In Chenalhó and Chamula performances of ritual humor are concentrated in the five-day period of a single fiesta, while in Zanacantan similar performances are distributed over threee fiestas. In these fiesta settings, performers in distinctive costumes make obscene and sacreligious remarks in the context of religious ritual. These performances are defined as ritual humor because they occur only in ritual settings.
Bricker's study constitutes a controlled cross-cultural comparison of ceremonial or ritual humor in its social and cultural setting. Much new information is provided in verbatim texts, recorded during actual fiesta performances. The study reveals that, although the three communities share a common pool of ritual symbols, they elaborate them differently in ritual humor. The study analyzes the symbolic expression of values, social organization, and interethnic relations.
This volume is designed to recognize the important role that epigraphy has come to play in Middle American scholarship and to document significant achievements in three areas: dynastic history, phonetic decipherment, and calendrics. The book covers four of the major pre-Columbian scripts in the region (Zapotec, Mixtec, Aztec, and Maya) and one that is relatively unknown (Tlapanec).
This fourth volume of the Supplement is devoted to colonial ethnohistory. Four of the eleven chapters review research and ethnohistorical resources for Guatemala, South Yucatan, North Yucatan, and Oaxaca, areas that received less attention than the central Mexican area in the original Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources (HMAI vols. 12-15).
Six substantive and problem-oriented studies cover the use of colonial texts in the study of pre-colonial Mayan languages; political and economic organization in the valleys of Mexico, Puebla-Tlaxcala, and Morelos; urban-rural relations in the Basin of Mexico; kinship and social organization in colonial Tenochtitlan; tlamemes and transport in colonial central Mexico; and land tenure and titles in central Mexico as reflected in colonial codices.
This third volume of the Supplement is devoted to the aboriginal literatures of Mesoamerica, a topic receiving little attention in the original Handbook. According to the general editor, "This volume does more than supplement and update the coverage of Middle American Indian literatures in the Handbook. It breaks new ground by defining the parameters of a new interdisciplinary field in Middle American Indian studies."
The aim of the present volume is to consider literature from five Middle American Indian languages: Nahuatl, Yucatecan Maya, Quiche, Tzotzil, and Chorti. The first three literatures are well documented for both the Classical and Modern variants of their languages and are obvious candidates for inclusion in this volume. The literatures of Tzotzil and Chorti, on the other hand, are oral, and heretofore little has been written of their genres and styles.
Taken together, these essays represent a substantial contribution to the Handbook series, with the volume editor's introduction placing in geographic perspective the five literatures chosen as representative of the Middle American literary tradition.
This second volume of the Supplement is devoted to Mesoamerican languages. It differs in both scope and content from its forerunner, Volume 5 of the Handbook of Middle American Indians: Linguistics, which presents a general survey of Middle American linguistics and descriptions of Classical Nahuatl, Yucatec, Quiche, Popoluca, Zapotec, Mazatec, Pame, and Chontal de Oaxaca.
The aim of the present volume is to provide detailed sketches of five additional languages: Mixe, Chichimeco Jonaz, Choltí, Tarascan, and Huastec. All the grammatical sketches deal with the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the languages treated; most cover discourse as well. Taken together, these new essays represent a substantial enrichment of the earlier Handbook volume on linguistics. Alone, the Supplement stands as an invaluable reference guide for all who are interested in learning about these important and heretofore poorly treated languages of Middle America.