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Anthropology, weaving, Cuanajo, Mexico, culture, society


Anthropology | Chicana/o Studies | Indigenous Studies | Latin American Languages and Societies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Sociology


This paper resulted from fieldwork which was carried out in the Tarascan Indian village, Cuanajo, situated near Lake Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. A total of five months were spent in the field in two separate periods.

The Tarascans are one of the indigenous peoples who are thought to be immigrants to the New World about 2,500 B.C., crossing from Siberia to Alaska. By 1,500 A.D. Tarascans had established a prosperous empire which covered the entire state of Michoacan with its center in Tzintzuntzan. As a result of the Spanish conquests, traditional Tarascan culture became acculturated within Spanish culture. [...]

Today, one of the characteristics of these Tarascan villages lies in their specialization of crafts. Each village specializes in certain crafts such as pottery making, copper work, basket making, weaving, furniture making, and so forth. These local crafts as well as the regional agricultural production provide the major economic source for local people.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Sociology and Anthropology


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