Ant. 322M (31625), Las 324L (40850) TTH 11 - 12:30 BUR 136 Spring 2014
Brian Stross Office Hours T TH 12:30-1:30 pm & by appt. - Office SAC 4.124 firstname.lastname@example.org .
TA Nora Tyeklar Office Hours T 12:30-2:00 Office SAC 4.116
Final Exam will be on - (Monday, May 12, 2:00-5:00 pm )
Global Cultures Flag
This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.
Description - This course is an upper division introduction to the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala and Belize) . At least 100 separate ethnically diverse groups exist, and are most easily named in terms of the languages that are spoken. We begin with an overview of the region and its peoples, dealing first with the geography of Mesoamerica, followed by characteristics that define it as a culture areas, prehistory and history of the region, language and culture overviews, after which comes a focus on individual ethno-linguistic societies and some of the cultural attributes with which each is invested. These cultural descriptions constituting two thirds of the course begin in the southeast with representative Mayan languages, then reach up to the northwest with Uto-Aztecan language groups, proceeding to representatives of the Oto-Manguean language family, and finally to less easily classified language groups.
Goals - The goals of this course are first to introduce students to the variety of indigenous societies existing in Mesoamerica in order to foster an appreciation for the cultural diversity and human characteristics that they exhibit and represent. A second goal of the course is to introduce students to some of the methodologies, jargon, presuppositions, and concepts employed in anthropology by students of culture and communication.
The course grade will be based primarily on a midterm (about 31%) and a final examination (about 62%).
Exams will contain both objective and essay questions (with an edge to the objective).
The final exam will be longer than the midterm and comprehensive (i.e. it will include material tested on the midterm as well as from the remainder of the semester), and it will count twice as much. The final exam will be held at the officially scheduled time and place (Monday, May 14, 9:00-12:00 noon, UTC 4.112). Click for a sample of the final exam: SAMPLE FINAL
Another consideration will be class attendance, Attendance is expected, and while there is no penalty for one unexcused absence, further such absences can lower one’s course grade by two and a half percentage points for each instance. .
You should complete the weekly reading assignments and prepare for exams by going over your notes on both lectures, readings and films. If puzzled by the fact that the lectures and the readings are complementary rather than purely mutually reinforcing or redundant, click here. This link also explains the rationale for what at first appears to be a large number of books and films, from which the individual is required in the end to read or watch only a few.
TEXT (req) Carmack, Gasco, Gossen. 2007. The Legacy of Mesoamerica. (2nd ed)
F 1219 L44 2007 PCL Reserves ISBN 0-13-049292-2 (paper)
Lecture Topics and Reading Assignments
climate, fauna, flora, geology, hydrography, physiography
Film on Thursday, The Mayo Tribe – Desert Speaks *28 *
Reading: Text CH 1 (1996 ed) or Introduction (2007 ed) and
Week 2 CULTURE AREA 1/21, 23
Film on Thursday The Tree of Life (VIDCASS 9978 AVL FAC)
*30* Q's )
Reading: Text Ch 3 (1996 or 2007) and C. Hale (1999), Travel Warning…,
Journal of American Folklore 112: 297-315
(Mark Van Stone’s FAQ)
Film on Thursday: Popol Vuh ( DVD 6990 AVL FAC)
*60* Q's ) (free book version of Popol Vuh is at:
Present (an example of current indigenous empowerment - Amuzgo)
Reading: Text CH. 2,4,5,6 (1996 ed) or Text CH 1, 4, 5, 7 (2007 ed)
Language characteristics, culture characteristics and worldview
Film on Thursday:: Shunka's Story (Vidcass 6294) *20*
Film on Thursday:: The Lacandon Maya Balché Ritual
(Vidcass 6290) *40* Q's )
Reading: Text CH. 11, 12 (1996 ed) or CH 11, 6 (2007 ed) and de Landa)
(de Landa is at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/maya/ybac/index.htm )
in Spanish, Cancun & PdCarmen)
Film on Thursday,: Todos Santos Cuchumatan
Reading: McGee (or Perera & Bruce or Redfield & Villa Rojas or McClusky
or Boremanse) (or watch Swidden Horticulture Among the Lacandón Maya
VIDCASS 6291 [Lacandón]
or The Living Maya VIDCASS 4811 (Programs 1-4) (Yucatec Mayans)
Film Thursday: Todos Santos: the Survivors
(VIDCASS 22O2 UGLAVC) *58* Q's )
Reading: Popol Vuh and (Ariel de Vidas or B. Tedlock or Hernandez Castillo
or watch Discovering Dominga in AVL or watch When the Mountains
Tremble (1983 DVD 8185) (Popol Vuh is at
(Cacao in the Popol Vuh – Michael Grofe)
Film on Thursday: Appeals to Santiago (Tenejapa Tzeltal)
VIDCASS 6293 *27* Q's
Reading: Vogt (or Gossen, or Nash or Eber or Rosenbaum) (or watch
Chac: the Rain God in AVL)
Tzotzil, gossip, insults, and proverbs *(Slides: Tzeltals and Tzotzils )
Film Thursday: Sacred Games (Chamula & Zinacantán Tzotzil)
(VIDCASS 1812 UGLAVC *75* Q's )
Reading: Wilson or G.P. Gonzalez (A Maya Life) or G.P. González
Return of the Maya) or watch El Norte or any one of
the Maya Perspectives series in AVL)
(Spring break 3/10-15) - good time to start working on the 2 page book report
(due on last day of class) by reading a book from this list: click here.
