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Home > Catalog > Social Memory in Ancient and Colonial Mesoamerica
Social Memory in Ancient and Colonial Mesoamerica


  • 43 b/w illus. 2 maps
  • Page extent: 358 pages
  • Size: 253 x 215 mm
  • Weight: 0.83 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 306.6/99792
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: F1219.3.S6 M44 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Indians of Mexico--Social life and customs
    • Indians of Central America--Social life and customs
    • Collective memory--Mexico--History
    • Collective memory--Central America--History
    • Sacred space--Mexico--History

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521112277)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published February 2010

In stock

$129.00 (C)

Before the Spanish Conquest and well into the eighteenth century, Mesoamerican peoples believed that “time” and “space” were contained in earthly and heavenly receptacles that were visualized metaphorically. This circumscribed space contained the abodes of the dead. There, deities and ancestral spirits could be revived and the living could communicate with them. In Social Memory in Ancient and Colonial Mesoamerica, Amos Megged uncovers the missing links in Mesoamerican peoples’ quest for their collective past. Analyzing ancient repositories of knowledge, as well as social and religious practices, he uncovers the unique procedures and formulas by which social memory was communicated and how it operated in Mesoamerica prior to the Spanish conquest. He also explores how cherished and revived practices evolved, how they were adapted to changing circumstances, and how they helped various ethnic groups cope with the tribulations of colonization and Christianization. Megged’s volume also suggests how social and cultural historians, ethnohistorians, and anthropologists can rethink indigenous representations of the past while taking into account the deep transformations in Mexican society during the colonial era.


Introduction; 1. Primers of Mesoamerican social memory; 2. The sources and their applications; 3. Binding and transcendence; 4. In search of harmoniousness; 5. Dispersal and fragmentation; 6. Rites and times of foundations; 7. A new cult, a new temple; Epilogue: a Popolocan memory tale.


"His [Amos Megged] book adds vivid evidence to the consensus that 'deeply rooted core aspects and beliefs of pre-Columbian native cosmology remained alive and in praxis, despite the heavy price the society paid to Christianization and Hispanization'." -Times Literary Supplement

"Megged's a very fruitful and innovative approach to understand indigenous processes of remembrance, particular of the Nahuas in early colonial Central Mexico." -Paideuma

"This book from University of Haifa's professor Amos Megged centres in the study of Nahua peoples' forms of commemorating the past, between the Late Post-Classic period and the mid-eighteenth cenutry." -Ethelia Ruiz Medrano, Canadian Journal of History

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