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Touching the Past

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Copyright: 2008
Trim: 8½ x 11
Pages: 164 pp.
Illustrations: 41 figures, 8 tables
Color Illustrations: 225 color plates

PAPER
978-0-615-26595-7
$25.00
Trade

Touching the Past

Ritual, Religion, and Trade of Casas Grandes
BYU Museum of Peoples and Cultures Popular Series No. 5

Edited by Glenna Nielsen-Grimm and Paul Stavast

BYU Museum of Peoples and Cultures Popular Series

Anthropology / Archaeology

The florescence of the Casas Grandes culture (AD 1150–1300) was arguable the most complex society to develop in the American Southwest. Centered at Paquimé in Chihuahua, Mexico, this desert culture influenced development throughout the Southwest. What caused its collapse is not known, but by the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s, Paquimé was in ruins. This volume explores Casas Grandes ideology, pottery, sport, and trade relations with other areas of the New World.

To many, the Casas Grandes culture is of most interest because of its pottery, characterized by beautifully crafted effigy vessels and pottery jars with intricately-painted, geometric "maze-like" patterns. This volume includes a full-color catalog of 125 vessels that comprise the Museum of Peoples and Cultures’ Casas Grandes pottery collection. Much of this collection was donated by Mormon families and individuals with connections to the Mormon colonies in Northern Mexico, and so reflects not only the prehistoric past, but also Casas Grandes pottery traditions that have been revived by modern artists.

Also included is a field guide for identifying the various types of Casas Grandes pottery.


Glenna Nielsen-Grimm was a co-curator of the exhibit Touching the Past: Traditions of the Casas Grandes at the Museum of People and Cultures. She is the anthropology collections manager at the Utah Museum of Natural History and editor of Mesoamerican Influences in the Southwest: Kachinas, Macaws, and Feathered Serpents.

Paul Stavast was a co-curator of the exhibit Touching the Past: Traditions of the Casas Grandes at the Museum of People and Cultures. He is interim director for the Museum of People and Cultures and directed the development of an internet companion to the Casas Grandes exhibition and catalog.


Contributors:

Marcel Harmon, Human Inquiry; Glenna Nielsen-Grimm, Utah Museum of Natural History; Gordon Rakita, University of North Florida; Christine VanPool, University of Missouri; Todd VanPool, University of Missouri


Table of Contents:

List of Figures
Acknowledgments

1. Touching the Past: An Introduction to Casa Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico
Glenna Nielsen-Grimm

2. Birds, Bells, and Shells: The Long Reach of the Aztatlán Trading Tradition
Todd VanPool, Gordon F.M. Rakita, Robert D. Leonard

3. Ramos Black, Cults of the Dead, and Ritual Practices at Casas Grandes, Mexico
Gordon F.M. Rakita

4. The "Game of Life and Death" Within the Casas Grandes Region of Northern Mexico
Marcel Harmon

5. Plumed and Horned Serpents of the American Southwest
Christine VanPool, Todd VanPool, Marcel Harmon

6. Field Guide to the Ceramic Types of the Casas Grandes Region
Christine S. VanPool, Gordon F.M. Rakita, Cruz Antilló, Robert D. Leonard

Casas Grandes Pottery Catalogue
• Plainwares
• Bichromes
• Polychromes

Appendix A: Phylogenic Analysis
Appendix B: Description Guide

Bibliography

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