Tarahumara, long distance runners, (Tarahumara and tourism)
(Rarámuri) alcohol Tarahumara society
MIDTERM EXAM on Thursday of Week 9; i.e.. 3/22/12)
(to cover materials of Weeks 1 through 8)
Reading: J. Kennedy or W. Merrill (Raramuri Souls) or watch
Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara 52min (Tarahumaras) or
Teshuinada, semana santa Tarahumara 60 min (Tarahumaras)
Film on Thursday 3/29: To Find Our Life *63*
Reading: Text CH. 8 (1996 ed) or Text Ch 14 (2007 ed), or Myerhoff’s
Peyote Hunt or watch Huichol Sacred Pilgrimage to Wirikuta
(VIDCASS 6019 UGLAVC) (or watch Huicholes y Plaguecidas 1
Films Thursday 4/5 : Tepoztlan (VIDCASS 9580 UGLAVC) *30*;
The Tarahumaras (VIDCASS 4900 UGLAVC) *30* Q's ) or
Nahuatl on the Balsas (*52 min*)
Reading: (Berdan or Soustelle or Bray, or Clendinnen) (or watch
Blood and Flowers – In Search of the Aztecs 48 min youtube)
Mazatec; whistle speech, mushrooms, medicine bundles, shamanism.
Films Thursday 4/12: Sueños Binacionales (Mixtecs, Chatinos) and
To Make the Balance (Zapotecs) (Vidcass 6292) *33*
Reading: Text Ch 7, 10, 13 (1996 ed) or Text Ch 8, 9, 13 (2007 ed.) or
María Sabina, mujer espíritu (1978) 80 min (Mazatecs)
Zapotec, trade, symbolism, witchcraft, asking for favors,intermediary.
Film Thursday, Blossoms of Fire *75* Fine Arts Library DVD 7157 Q's )
Reading: Text Ch. 9 (1996 ed) or Text Ch. 12 (2007 ed) and (Chiñas, or Selby,
or Berg or González or Cohen or Hunn)
Film Thursday The Tree of Knowledge *30 * (Vidcass 6990) Q's
Reading: Kearney, (skim first half if available, read second half –
Chontal of Oaxaca / Tequistlatec (Tequisistlan)
Film Thursday : Mayan Voices; American Lives (Vidcass 4792)
BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY - For Midterm
Achiote, Ahuehuete, Amaranth, Anona, Atitlan, Atlatl, Atole (or Atol), Balché, Rio Balsas, Bark-cloth, Benito Juarez, Black Zapote, Bor, Bolim, Brocket Deer, Cargo System, Caribal, Ceiba, Cenote, Censer, Chac, Chapala, Chayote, Chiapas, Chicha, Chichen Itzá, Chilam Balam, Cabracan, Co-Essence, Comal, Copal, Chinampa, Diego de Landa, Divination, Eagle Dance, Ejido, Guanabana, Guava, Gucumatz, Hachakyum, Hero Twins, Hetzmek' (or Placing-Astride-the-Hip), Huastec, Hunahpu (or One Hunter), HunBatz', Hun Chouen, Ihk’al, Indigo, Kayum (or K’ayum), Kin (or K’in), Kisin (or Quisin), Lacandón, Ladino, La Venta, Lerma-Santiago, Lints’i', Macro-Oto-Manguean, Maguey, Malinche, Mam, Manioc, Masa, Metate, Mexica, Monkey Twins, Monte Albán, Motagua River, "Mother of Hand", Muxi’-maam (or Mushi-mam), Nagual (or Nahual), Nahuatl, Olmec, Onen, Orizaba, Palenque, Panuco, Papaloapan, Peccary, Peñon Woman, Petate, Peten, Pinole (or Pinol), Popocatepetl, Popol Vuh, Porfirio Díaz, Pozole (or Pozol), Pulque, Quiche, Ramón Nuts, Subín, Tamal (or Tamale), Teenek, Temazcal, Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan, Tepexpan Man, Tlaloc, Tohil, Toltecs, Totonac, Tonal, Treemoss, Trivet, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Usumacinta, Veracruz, Voladores, Vucub Caquix (or 7 Macaw), Xbalanque (or Jaguar-Deer), Xibalba, Xmucane, Xoloitzcuintli, Xquic, Xtabay, Yucatec, Zacahuil, Zapote, Zinacantan, Zipacna.
