The flood of archaeological work in Maya lands has revolutionized our understanding of gender in ancient Maya society. The dozen contributors to this volume use a wide range of methodological strategies-archaeology, bioarchaeology, iconography, ethnohistory, epigraphy, ethnography-to tease out the details of the lives, actions, and identities of women of Mesoamerica. The chapters, most based upon recent fieldwork in Central America, examine the role of women in Maya society, their place in the political hierarchy and lineage structures, the gendered division of labor, and the discrepancy between idealized Mayan womanhood and the daily reality, among other topics. In each case, the complexities and nuances of gender relations is highlighted and the limitations of our knowledge acknowledged. These pieces represent an important advance in the understanding of Maya socioeconomic, political, and cultural life-and the archaeology of gender-and will be of great interest to scholars and students.
Traci Ardren is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Miami. She codirects the Pakbeh Regional Economy Project centered at the ancient Maya trading city of Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico. Her research has focused on gender, iconography, architecture and other forms of symbolic representation in the archaeological record.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 1. Women and Gender in the Ancient Maya World Chapter 3 2. Gender and Mayan Farming: Chan Noohol, Belize Chapter 4 3. Gender Divisions of Labor and Lowland Terrace Agriculture Chapter 5 4. Spindle Whorls: Household Specialization at Ceren Chapter 6 5. Death Became Her: Imagery of Female Power from Yaxuna Burials Chapter 7 6. Engendering a Dynasty: A Royal Woman in the Margarita Tomb, Copan Chapter 8 7. Lady K'awil, Goddess O, and Maya Warfare Chapter 9 8. Women in Classic Maya Hieroglyphic Texts Chapter 10 9. Women in the Hieroglyphic Inscriptions of Chichen Itza Chapter 11 10. Women-Men (and Men-Women): Classic Maya Rulers and the Third Gender Chapter 12 11. Representations of Women in Postclassic and Colonial Maya Literature and Art Chapter 13 12. Encountering Maya Women Chapter 14 Index Chapter 15 About the Authors