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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 18 October 2021

The Weeping Baby and the Nahua Corn Spirit

The Weeping Baby and the Nahua Corn Spirit

The Human Body as Key Symbol in the Huasteca Veracruzana, Mexico

Chapter:
(p.260) (p.261) 10 The Weeping Baby and the Nahua Corn Spirit
Source:
Mesoamerican Figurines
Author(s):

Alan R. Sandstrom

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813033303.003.0010

In looking into meaning systems, symbols, and the emic aspects of their cultural studies, several North American anthropologists have drawn attention to interpreting the behavior of people. As such, meaning is associated with various social, ecological, economic, and political variables in explaining human behavior. This chapter argues that analysis relies heavily on meaning and this proves to be insufficient in explaining behavior because of the flexible nature of cultural symbols. The chapter attempts to look into how modern Nahua are able to infuse human body ideas into symbolism and religious thought. While the notion of the corn spirit represents the human body and is a fundamental symbol in Nahua religious ideology, understanding the role of the body is crucial to understanding what these symbols mean. Also, understanding Mesoamerican religion is shown to be best achieved through ethnographic, ethnohistorical, and archaeological studies.

Keywords:   Nahua, religious ideology, corn spirit, human body, symbols, meaning system, human behavior

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