Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-r8t2r Total loading time: 0.468 Render date: 2022-07-05T07:35:19.537Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Cloth Production and Economic Intensification in the Area Surrounding Chichen Itza

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Traci Ardren
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 248106, Coral Gables, Florida 33124 (tardren@ miami.edu)
T. Kam Manahan
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Kent State University, 226 Lowry Hall, Kent, Ohio 44242 (tmanahan@ kent.edu)
Julie Kay Wesp
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of California-Berkeley, 232 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley, California 94720 (juliewesp@berkeley.edu)
Alejandra Alonso
Affiliation:
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (México) and Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada (aalonsoo@ucalgary.ca)

Abstract

Recent investigations at the site of Xuenkal on the plains north of Chichén Itzá provide evidence of the changing regional political environment during the Terminal Classic Period (A.D. 900–1000). This paper examines a collection of spindle whorls recovered during the 2005, 2006, and 2007 field seasons of the Proyecto Arqueológico Xuenkal (PAX) as evidence for intensification of craft production. Through this analysis and comparison with spindle whorl collections from other Lowland Maya sites, we suggest the inhabitants of Xuenkal rapidly adapted to changing economic demands by increasing the amount of cloth produced in their residential settings, perhaps in response to increased tribute demands that emanated from the dominant political power of the region. Spinning and weaving is associated with the female gender during the Classic Period in Mesoamerica. Thus, intensification of this gendered activity not only produced excess materials for the state, but also reinforced its gender ideology. Analysis of these artifacts adds to the knowledge of Maya cloth production and addresses the nature of Chichén Itzá's influence on regional sites during the height of its influence in the Terminal Classic period.

Resumen

Resumen

Las excavaciones en el sitio de Xuenkal, ubicado en la región norte de Chichén Itzá, han permitido entender el cambio político regional que se presentó en el periodo Clásico Terminal (900–1000 d.C.). Para este estudio utilizamos una colección de malacates encontrados durante las temporadas de campo de 2005, 2006, y 2007 del Proyecto Arqueológico Xuenkal (PAX) como evidencia de la intensificación en la producción artesanal como consecuencia de un aumento en la demanda de materiales necesarios para la manufactura de textiles. Los resultados de este análisis y su comparación con las colecciones de malacates de otros sitios en Yucatán sugieren que las elites de Xuenkal se incorporaron rápidamente al cambio político. Hilar y tejer están asociados con las mujeres en el periodo Clásico en Mesoamérica. De esta manera, la intensificación de esta actividad no solamente produjo materias primas para el estado, sino también reforzó su ideología. Un cambio en los motivos iconográficos usados en los malacates sugiere un aumento de las prácticas públicas y de su apoyo a la ideología estatal. A pesar de que la colección más grande de malacates proviene de Chichén Itzá, la de Xuenkal es una de las más extensas en toda la península de Yucatán. El análisis de estos elementos permite un mejor entendimiento de la producción textil, y refuerza la idea de cómo Chichén Itzá dirige y controla todas sus influencias en los sitios cercanos durante el Clásico Terminal.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Society for American Archaeology 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Anawalt, Patricia R. 1981 Indian Clothing Before Cortes. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.Google Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P. 1983 Ancient Maya Salt Production and Trade. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.Google Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P. 1990 The Fall of Chichén Itzá: A Preliminary Hypothesis. Latin American Antiquity 1:258267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P., Wyllys Andrews, E. V, and Fernando Robles, C. 2003 The Northern Maya Collapse and Its Aftermath. Ancient Mesoamerica 14:151156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P., and Tomás Gallareta, N. 1986 The Isla Cerritos Archaeological Project, Yucatán, Mexico. Mexicon 8(3):4448.Google Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P., Tomás Gallareta, N., and Rafael Cobos, P. 1989 Preliminary Report of the Cupul Survey Project. Mexicon 11:9195.Google Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P., Tomás Gallareta, N., Fernando Robles, C., Rafael Cobos, P., and Cevera, Pura 1988 Isla Cerritos: An Itzá Trading Port of the North Coast of Yucatán, Mexico. National Geographic Research 4(2): 196207.Google Scholar
