Pottery and Practice examines decorated pottery and its production in prehispanic New Mexico's Lower Rio Puerco area through the lens of practice theory. Arguing that social relations can be interpreted from the mundane practice of everyday life, Eckert shows how the relationship between ethnicity, migration, and ritual practice combined to create a complexly patterned material culture among residents of two fourteenth-century Pueblo villages. Focusing specifically on the social boundaries that existed between immigrant and local Pueblo groups, she argues that tensions between these groups were articulated in potters' decisions of how to make and decorate their vessels. After providing the archaeological and temporal context of her study, Eckert defines communities of practice and communities of identity within Pottery Mound and Hummingbird Pueblo, and then examines these communities in light of migration and ritual practice.
Suzanne L. Eckert is an assistant professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University in College Station. She has been investigating the relationship between pottery production and social dynamics for over fifteen years.