Research on the emergence of social complexity and state economies tends toward an understanding of either political economies or market economies as the privileged economic form and with producer specialization emerging contemporaneously with the state. Markets and political control need not be seen as oppositional; rather, they are part of the continuum of multiple strategies elites use to create the larger political economy of a state. The Late Postclassic period Tarascan state is known for its strong centralizing tendencies, and an overview of previous research indicates political involvement in various aspects of the larger economic coordination of metal, obsidian, and agricultural production and distribution. Tarascan state ceramics are highly distinctive in form and decoration. Ethnohistoric evidence suggests that they were produced under court control, yet no direct evidence for ceramic production has been found in the Tarascan core, the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. A mix of compositional and statistical analyses of the ceramic assemblage from Urichu, Michoacan, Mexico, indicates that ceramics were not under centralized political control but, instead, were produced at a local level and distributed using the market mechanisms of the larger mixture of economic strategies on the part of the Tarascan political elite.