Reconnecting Our Fragments through Ceremony: An Indigenous Archaeology Comparative Ceramic Analysis in the Coca-Nahua Pueblo of Mezcala, Jalisco, Mexico.




Figueroa Alcantar, Jesus

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This master's thesis revitalizes archaeological inquiry from an Indigenous perspective in the Lake Chapala Basin of West Mexico through a comparative ceramic analysis of registered and non-registered ollas (jars) at the Mexkal'lan Community Museum and olla rim sherds from the Island of Mezcala, Jalisco Mexico with the Ph.D. dissertation of Margaret Nell Bond published in 1971. Due to historical exclusion of Indigenous perspectives in archaeology, I use my lived experience in Indigenous ceremony as a guiding theoretical framework in our process of interaction and interpretation of the material culture of our ancestors from Lake Chapala. I apply methodology from Indigenous archaeology that incorporates interviews with Indigenous Coca-Nahua elders in the town of Mezcala, Jalisco, Mexico in order to center local Indigenous Knowledge in the process of knowledge production. Therefore, this thesis is an initial conversation with the community of Mezcala on previous archaeological reports in the region, an explanation of the process of this ceramic analysis, with the research goals of understanding the regional context of these ollas in order to expand our understanding of dating and the chronology of our different tribal cultures of the Lake Chapala Basin.

The results of this comparative ceramic analysis brings the out-of-context ollas of Mezcala into closer context with other medium-sized ollas of similar form and style from the Ixtépete-El Grillo phase of the Valley of Atemajac (present-day Guadalajara, Jalisco) and the Lagos phase of Los Altos de Jalisco, both dating to the Classic period (300-900 CE). Recognizing the challenges to access to western forms of higher education and financial resources, I will donate two refurbished laptops with this thesis translated to Spanish and all cited references to Cesar Hesiquio "Papayo" Santiago de la Cruz and Noel Contreras Garcia from Mezcala, to encourage them and the community to continue to investigate and write their own history, and our collaboration as Indigenous colleagues and scholars.


The full text of this item is not available at this time because the author has placed this item under an embargo until November 16, 2024.