Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kelly J. Knudson and Christopher M. Stojanowski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036786

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036786.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 26 July 2021

The Bodily Expression of Ethnic Identity: Head Shaping in the Chilean Atacama

The Bodily Expression of Ethnic Identity: Head Shaping in the Chilean Atacama

(p.212) 10 The Bodily Expression of Ethnic Identity: Head Shaping in the Chilean Atacama
Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas



University Press of Florida

At birth, parents in many cultures bind the heads of infants to impart a permanent and socially meaningful marker of their child's individual identity. This chapter presents an analysis of crania from cemeteries in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (AD 500–1500) when Atacameños interacted with foreign powers and local exchange partners, and witnessed substantial demographic shifts. One way they acted on and reacted to these changes was the culturally proscribed and permanent alteration of head shape. Results suggest that earlier-phase individuals used modification to affiliate with foreign powers. In contrast, individuals from a later period of social and economic upheaval demonstrate that head shaping was used to consolidate group identity. The reshaping of the head is a long and intimate process, and its presence in this group reflects social stability and the physical manifestation of long-lasting social identities.

Keywords:   San Pedro, Chile, cranial modification, ethnic identity

Florida Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .