Social Skins of the Head
320 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
32 color plates, 29 drawings, 63 halftones, 10 maps, 4 charts, 8 tables
Release Date:01 Sep 2018

Social Skins of the Head

Body Beliefs and Ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes

University of New Mexico Press

The meanings of ritualized head treatments among ancient Mesoamerican and Andean peoples is the subject of this book, the first overarching coverage of an important subject. Heads are sources of power that protect, impersonate, emulate sacred forces, distinguish, or acquire identity within the native world. The essays in this book examine these themes in a wide array of indigenous head treatments, including facial cosmetics and hair arrangements, permanent cranial vault and facial modifications, dental decorations, posthumous head processing, and head hunting. They offer new insights into native understandings of beauty, power, age, gender, and ethnicity. The contributors are experts from such diverse fields as skeletal biology, archaeology, aesthetics, forensics, taphonomy, and art history.

A fascinating set of chapters treating the diverse ways ancient Mesoamerican and Andean cultures ritualized the human head.'--Choice
Successfully combining ethnography, archaeology, skeletal biology, and art history into a powerful and insightful exploration of ancient culture, this volume provides an essential blueprint for cross-disciplinary research.'--Gabriel D. Wrobel, editor of The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place: Ideology, Power, and Meaning in Maya Mortuary Contexts
Vera Tiesler serves as a research professor and currently heads the Laboratory of Bioarchaeology at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico. Her most recent book is The Bioarchaeology of Artificial Cranial Modifications: New Approaches to Head Shaping and Its Meanings in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and Beyond. María Cecilia Lozada is a Peruvian bioarchaeologist who has been conducting archaeological research in the South Central Andes for the last twenty years. She holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago and is currently a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

List of Illustrations
Vera Tiesler and María Cecilia Lozada
Chapter One. Introducing the Social Skins of the Head in Ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes
Vera Tiesler and María Cecilia Lozada

Part One. Mesoamerica
Chapter Two. What Was Being Sealed? Cranial Modification and Ritual Binding among the Maya
William N. Duncan and Gabrielle Vail
Chapter Three. Head Shapes and Group Identity on the Fringes of the Maya Lowlands
Vera Tiesler and Alfonso Lacadena
Chapter Four. Head Shaping and Tooth Modification among the Classic Maya of the Usumacinta River Kingdoms
Andrew K. Scherer
Chapter Five. Cultural Modification of the Head: The Case of Teopancazco in Teotihuacan
Luis Adrián Alvarado-Viñas and Linda R. Manzanilla
Chapter Six. Face Painting among the Classic Maya Elites: An Iconographic Study
María Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual, Cristina Vidal Lorenzo, and Patricia Horcajada Campos
Chapter Seven. The Importance of Visage, Facial Treatment, and Idiosyncratic Traits in Maya Royal Portraiture during the Reign of K'inich Janaab' Pakal of Palenque, 615-683 CE
Laura Filloy Nadal
Chapter Eight. The Representation of Hair in the Art of Chichén Itzá
Virginia E. Miller
Chapter Nine. Effigies of Death: Representation, Use, and Reuse of Human Skulls at the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan
Ximena Chávez Balderas
Chapter Ten. Emic Perspectives on Cultural Practices Pertaining to the Head in Mesoamerica: A Commentary and Discussion of the Chapters in Part One
Gabrielle Vail

Part Two. Andes
Chapter Eleven. Afterlives of the Decapitated in Ancient Peru
John W. Verano
Chapter Twelve. Head Processing among La Ramada Tradition of Southern Peru
María Cecilia Lozada, Alanna Warner-Smith, Rex C. Haydon, Hans Barnard, Augusto Cardona Rosas, and Raphael Greenberg
Chapter Thirteen. From Wawa to "Trophy Head": Meaning, Representation, and Bioarchaeology of Human Heads from Ancient Tiwanaku
Deborah E. Blom and Nicole C. Couture
Chapter Fourteen. Cranial Modification in the Central Andes: Person, Language, Political Economy
Bruce Mannheim, Allison R. Davis, and Matthew C. Velasco
Chapter Fifteen. Violence, Power, and Head Extraction in the Kallawaya Region, Bolivia
Sara K. Becker and Sonia Alconini
Chapter Sixteen. Semiotic Portraits: Expressions of Communal Identity in Wari Faceneck Vessels
Andrea Vazquez de Arthur
Chapter Seventeen. Using Their Heads: The Lives of Crania in the Andes
Christine A. Hastorf

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