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Readings (due October 2)

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on October 18, 2007 at 5:31:03 pm
 

To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.

 

Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]

 

IN THE FUTURE COMMENTS - LET'S BEGIN TO THINK LIKE CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND USE THE SCHEMATA THAT SCHOLARS APPLY TO THE STUDY OF OTHER CULTURES. PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR FOCUS FOR YOUR WIKI POST AS:

 

A. ENVIRONMENT

B. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE

C. ECONOMICS

D. POLITICS

E. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM

F. SOCIAL CHANGE

 

YOU NEED TO HAVE THREE COMMENTS FROM EACH READING USING AND IDENTIFYING THE CATEGORY ABOVE AND YOU MAY USE THE SAME TOPIC MULTIPLE TIMES IF YOU WISH. POSTINGS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THREE SENTENCES. THIS WIKI IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE READINGS LISTED IN YOUR SYLLABUS AND TO ASSIST YOU IN MASTERING INFORMATION ON WORLD CULTURES AND PROVIDING YOU WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

 

 

 

Sandstrom, Traditional Paper Making and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico (at reserve desk)

 

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

(1)

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-2]

 

1.) It is interesting that Sanstrom did not use the real names of the Nahua he studied so as to protect them from the dangers of the outside world.When did he study these people? Do these dangers still exist today? Or have these people already been modernized, industrialized, and Westernized?

 

2.) Be it Europe, Asia, neolithic South America, or present day United States, it seems that the peasant-elite hierarchy has maintained the same basic relationship, with peasants laboring while the elite control them by buying their resources and cheap labor.

 

3.) I would like to look more into the conflict between the Tlakacans and the Aztec. Why didn't the Aztec share their cotton resources? Was hording the cotton worth a blood feud? Were Tlaxacans unable to harvest cotton within their region? I would like to feel maquay sometime... I'm sure it can't be too comfortable.

 

End

 

 (2)

[Adam Saunders, ars11@geneseo.edu, 10-9]

 

1) The idea of the spirit weighs heavily in their ideology. Spirits during such events as the Nahua-Otomi Crop Fertility Ritual are represented by paper cut outs which directed by the Otomi master are cut out for each of the spirits that will be represented. Spirits represented are cut out in both female and male forms on a variety of different papers.

 

2) Cleanliness is also a highly depicted process of the ritual. The cleansing of various adornments especially alters is believed to be washing away any harmful spirits that may be present is necessary for harmful spirits will be attracted to the festivities due to the music and offerings that are present.

 

3) Harmful spirits come in many varieties one being the ejecatl. On the Nahua pantheon the ejecatl are responsible for disease, misfortune, drought, barrenness and death. These harmful form of spirit lurk about in anyplace that people my frequently visit. The ejecatl tend to prey on the weak, children, the aged or anyone else that is weakened is attacked most often.

 

END

 

 

 (3)

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 10/9]

 

Alan R. Sandstrom & Pamela Effrein Sandstrom – Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico

 

1. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: Paper figures are used to portray spirits during rituals; the power they gain is why during the ceremonies, only shamans can handle them. Altars are constructed to appeal to the spirits and contain several offerings such as food or the blood of sacrificed animals that are “fed” to the spirits by pouring them onto the paper figures or putting them into the figures’ mouths. Chants are addressed to the paper figures as the medium of communication with the selected spirits.

2. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: Paper was closely tied with the religious system, allowing for the printing of ritual instructions and theology, adorning statues and priests dressed as gods, being burned as a sacrifice and used in medical practices to fight disease and protect travelers.

3. SOCIAL CHANGE: When Cortes and his soldiers battled the Mexicans, the conquerors connected paper with other aspects of the native religion, believing it (along with temples, statues, altars and priests) must be destroyed. They felt that these sacred books were linked with the devil and must be eliminated; consequently, papers for sacrifice or adornment purposes no longer exist, and very few sheets (comparatively) have survived. END

 

(4)

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 10/10)

 

Sandstrom and Sandstrom - Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico

 

1. Politics: The same general principal holds true all around the world, and that is the peasant-hierarchy relationship. Whether it be Europe, Africa, or the United States, the relationship remains the same generally. The elite rulers, very similar to the ones described by Socrates, control the laboring class by purchasing their products and supplying them with minimal or average compensation. The case remains the same for a countries such as China as well. 

2.Ideology: The papers are used in rituals as representations of spirits. During these rituals the altars are constructed to appeal to the spirits by offering food, blood, animals etc. in hopes of appeasing them. The figures gain power throughout the ceremony, which is the reason they can only be handled by shamans. The figures are chanted at during the ceremony and a form of communication occurs.

3. Environment: Mesoamericans proved their dominance and superiority with their use of the glyphs and papers (as John said below). I thought it was a really good point and really emphasized their progression as somewhat sophisticated societies.

 

(5)

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 10/10]

Sandstrom and Sandstrom—Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico

 

1-      Social Change-  How neat that the paper figures are still used in rituals throughout parts of Mexico.  It reminds me of when I have visited the Big Island of Hawaii and seen people leaving offerings of food and other items next to calderas and thermal vents to appease Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. 

