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By Alan R. Sandstrom

Publication through Sandstrom, Alan R.

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By Alan R. Sandstrom

Publication through Sandstrom, Alan R.

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Additional info for Corn Is Our Blood: Culture and Ethnic Identity in a Contemporary Aztec Indian Village

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A man from Amatlán refers to himself as a mexijcatl, the same word an ancient Aztec would have used to identify his group affiliation. In fact the name "Mexico" means "place of the Mexijcaj (or Aztec) people," a name that recognizes their political, military, and economic dominance in this region of the New World. Background and Aims of the Study Few contemporary American anthropologists go to the field with the aim of writing a generalized description of the culture being investigated. Most field research in cultural anthropology is problem oriented in that it seeks to accumulate information that will be useful in solving or at least casting light on a specific theoretical issue.

I was in a state of high anticipation as I watched people make preparations for a major ritual dedicated to tonantsij, a mother deity associated with fertility. Although I had lived in Amatlán for several months, this was the first time people had invited me to witness an important village event. Outside, men wearing colorful headdresses constructed from bamboo, folded paper, long ribbons, and mirrors shook rattles as they performed traditional dances mimicking planting and harvesting. Off to one side, men and boys squatted around glowing beeswax candles and a smoking incense brazier preparing palm and marigold adornments for the main altar inside the shrine.

Tlacatecolotl sihuatl ("wife of tlacatecolotl," literally "man owl woman") 266 11. tlahuelilo ("wrathful one") 267 12. diablo (Spanish for "devil") 267 13. miquilistli ("death") 268 14. miquilistli ("death") 268 15. ejacatl ("wind," disease-causing spirit) 269 16. ejacatl ("wind," disease-causing spirit) 269 17. ejecatl ("wind," disease-causing spirit) 270 18. ejecatl ("wind," disease-causing spirit) 270 19. ejacatl ("wind," disease-causing spirit) 271 20. mijcatsitsij ejecatl ("corpses wind") 271 21.

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