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Estudios de cultura maya

Print version ISSN 0185-2574


ZETINA GUTIERREZ, María de Guadalupe  and  BERNICE FAUST, Betty. From Mayan Agroecology to Demographic Archaeology: How Many Houses per Family?. Estud. cult. maya [online]. 2011, vol.38, pp.97-120. ISSN 0185-2574.

During 2006, thirty-one oral histories were collected in Pich, Campeche, to research patterns of mobility among agricultural families living in hamlets (rancherías) located near permanent water sources. Two patterns were found: (1) movement from one hamlet to another on average every fourteen years with reoccupation in a generational cycle; and (2) repeated movements throughout the year between the hamlet home and a permanent house in town (dual-residence). Thus, over a domestic cycle of approximately thirty-five years, the typical agricultural family occupied at least three houses. These data suggest a need to revise existing Pre-Columbian population estimates for the agricultural population providing food to the city-states of the Northern Maya Lowlands. In general, estimates based on house mounds have not included rates of reduction due to mobility or dual residency for lack of detailed ethnographic information such as we here provide for the agricultural families of Pich.

Keywords : Maya Yucatecan; Agro-ecology; Demographic archeology; Nomadic agriculture; Milpa families.

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