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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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Identity, Gender, and Power

Identity, Gender, and Power

Representational Juxtapositions in Early Formative Figurines from Oaxaca, Mexico

(p.119) 5 Identity, Gender, and Power
Mesoamerican Figurines

Jeffrey P. Blomster

University Press of Florida

One of the artifact categories that when studied helps provide information regarding how villagers during the Early Formative period perceived themselves, the human body, and their social identity, is clay figurines. Compared to other ceramic objects, these figurines depict physical and visual self-awareness. Not only did these figurines account for decisions regarding the miniaturization of the body form, they also served as media in which humans were able to formulate their understanding of embodiment. According to Douglass Bailey, these aided in expressing and in understanding relationships between individuals through “claiming and legitimating one's own identity or for suggesting and realigning the identity of others.” These figurines were widespread during a period of transformation in which new social roles were established in the early villages in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Keywords:   Early Formative period, self-awareness, Oaxaca, Mexico, identity, body form, embodiment

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