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Book cover: Research in Economic Anthropology

Research in Economic Anthropology

ISSN: 0190-1281
Series editor(s): Dr. Donald Wood

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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Weaving ritual and the production of commemorative cloth in Highland Guatemala

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Title:Weaving ritual and the production of commemorative cloth in Highland Guatemala
Author(s):Walter E. Little
Volume:27 Editor(s): E. Christian Wells, Patricia A. McAnany ISBN: 978-0-7623-1485-0 eISBN: 978-1-84950-546-8
Citation:Walter E. Little (2008), Weaving ritual and the production of commemorative cloth in Highland Guatemala, in E. Christian Wells, Patricia A. McAnany (ed.) Dimensions of Ritual Economy (Research in Economic Anthropology, Volume 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.121-148
DOI:10.1016/S0190-1281(08)00006-1 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:In Mesoamerica, the processes of making and using hand-woven cloth are well known ritual and mundane practices often regarded as markers of primordial identity and clear indications of deep historical continuities with the pre-Columbian past. This chapter analyzes a set of commemorative wall hangings from Tecpán, Guatemala from the perspective of ritual economy to argue that ritual weaving persists in contemporary Mesoamerica within global economic contexts. The Tecpán textiles contain multiple significations that, in addition to indicating cultural continuities and community identity, symbolically link hamlets to the municipality, represent development projects completed, and symbolize the connections these hamlets have to the broader global economy. This analysis of weaving and cloth is contextualized within the cultural and economic conditions of Tecpán in order to discuss the interrelationship between the ritual and the mundane, as well as what hand-woven cloth means to contemporary Maya weavers.

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