Lacandón maya culture change and survival in the lowland frontier of the expanding Guatemalan and Mexican republics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Lacandón Maya of the lowland jungles of Guatemala and Mexico are often viewed as one of the least-acculturated Maya peoples. What is overlooked, however, is indigenous culture change after the political and economic expansion of the postcolonial republics in the nineteenth century. During that period, the encroachment of settlers, entrepreneurs, refugees, and missionaries led to the occupation of the "uncharted" lands of the Lacandón. Using new archaeological and archival data, the effects of long-term interaction on native culture and the responses by the Lacandón for survival are discussed. As more intruders entered the frontier zone, the Lacandón adapted in a variety of ways to long-term foreign rule, disease, evangelization, and exploitation of indigenous populations and local resources. This study is one of the first of its kind in the Lacandón area, and it holds important implications for long-term culture contact and change in other frontier small-scale societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Culture Contact
Subtitle of host publicationInteraction, Culture Change, and Archaeology
PublisherSouthern Illinois University
Pages457-475
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780809334100
ISBN (Print)0809334097, 9780809334094
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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  • Cite this

    Palka, J. W. (2015). Lacandón maya culture change and survival in the lowland frontier of the expanding Guatemalan and Mexican republics. In Studies in Culture Contact: Interaction, Culture Change, and Archaeology (pp. 457-475). Southern Illinois University.