L'échange rituel et la quatriéme obligation: Offrandes de nourriture des anciens Mayas et matérialité flexible du rituel

Translated title of the contribution: Ritual exchange and the fourth obligation: Ancient Maya food offering and the flexible materiality of ritual

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Employing Mauss's notion of the fourth obligation, giving to the gods, this article develops a formulation of ritual exchange to examine the interactive nature of ritual practice. As a modality of interaction, ritual exchange is contingent upon enduring normative beliefs, such as perceived obligations to spiritual entities, and the social positions of ritual practitioners. Consequently, ritual exchange evinces not only the material and immaterial nature of sacred beliefs but also the potential flexibility and fungibility of social interaction. By considering a relatively under-utilized form of data to study past ritual, archaeobotanical remains, we employ this perspective to explore the ancient Maya practice of offering foods in several caves in western Belize. These data exhibit complex configurations of commonality and variability, suggesting the potential flexibility and latent fungibility of ritual exchange.

Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)588-608
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this