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Ecology and cultural syncretism in 16th-century Mesoamerica

  • William T. Sanders (a1)

During the 1930s and 40s most studies of Indian villages in Mesoamerica focussed on acculturation, the adoption and integration of Spanish cultural traits into the native cultural system. This paper summarizes that research, also applying an evolutionary perspective, particularly an ecosystem model. It focusses on the 16th century, when two great cultures – each the product of thousands of years of independent, parallel evolution – clashed and exchanged cultural traits. From this blend began an internal growth that continues to the present.

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