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Mesoamerican FigurinesSmall-Scale Indices of Large-Scale Social Phenomena$
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Christina T. Halperin, Katherine A. Faust, Rhonda Taube, and Aurore Giguet

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033303

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033303.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Approaching Mesoamerican Figurines

Approaching Mesoamerican Figurines

(p.1) 1 Approaching Mesoamerican Figurines
Mesoamerican Figurines

Katherine A. Faust

Christina T. Halperin

University Press of Florida

One of the most notable features of Mesoamerican figurines is that they are not without iconic quality—they are able to portray humans, animals, and supernaturals in small-scale and round forms. These figurines should be perceived as much more than iconic referencing since they serve as social process indices of the ancient people who made and utilized them. Also, they are able to heighten the understanding of ancient Mesoamerican political economies, ritual and religion, gendered ideologies, and the various aspects of social practice and change. Examining these figurines draws attention to heterarchical or “bottom-up” models compared to the conventional “top down” models which are often used. As these figurines have rarely become the main focus in scholarship, this book highlights how important these figurines were to the Mesoamerican peopls through presenting case studies regarding different theoretical frameworks and approaches.

Keywords:   Mesoamerican figurines, heterarchical models, gendered ideologies, political economies, ritual religion, social practice, social process index

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