In this Ethnology supplement, anthropologists who have carried out long-term fieldwork among indigenous people review the ethnographic literature in the various regions of Middle America and discuss the theoretical and methodological orientations that have framed the work of areal scholars over the last several decades. They examine how research agendas have developed in relationship to broader interests in the field and the ways in which the anthropology of the region has responded to the sociopolitical and economic policies of Mexico and Guatemala. Most importantly, they focus on the changing conditions of life of the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. This volume thus offers a comprehensive picture of both the indigenous populations and developments in the anthropology of the region over the last thirty years.
Victoria R. Bricker is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Tulane University.
John D. Monaghan is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
This first volume of the Supplement is devoted to the dramatic changes that have taken place in the field of archaeology. The volume editor, Jeremy A. Sabloff, has gathered together detailed reports from the directors of many of the most significant archaeological projects of the mid-twentieth century in Mesoamerica, along with discussions of three topics of general interest (the rise of sedentary life, the evolution of complex culture, and the rise of cities).
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.
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.