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Material Relations

The Marriage Figurines of Prehispanic Honduras

by Julia A. Hendon, Rosemary A. Joyce, and Jeanne Lopiparo

Hardcover Price $78.00
Ebook Price $62.00
30-day ebook rental price $9.99

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"Material Relations: The Marriage Figurines of Prehispanic Honduras showcases a series of paired figurines that bring us into a world of marriage alliances, the crafting of person-like objects, the reproduction of households, the curating of ancestors, and public celebrations that brought diverse people together. As such, the sites of Campo Dos, Cerro Palenque, Copán, Currusté, and Travesía come to life, and the reader gains a greater appreciation for the social archaeology of western Honduras.”
Latin American Antiquity

"This richly illustrated and meticulously researched volume presents a compelling interpretation of the social networks linking settlements in western Honduras during the period AD 500 to 1000. . . . Archaeologists and anthropologists interested in the analysis of small-scale contexts of the household and community, as well as those interested in gender studies, will benefit from this volume."

Colonial Latin American Historical Review


Focusing on marriage figurines—double human figurines that represent relations formed through social alliances—Hendon, Joyce, and Lopiparo examine the material relations created in Honduras between AD 500 and 1000, a period when a network of social houses linked settlements of a variety of sizes in the region. The authors analyze these small, seemingly insignificant artifacts using the theory of materiality to understand broader social processes.

They examine the production, use, and disposal of marriage figurines from six sites—Campo Dos, Cerro Palenque, Copán, Currusté, Tenampua, and Travesia—and explore their role in rituals and ceremonies, as well as in the forming of social bonds and the celebration of relationships among communities. They find evidence of historical traditions reproduced over generations through material media in social relations among individuals, families, and communities, as well as social differences within this network of connected yet independent settlements.

Material Relations provides a new and dynamic understanding of how social houses functioned via networks of production and reciprocal exchange of material objects and will be of interest to Mesoamerican archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians.


Sixteenth Century Journal


Julia A. Hendon is professor of anthropology, associate provost, and director of the Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning at Gettysburg College. She is author of Houses in a Landscape, winner of the 2015 Linda S. Cordell Book Award in Archaeology, and coauthor of Material Relations.

Rosemary A. Joyce is professor of anthropology and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jeanne Lopiparo is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Rhodes College.

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  • Hardcover Price: $78.00
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60732-277-1
  • Ebook Price: $62.00
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.99
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-278-8
  • Publication Month: February
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Illustrations: 54 b&w photographs, 44 line drawings, 11 tables
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Julia A. Hendon, Rosemary A. Joyce, and Jeanne Lopiparo
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-277-1
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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