IDENTIFY - For Final (include above words as well)
Aire (or Aigre), Amate-Fig, Antojo, Aztec, Cabecera, Chaneque, Chatino, Chinantec, Chipil, Cipactli, Coa, Coatlicue, Compadrazgo, Cocijo, Condoy (or Kondoy), Coral Bean, Deer-Maize-Peyote Complex, Divination, Dutuburi, Espanto, Esquiate, Guelaguetza, Gozona, Go-between, Horizontal Loom, Hot & Cold Classification, Hauve/Wabi, Huehuete, Huichol, Huitzilopochtli, Indigenismo, La Llorona, Mara'akame, Matlacigua, Mazatec, Mexica, Michael Kearney, W.J. McGee, Medicine Bundle, Mexica, Mictlantecuhtli, Mije (or Mixe), Mixtec, Muina, Nanahuatl, Nixtamal, Norawa, Oaxaca, Oaxaca Chontal, Peyote, Pingo, Pochteca, Popoluca, Quetzalcoatl, Rain Dwarf, Seri, Shaman, Slash & Burn / Swidden, Structural Replication in Zinacantan, Susto, Tarahumara, Tarascan, Tecciztecatl, Tehuana, Tejate, Tepache, Tepoztlan, Tequistlatec, Tesgüinada, Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc, Tlazolteotl, Toloache, Whistle Speech, Wirikuta, Xolotl, Yacatecuhtli, Zapotec, Zoque.
* Below, a fuller identification of the books referred to in the weekly reading assignments. Doing the weekly reading assignments that are on the syllabus, by the end of the course you will have read at least 4 of the books on the following list.
*A. Ariel de Vidas. Thunder Doesn't Live Here Anymore
*F. Berdan, The Aztecs of Central Mexico (pb) F1219.73 B47 PCL
*R.L. Berg, Jr., Shwan: A Highland Zapotec Woman F1221 Z3 B47 PCL
*D. Boremanse, Hach Winik, the Lacandon Maya of Southern Mexico. F 1221 L2 B67 1998 BLAC
W. Bray Everyday Life of the Aztecs
*B. Chiñas, The Isthmus Zapotec: Women's Roles in Cultural Context. F1221.23 Z462 PCL
J. Cohen, Cooperation and Community: Economy and Society in Oaxaca
*I. Clendinnen, Aztecs: An Interpretation (pb) F 1219.76 S64 C44 1991 PCL Reserves
*C. Eber, Women & Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town. F 1221 T9 E24 1995 BLAC
*Gaspar Pedro González, A Mayan Life. (La Otra Cara) Yaxte' Press PM 3912 Z77 G6618 1996 BLAC
R. González, Zapotec Science: Farming and Food in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca. (pb)
*G. Gossen, Chamulas in the World of the Sun (pb) F1221 T9 G677 PCL
R. A. Hernández Castillo, Histories and Stories from Chiapas: Border Identities in Southern
E.S. Hunn,. A Zapotec Naural History. (Zapotec)
M. Kearney, The Winds of Ixtepeji. F1221 Z3 K42 PCL
*J. Kennedy, Tarahumara of the Sierra Madre. (pb) F1221 T25 K47 1978 PCL
*D. de Landa, Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. (pb) G 7, 972.Ol5,
M 451 M, no. 2O ; F1376 L24613 1978 PCL
*O. Lewis, Tepoztlán (pb) G917.249 L587T PCL
L J. McClusky, Here Our Culture is Hard: Stories of Domestic Violence From a Mayan
Community in Belize. (pb) [Mopan]
R. J. McGee, Life, Ritual and Religion Among the Lacandón Maya. F 1221 L2 M4 1990 PCL Reserves
R. J. McGee, Watching Lacandon Maya Lives
*B. Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt (pb) F1221 H9 M9 PCL
*V. Perera and R.D. Bruce, The Last Lords of Palenque. F1221 L2 P47 1982 PCL Reserves
*J. Nash, In The Eyes of the Ancestors (pb) F1219.3 S6 N3 UGL
*R. Redfield & A. Villa Rojas, Chan Kom (pb) F1435.1 C47 R3 1962 PCL
*B. Rosenbaum, With Our Heads Bowed. HQ 1465 C52 R6 1993 PCL Stacks
*H. Selby. Zapotec Deviance. F1221 Z3 S44 LAC
*J. Soustelle, Daily Life of the Aztecs. (pb) F1219 S723 1970 PCL
*D. Tedlock, Popol Vuh. (pb) F1465 P813 1985 UGL, LAC, F 1465 P813 1996 PCL Stacks
*E. Vogt, The Zinacantecos of Mexico. G 97O,49274, V 868 Zin PCL, LAC
*C. Wilson, Crazy February. (pb) G 8l3, W 692 C PCL, LAC & 813, W69l8C
Videos at Audio Visual Library (can be used for assignment)
El Norte 141min DVD 4445 (Highland Mayans – Guatemalan Migrants)
Chac: The Rain God DVD 1950 (Tzeltal Mayans)
Letters from the other side 73 min DVD 5427 (Migrants from Mexico)
Discovering Dominga 57 VIDCASS 10578 (Highland Mayans – GuatemalanMigrant)
Swidden Horticulture Among the Lacandón Maya 29min VIDCASS 6291 (Lacandón)
The Living Maya 232min VIDCASS 4811 (Programs 1-4) (Yucatec Mayans)
Daughters of Ixchel 29min VIDCASS 7721 (Highland Mayans - Guatemala)
Maya Perspectives Series (Vidcass 8245, Volumes 1-16)
Huichol Sacred Pilgrimage to Wirikuta 29 min (VIDCASS 6019 UGLAVC)
When the Mountains Tremble 103 min (DVD 8185) (Genocide of Mayans)
Videos NOT at Audio Visual Library (can be used for assignment)
Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara 52min (Tarahumaras)
Chenalhó, Heart of the Highlands 52 min (Tzotzils)
De Nadie (Migrants from Mexico)
La Tragedia de Macario (Migrants from Mexico)
Haunted Land 74 minutes (Highland Guatemalan Mayans – genocide)
Hikure-Tame (1982) (Huichols - Nicolás Echevarría)
Sentinels of the Earth: Conversations With the Sierra Popoluca part 1 52 min
Part 2 54 min (Sierra Popolucas - Judith Gleason)
The Unholy Tarahumara 60 min (Kathryn Ferguson)
Soothsayers, Cigars, and San Simón 58 min (urban Mayans in Guatemala)
Mother's Day in Cuetzalan: Panchita the Weaver 59 min ( Judith Gleason - Nahuatl Speakers)
The Lacandon Maya 47 min (Hilary Pryor - Lacandónes)
The Day of the Dead 30 min (Calavera Productions – Purépecha & Mestizo) Filmmakers Library
Chiapas: Prayers for the Weavers 35 min. (Judith Gleason – Tzotzil, Tzeltal Mayans)
Children of Zapata 24 min (Canadian Broadcasting Corp – Tzotzil, Tzeltal Mayans)
A Place Called Chiapas 92 min
Granito 103 min (Pamela Yates) [not yet available] (Genocide of Mayans)
Zapatista 56 min
Nowhere Else to Live 52 min. (Alan Handel Productions – Mestizo)
Flowers for Guadalupe 57 min (Judith Gleason & Elisa Mereghetti – Mestizo)
Barriers of Solitude 52 min (Patricia Guzman – Mestizo)
The Walls of Taniperla 52 min ( Dominique Bergen for KTBF)
Blood and Flowers - In Search of the Aztecs (BBC) youtube
Tarahumara: Pillars of the World 60m http://papajack48.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/another-video-from-the-past/#respond
Mixes – ayuk: yikyuj ja ayuk jaaky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbvYGDHIKqo&eurl=http://www.yinet.witsuk.com/
Sierra Mixes – ayuk de Ayutla http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0xSHBszO1U&feature=related
Tequistlatecs – Tequisistlan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wheNBWm5ls
As an aid to study, can print out this Mexico map and locate each indigenous society
spoken of in the lectures on it, at least putting it in the correct state. It would also be helpful to locate
some of the rivers, lakes, towns, and archaeological sites, as well as volcanoes and islands.
