“This book pushes studies of materiality, ritual, and temporality in new and productive directions.”
—B. Jacob Skousen, Illinois State Archaeological Survey
Materializing Ritual Practices explores the deep history of ritual practice in Mexico and Central America and the ways interdisciplinary research can be coordinated to illuminate how rituals create, destroy, and transform social relations.
Ritual action produces sequences of creation, destruction, and transformation, which involve a variety of materials that are active and agential. The materialities of ritual may persist at temporal scales long beyond the lives of humans or be as ephemeral as spoken words, music, and scents. In this book, archaeologists and ethnographers, including specialists in narrative, music, and ritual practice, explore the rhythms and materiality of rituals that accompany everyday actions, like house construction, healing practices, and religious festivals, and that paced commemoration of rulers, ancestor veneration, and relations with spiritual beings in the past.
Connecting the kinds of observed material discursive practices that ethnographers witness to the sedimented practices from which archaeologists infer similar practices in the past, Materializing Ritual Practices addresses how specific materialities encourage repetition in ritual actions and, in other circumstances, resist changes to ritual sequences. The volume will be of interest to cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and linguists with interests in Central America, ritual, materiality, and time.
Contributors: M. Charlotte Arnauld, Giovani Balam Caamal, Isaac Barrientos, Cedric Becquey, Johann Begel, Valeria Bellomia, Juan Carillo Gonzalez, Marie Chosson, Julien Hiquet, Katrina Kosyk, Olivier Le Guen, Maria Luisa Vasquez de Agredos Pascual, Alessandro Lupo, Philippe Nondedeo, Julie Patrois, Russel Sheptak, Valentina Vapnarsky, Francisca Zalaquett Rock