Andrews, Anthony P., and Fernando Robles, C. 1985 Chichén Itzá and Cobá: An Itza-Maya Standoff in Early Postclassic Yucatán. In The Lowland Maya Postclassic, edited by Arlen F. Chase and Prudence M. Rice, pp. 6272. University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
Andrews, George F. 1995 Pyramids and Palaces, Monsters and Masks: the Golden Age of Maya Architecture: the Collected Works of George F. Andrews in three volumes. Labyrinthos, California.Google Scholar
Andrews, E. Wyllys IV 1970 Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest. Middle American Research Institute, Publication 32. Tulane University, New Orleans.Google Scholar
Andrews, E. Wyllys IV, and Wyllys Andrews, E. V 1980 Excavations at Dzibilchaltún, Yucatán, Mexico. Middle American Research Institute Publication 48. Tulane University, New Orleans.Google Scholar
Ardren, Traci 2006 Mending the Past: Ix Chel and the Invention of a Modern Pop Goddess. Antiquity 80:2537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ardren, Traci (editor) 2002 Ancient Maya Women. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, California.Google Scholar
Ardren, Traci, Rafael Burgos, V., Kam Manahan, T., Sara Azul, G., and José Estrada, F. 2005 Recent Investigations at Xuenkal. Mexicon 27:9297.Google Scholar
Barrera Rubio, Alfredo, and Herrera, José Huchim 1989 Exploraciones recientes en Uxmal (1986–1987). In Memorias del Segundo Cololquio International de Mayistas, 1, edited by A. Bretón, pp. 265286. UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, Mexico City.Google Scholar
Beaudry-Corbett, Marilyn and McCafferty, Sharisse 2002 Spindle Whorls: Household Specialization at Cerén. In Ancient Maya Women, edited by Traci Ardren, pp. 5267. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, California.Google Scholar
Bey, George J., Bond, Tara M., Ringle, William M., Hansen, Craig A., Houck, Charles W., and Lope, Carlos Peraza 1998 The Ceramic Chronology of Ek Balam, Yucatán, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 9:10120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bolles, John S. 1977 Las Monjas: a Major Pre-Mexican Architectural Complex at Chickén Itzá. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.Google Scholar
Brainerd, George W. 1958 The Archaeological Ceramics of Yucatán. University of California Anthropological Records Vol. 19, Berkeley and Los Angeles.Google Scholar
Braswell, Geoffrey 2000 Industria Lítica, Clase Tallada: Obsidiana. In El Sitio Maya de Topoxté: Investigaciones en una Isla del Lago Yaxhá, Petén, Guatemala, edited by W. Wurster, pp. 208221. Verlag, Philipp Von Zaborn, Mainz Am Rhein.Google Scholar
Brumfiel, Elizabeth M. 1991 Weaving and Cooking: Women's Production in Aztec Mexico. In Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory, edited by Joan M. Gero and Margaret W. Conkey, pp. 224254. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.Google Scholar
Brumfiel, Elizabeth M. 1996 The Quality of Tribute Cloth: The Place of Evidence in Archaeological Argument. American Antiquity 61:453462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carmean, Kelli C. 1990 The Ancient Households of Sayil: a Study of Wealth in Terminal Classic Maya Society. Ph.D dissertation in Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
Carillo Góngora, Zelmy Mariza 2003 Los malacates como evidencia arqueológica de la manufactura del algodón durante el periodo Clásico en la Península de Yucatán. Tesis de Licenciatura en Antropología, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán.Google Scholar
Charlton, Thomas H., Nichols, Deborah L., and Charlton, Cynthia Otis 1991 Aztec Craft Production and Specialization: Archaeological Evidence from the City-State of Otumba, Mexico. World Archaeology 23:98114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chase, Arlen F., Chase, Diane Z., Zorn, Elayne, and Teeter, Wendy 2008 Textiles and the Maya Archaeological Record: Gender, Power, and Status in Classic Period Caracol, Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica 19:127142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rafael, Cobos P. 2007 Multepal or Centralized Kingship? New Evidence on Governmental Organization at Chichén Itzá. In Twin Tollans: Chichén Itzá, Tula, and the Epiclassic to Early Postclassic Mesoamerican World, edited by Jeff K. Kowalski and C. Kristan-Graham, pp. 315344. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
Costin, Cathy Lynn 1996 Exploring the Relationship between Gender and Craft in Complex Societies: Methodological and Theoretical Issues of Gender Attribution. In Gender and Archaeology, edited by Rita Wright, pp. 111140. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
de Landa, Diego 1978 Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, trans. by William Gates. Dover Publications, New York.Google Scholar
Tomás, Gallareta N. 1998 Isla Cerritos, Yucatán: un Complejo Portuario Maya. Arqueología Mexicana VI(33):2431.Google Scholar
Silvia, Garza T. and Kurjack, Ed 1980 Atlas Arqueológico del Estado de Yucatá. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México, D.F.Google Scholar
Halperin, Christina T. 2008 Classic Maya Textile Production: Insights from Motul de San José, Peten, Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica 19:111125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hendon, Julia A. 1992 Hilado y tejido en la época prehispánica: tecnología social de la productión textil. In La indumentaria y el tejido mayas a través del tiempo, edited by Linda Asturias de Barrios and Dina Fernández García, pp. 716. Ediciones del Museo Ixchel, Guatemala.Google Scholar
Hendon, Julia A. 1997 Women’s Work, Women’s Space, and Women’s Status among the Classic Period Maya Elite of the Copán Valley, Honduras. In Women in Prehistory: North America and Mesoamerica, edited by Cheryl Claussen and Rosemary A. Joyce, pp. 3346. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
Hendon, Julia A. 2006 Textile Production as Craft in Mesoamerica: Time, Labor, and Knowledge. Journal of Social Archaeology 6:354378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hendrickson, Carol 1995 Weaving Identities: Construction of Dress and Self in a Highland Guatemala Town. University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
Héctor, Hernández A. and Nancy Peniche, M. 2007 Malacates arqueolóde la península de Yucatá: una propuesta de análisis. In XVII Encuentro los Investigadores de la Cultura Maya, pp. 114. Universidad Autónoma de Campeche, Campeche.Google Scholar
Joyce, Rosemary A. 2000 Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica. University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
Kepecs, Susan, Feinman, Gary, and Boucher, Sylviane 1994 Chichén Itzá and its Hinterland: a World-Systems Perspective. Ancient Mesoamerica 5(2):141158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kidder, Alfred 1943 Spindle Whorls from Chichén Itzá, Yucatán. In Notes on Middle American Archaeology and Ethnology, num 16. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Knoke de Arathoon, Barbara, González, Nancie, and Willemsen D., John M. (editors) 1999 Mayan Clothing and Weaving Through the Ages. Museo Ixchel, Guatemala.Google Scholar
Kurjack, Edward B., Silvia Garza, T., and Lucas, Jerry 1977 Archaeological Settlement Patterns and Modern Geography. In The Puuc, New Perspectives, edited by L. Mills, pp. 3645. Central College, Iowa.Google Scholar
McCafferty, Geoffrey G., and McCafferty, Sharisse D. 1999 The Metamorphosis of Xochiquetzal: a Window on Womanhood in Pre- and Post-Conquest Mexico. In Manifesting Power: Gender and the Interpretation of Power in Archaeology, edited by Tracy L. Sweely, pp. 103126. Routledge, New York.Google Scholar
McCafferty, Sharisse D., and McCafferty, Geoffrey G. 1996 Spinning and Weaving as Female Gender Identity in Post-Classic Mexico. In Textile Traditions of Mesoamerica and the Andes: an anthology, edited by Janet C. Berlo, Margot Blum Schevill, and Edward B. Dwyer, pp. 1944. University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
