Cuauhtémoc Vidal-Guzmán

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

George Washington U.

Grant number

Gr. 10247

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Vidal-Guzman, Cuauhtemoc (George Washington U.) "Socializing the Ñuu: Memory and Persistence at Postclassic Etlatongo, Mexico"

CUAUHTEMOC VIDAL-GUZMAN, then a graduate student at George Washington University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in October 2021 to aid research on “Socializing the ‘uu: Memory and Persistence at Postclassic Etlatongo, Mexico,” supervised by Dr. Jeffrey Blomster. This project examined Indigenous persistence during a period of uncertainty at the archaeological site of Etlatongo in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. While major centers in Mesoamerica experienced dramatic changes such as episodes of depopulation or political decentralization during the Late Classic to Postclassic transition (ca. 800-1000 CE), the community of Etlatongo remained continuously occupied. Drawing on theories of social memory and persistence, the main objective of the project was to evaluate how households at Etlatongo enacted a wide variety of domestic practices that allowed them to contingently endure. Excavations at two domestic spaces located evidence of everyday activities including ceramic manufacturing, food preparation and consumption, as well as more periodic actions of house (re)construction. Variations in these traditions suggest a cultural openness to change, innovate, or use new configurations of learning that created shifting embodied memories. The project also studied how social relations at Etlatongo were anchored in a strong sense of place and nurtured in ways that afforded spatial and temporal persistence. By investigating how contingent continuations and persistence were active processes of negotiating new circumstances, the results of this project will contribute to theoretical discussions that emphasize how uncertainty generate manifold responses.