016
In this article, I present the results of an analysis of codex-style polychrome ceramics recovered from excavations of commoner households at the Late Postclassic center of Tututepec (Yucu Dzaa), Oaxaca, Mexico. In employing a basic semiotic approach, I examine the images depicted on these materials to draw inferences regarding salient themes they expressed, and how these themes related to broader social discourse and political ideology. In short, I argue that the data suggest an articulation between the popular ideologies of commoners and ideals that were promoted by the site's ruling elites, a concordance that likely arose through dialogic social processes, rather than coercion or false consciousness. This state of affairs may have contributed to the success of the polity, which was the center of a powerful territorial empire at the time of Spanish contact.