Culture, History, and Interregional Exchange
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
256 Pages | 8 x 10 | 190 b&w illus., 2 maps, 6 tabl
Editors Katherine A. Faust and Kim N. Richter put the plight and the importance of the Huasteca into historical and cultural context. They address challenges to study of the region, ranging from confusion about the term “Huasteca” (a legacy of the Aztec conquest in the late fifteenth century) to present-day misconceptions about the region’s role in pre-Columbian history. Many of the contributions included here consider the Huasteca’s interactions with other regions, particularly the American Southeast and the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico. Pre-Columbian Huastec inhabitants, for example, wore trapezoid-shaped shell ornaments unique in Mesoamerica but similar to those found along the Mississippi River.
With extensive examples drawn from archaeological evidence, and supported by nearly 200 images, the contributors explore the Huasteca as a junction where art, material culture, customs, ritual practices, and languages were exchanged. While most of the essays focus on pre-Columbian periods, a few address the early colonial period and contemporary agricultural and religious practices. Together, these essays illuminate the Huasteca’s significant legacy and the cross-cultural connections that still resonate in the region today.
“The Huasteca amply displays the richness and conflicting interpretations of recent scholarship on the Huasteca past—a combination that should electrify new research efforts. In carefully crafted and well-illustrated chapters, the authors highlight ways in which different threads of evidence can best be addressed or reconciled. This volume is a must-have for Mesoamerican and Gulf lowland scholars.”—Barbara L. Stark coeditor of Olmec to Aztec: Settlement Patterns in the Ancient Gulf Lowlands