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HOUSES OF STYLE: CONSUMPTION, ADORNMENT, AND IDENTITY IN FORMATIVE TLAXCALAN HOUSEHOLDS

  • David M. Carballo (a1), Jennifer Carballo (a2) and Richard G. Lesure (a3)

Abstract

The households of Formative period central Mexico represent critical loci for understanding major social transformations during a millennium (900 b.c.a.d. 100) that witnessed the expansion and contraction of several macro-regional stylistic and economic networks, formalization of enduring political and religious institutions, and initial urbanization and state formation. Households and their constituent members used style to articulate important elements of their identity through practices of group consumption and personal adornment. In this study we consider style within the context of ceramic serving vessels and portable adornments primarily from sites in the state of Tlaxcala. We evaluate the manner in which dimensions of stylistic expression in these material goods contributed to shifting conceptualizations of household and individual identity and their articulation with community and supra-community social networks, noting the generally collective or affinitive manipulation of styles with means of socially differentiating age, status, and other dimensions of identity.

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E-mail correspondence to: carballo@bu.edu

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