McCafferty, Sharisse D., and McCafferty, Geoffrey G. 2000 Textile Production in Postclassic Cholula, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 11(1):3954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McMeekin, Dorothy 1992 Representations on Pre-Columbian Spindle Whorls of the Floral and Fruit Structure of Economic Plants. Economic Botany 46(2):171180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parsons, Mary H. 1972 Spindle Whorls from the Teotihuacán Valley, Mexico. Anthropological Papers, 45. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
Patch, Robert W. 1993 Maya and Spaniard in Yucatán, 1648 – 1812. Stanford University Press, Stanford.Google Scholar
Restall, Matthew 1997 The Maya World: Yucatec Culture and Society, 1550–1850. Stanford University Press, Stanford.Google Scholar
Ringle, William M., Tomás Gallareta, N., and Bey, George J. 1998 The Return of Quetzalcoatl: Evidence for the Spread of a World Religion during the Epiclassic Period. Ancient Mesoamerica 9(2): 183232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Robles Castellanos, Fernando 1990 La secuencia cerámica de la región de Coba, Quintana Roo. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City.Google Scholar
Roys, Ralph L. 1943 The Indian Background of Colonial Yucatan. Carnegie Institution of Washington publication no. 548, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Schele, Linda and Friedel, David 1990 The Forest of Kings. William Morrow, New York.Google Scholar
Scheie, Linda, and Matthews, Peter 1998 The Code of Kings: the Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs. Scribner, New York.Google Scholar
Schevill, Margot B. 1997 The Maya Textile Tradition. Harry N. Abrams, New York.Google Scholar
Schevill, Margot B. 2006 Maya Artists of the Loom and Needle. In Flowers for the Earth Lord: Guatemalan Textiles from the Permanent Collection, edited by Traci Ardren, pp. 6971. The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables.Google Scholar
Schevill, Margot B., Berlo, Janet C., and Dwyer, Edward B. (editors) 1991 Textile Traditions of Mesoamerica and the Andes. University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
Smith, Michael E., and Hirth, Kenneth G. 1988 The Development of Prehispanic Cotton-Spinning Technology in Western Morelos, Mexico. Journal of Field Archaeology 15(3):349358.Google Scholar
Smith, Robert E. 1971 The Pottery of Mayapan Including Studies of Ceramic Material from Uxmal, Kabah, and Chichén Itzá. Papers of the Peabody Museum, No.3 66, Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
Suhler, Charles K., Ardren, Traci, and Johnstone, David 1998 The Chronology of Yaxuna: Evidence from Excavation and Ceramics. Ancient Mesoamerica 9:167182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taschek, Jennifer 1992 The Artifacts of Dzibilchaltun, Yucatán, México: Shell, Polished Stone, Bone, Wood, and Ceramics. Middle American Research Institute Publication 50. Tulane University, New Orleans.Google Scholar
Tozzer, Alfred M. 1930 Maya and Toltec Figures at Chichén Itzá. In Actas of the 23rd International Congress of Americanists, pp. 155164. New York.Google Scholar
Tozzer, Alfred M. 1957 Chichén Itzá and its Cenote of Sacrifice: A Comparative Study of Contemporaneous Maya and Toltec. In Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University No. 11, 12. Peabody Museum, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Vail, Gabrielle, and Stone, Andrea 2002 Representations of Women in Postclassic and Colonial Maya Literature and Art. In Ancient Maya Women, edited by Traci Ardren, pp. 203228. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.Google Scholar
Varela Torrecilla, Carmen 1998 La secuencia histórica de Oxkintok: Problemas cronológicos y metodológicos desde el punto de vista de cerámica. Revista Española de Antropología Americana 26:2955.Google Scholar
Wren, Linnea H., and Schmidt, Peter J. 1991 Elite Interaction during the Terminal Classic Period: New evidence from Chichén Itzá. In Classic Maya Political History: Hieroglyphic and Archaeological Evidence, edited by Patrick Culbert, pp. 199225. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
19
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Cloth Production and Economic Intensification in the Area Surrounding Chichen Itza
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Cloth Production and Economic Intensification in the Area Surrounding Chichen Itza
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Cloth Production and Economic Intensification in the Area Surrounding Chichen Itza
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *