DUMBARTON OAKS PRE-COLUMBIAN SYMPOSIA AND COLLOQUIA
Cover: Sacred Matter: Animacy and Authority in the Americas, from Harvard University PressCover: Sacred Matter in HARDCOVER

Sacred Matter

Animacy and Authority in the Americas

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$75.00 • £65.95 • €68.95

ISBN 9780884024668

Publication Date: 05/12/2020

Text

474 pages

8-1/2 x 11 inches

31 photos, 140 color photos, 32 illus., 12 color illus., 14 maps

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection > Dumbarton Oaks Pre-Columbian Symposia and Colloquia

World

Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Sacred Matter: Animacy and Authority in the Americas examines animism in Pre-Columbian America, focusing on the central roles objects and places played in practices that expressed and sanctified political authority in the Andes, Amazon, and Mesoamerica.

Pre-Columbian peoples staked claims to their authority when they animated matter by giving life to grandiose buildings, speaking with deified boulders, and killing valued objects. Likewise things and places often animated people by demanding labor, care, and nourishment. In these practices of animation, things were cast as active subjects, agents of political change, and representatives of communities. People were positioned according to specific social roles and stations: workers, worshippers, revolutionaries, tribute payers, or authorities. Such practices manifested political visions of social order by defining relationships between people, things, and the environment.

Contributors to this volume present a range of perspectives (archaeological, art historical, ethnohistorical, and linguistic) to shed light on how Pre-Columbian social authority was claimed and sanctified in practices of transformation and transubstantiation—that is, practices that birthed, converted, or destroyed certain objects and places, as well as the social and natural order from which these things were said to emerge.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location