Here is a list you might make use of for both the indigenous groups and the other features.
If you want to explore a topic in more depth, or make up for a missed class, e-mail me for a list of
of supplementary readings pertaining to a given week.
ADDITIONAL BOOKS WITH USEFUL INFORMATION (not part of assignments)
R.M. Carmack (ed.) Harvest of Violence. (pb) F1435.3 P7 H37 1988 LAC
J. Harbury, Bridge of Courage. (pb)
B. Tedlock, Time and the Highland Maya (pb) F 1465.2 Q5 T43 1992 PCL Reserves
S. Whiteford and Whiteford, Crossing Currents.
K. Warren, Indigenous Movements and Their Critics: Pan Maya Activism in Guatemala.
There are many internet sites with information relevant to this course.
The complete Chilam Balam of Chumayel by R. Roys
has downloadable narratives in various Mesoamerican languages,
and other Latin American Indigenous languages.
America Indigena Various downloadable documents on pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Various links to Ancient Maya topics (thanks Kara)
2012 All you wanted to know, and perhaps a bit more, about 2012 and the end of an era (Mark Van Stone)
Former Aztlan site with some excellent article links
Ventana a mi comunidad maiz 6 this is one of a series of you tube presentations
About indigenous life in Mexico.
Historical timeline for Mexico not all the links are equally
useful or accurate, but useful overall
Webpage for Guatemalan history to 1970
News of indigenous activities and rights are prominent
among the interests of the Mexico Solidarity Network
Chiapas Independent Media Center news of indigenous and
other activities in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico
Independent Media Network, Mexico as its name indicates, a
network of independent media, for news that is relatively
independent of government and (other) corporate interests
Chiapas 95 The list-serve (and its relatives and descendants)
documenting news and debate regarding indigenous
and other grassroots action in Mexico.
Internet sites also host some important journals relating to
(Audiovisual Library 495-4467)
The following information comes from official UT policies
Please, read carefully
Each student in this course is expected to abide by the University Code of Academic Integrity. No plagiarized work will be accepted. Sources consulted from books, journals, or web pages should be acknowledged. Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit will be the student's own work. Papers bought online or otherwise plagiarized will receive a zero.
You are encouraged to study together and to discuss concepts covered in lecture and sessions. However, this permissible cooperation should never involve one student having possession of a copy of all or part of work done by someone else, in the form of an e mail, an e-mail attachment file, a diskette, or a hard copy.
Should copying occur, both the student who copied work from another student and the student who gave material to be copied will both automatically receive a zero for the assignment. Penalty for violation of this Code can also be extended to include failure of the course and University disciplinary action. [During examinations, you must do your own work. Talking or discussion, comparing notes, and copying from others are not permitted during examinations. Any such behavior will result in failure of the exam, and may lead to failure of the course and University disciplinary action.]
Accommodations for students with disabilities
In compliance with the UT Austin policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that may be required for student with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made during the first three weeks of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made. Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259- voice or 471-4641 – TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing). This letter should be presented to the instructor in each course at the beginning of the semester and accommodations needed should be discussed at that time. Five business days before an exam the student should remind the instructor of any testing accommodations that will be needed. See Web site below for more information: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd/providing.php
University Electronic Mail Notification Policy
(Use of E-mail for Official Correspondence to Students)
All students should become familiar with the University's official e-mail student notification policy. It is the student's responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in e-mail address. It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. The complete text of this policy and instructions for updating your e-mail address are available at
In this course e-mail will be used to communicate with students. You are responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for class announcements.
The University of Texas Honor Code
The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that you must notify each of your instructors at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be absent to observe a religious holy day. If you miss an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holyday you will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence.