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Archaeology Lecture with Leon Natker

Chupadero Black-on-White: Communities of Practice, Kinship, and the Chacoan Zeitgest

August 5, 2017 1:00 pm through 3:00 pm

The transmission of knowledge, and how it implicates the structure of a society and individual agency, has been a focus of recent social science research. In archaeology, the use of practice theory, to reconstruct the communities of practice which created the material culture of the prehistoric societies being studied, has become a means of investigating social identity.

Chupadero Black-on-white, produced in central and southeast New Mexico, was possibly the longest lived of all the Black-on-white wares, manufactured from AD 1050/1100 to 1550 and extensively exchanged. Yet for all of its longevity and ubiquity in the Southwest, the design style, based on rim morphology and painted decoration remain constant. In this research, Natker conducted an attribute analysis of the decorative design and technological style of Chupadero in order to assess to what degree, if any, change in style occurs. He explored the areal dimensions of this long term production and the long distance exchange of Chupadero Black-on-white and shares the implications for the communities of practice and the agency of the people who produced Chupadero starting in the late Pueblo II period. Finally, he discusses the implications of the kinship-mode of production of this ware in the context of exchange in the greater Southwest.