 

2-     Ideology-  The papers are destroyed in rituals, but they are obviously cheap.  This to me is interesting because in many other ancient cultures, even others in Latin America, it is very valuble things that are destroyed in the rituals.  Why arent the gods gold statues being melted rather than thin paper figurines.

 

3-     Environment- The use of paper, for figurines, as well as for codeces full of ornate glyphs, is to me truly a sign that the ancient Mesoamericans were clearly advanced.  I wonder how the Spanish could be so prejudiced that they felt the need to just destroy the cultures rather then learn and make an attempt to understand them.

END

 

 (6)

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 10/10}

 

Sandstrom, Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures in Mexico

 

1. SOCIAL CHANGE:  Most papermaking did not survive the Spanish conquests of Cortes because the goal of these European invaders was to destroy traditional Indian culture.   

 

2. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM:  Nahua shamans often portray the ejecame--spirits associated with sickness and misfortune—because they are omnipresent spirits that need to be acknowledged.

 

3. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM:  Mictlan Tropa Ejecatl is a spirit that “rides the wind making people sick” (89) that is made from red paper, because it originated from the sun; however, the spirit now resides in the underworld.

 

 END.

 

(7)

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 10/11

 

Sandstrom, Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures in Mexico

 

1. Ideology/symbolism- The paper figures give insight into the religious beliefs and traditions of the Mexican people.  As Sanstrom states, knowing what the figures mean gives insight into what the rituals they are used for are all about.  Also stated, these figures increase knowledge of the whole religious complex.  Paper played a major role in all religious endeavors such as offerings and medical practices.

 

2. economics- paper is fundamental to both our society as well as that if Mexico's people.  Although cheap in our culture and usually taken for granted, it is a big part of our economy, for we use some form of paper in all aspects of our daily life.  The indians of middle america recognize papers importance and do not take it for granted.

 

3. social change- Very little of the paper has survived over time due to the invasion of the spanish conquistadors who believed that the indians had fallen into league with the devil.  For this reason they destroyed all aspects of their traditional culture, much of which included paper.  All sacred books were burned which provided a great loss for the community.  Fortunately there are areas that continue the old rituals of paper making to this day and therefore anthropologists were able to witnessit.

 

 END.

 

(8)

Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu

 

1.Ideal Symbol: The paper lets you know on how religion plays an important role in the lives of Mexicans indigienous people because of the figures.

 

2.social change: When the Spanish arrived they destroyed most of the sacred books so the culture is lost aleast the traditional but there are a couple of people still practicing paper making which gives anthropologists something to work with.

 

3. I am amazed on the fact that  no matter what happens to a group of people the culture never dies and the politics of the people represents a lower class and upper class hierchery.

-END-

 

(9)

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 10/13]

 

Traditional Paper Making…
1.       Economics: Their economies are based on horticultural production. In all three groups the most important rituals serve to ensure crop fertility (pp. 63)
2.       Social organization: “Gods mapped out the social order according to the division of labor in the society.” Each professional group had a tutelary deity i.e. Tonantsi is the master of the seeds  (pp. 296-297)
3.       Myths/Rituals: Certain diseases were associated with specific spirits-death by certain diseases can determine the fate of the “soul”- rituals were used to help cure diseases.
-END-

 (10)

[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 10/14]

 

 

Sandstrom and Sandstrom - Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico

 

Politics: Through cross cultural comparison, we can see how the elite rule over the working class and never pay attention to their needs or concerns.  We can relate this to America, how the president rules over the people but also never cares for the concerns of the people.  

 

Ideology: Paper was a big part of their religious practices and moved them forward by ritualizing and looking ahead to see how burning paper may help their lives.  The fear of their lives being destroyed or just further their sufferings were always there.

 

Ideology: The paper also symbolized the devil when the sacred books were discovered and burned which also connected to their religious rituals.  Paper was something that was used in sacrificial and medical practices but it was also perceived as something evil and dangerous.

 

 (11)

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10-16]

Sandstrom-Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico

1. Ideology/Religion: Shamans in Nahua culture are both regarded and feared; the same word is used for shaman and for sorcerer: a person bent on evil and a legitimate ritual specialist are the same thing.

2. Change:  After the Spanish conquest, the population was reduced by 90%, and in reconstructing their own cultures, each group borrowed from the others.

3. Economics: Haciendas hired Indians to work wage labor and cattle raising on private farms, until they treated them so badly that the practice was stopped.

-END-

 

 

 (12)

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 10/16]

 

Sandstrom, Traditional Paper Making and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico

        1.       I thought it was very interesting that Starr had to search far and wide to encounter papermaking. In addiiton, I thought it was interesting to discover that Starr was the first outsider to witness and describe the technique since the sixteenth century. This means that outsiders are not exposed to this particular culture of papermaking. It makes me wonder if it is supposed to be hidden.

        2.       When I discovered what the paper figures were used for, I thought that it was interesting because it  is so different from our culture. The villages used the small statuettes in order to venerate them during elaborate rites and used them in the rituals. In our culture, that would seem odd because we are used to venerating huge golden statues or something of grandier instead of paper cut outs.

        3.       It was interesting to know that even if they had much information and Indian cultures was beginning to flourish, they still did not know enough and their research was not complete. This is why they went from village to village researching what each meaning of the paper cutouts were.

 

END

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