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Ref ID: 29020
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Bowser, Barbara J.
Title: From pottery to politics: an ethnoarchaeological study of political factionalism, ethnicity, and domestic pottery style in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Date: 2000
Source: Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory
Abstract: A long-standing assumption in archaeological theory is that pottery in the domestic context represents a form of “passive style” that does not enter into symbolic communication in the political domain. This paper presents ethnoarchaeological data to establish a link between women’s active political behavior and pottery style in the domestic context in a small-scale, segmental society in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Analysis of individual variables of style shows that Achuar and Quichua women signify their political alliances in the painted decoration of their domestic pottery more strongly than they signify so-called “passive” processes of learning associated with early enculturation and ethnicity. Furthermore, analysis of women’s judgments of pottery as Achuar or Quichua indicates that they decode cues to political alliances in the pottery of other women, including cues to political differences within and between groups. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed in terms of the principles underlying women’s stylistic behavior as part of the political processes involved in the construction and maintenance of social identity and social boundaries.
Date Created: 10/6/2010
Volume: 7
Number: 3
Page Start: 219
Page End: 248