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Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: THE POWER OF NO
Author: RUTH FAUMAN-FICHMAN (University of Pittsburgh)   
Date/Time: Fri., 11:00 AM
Co-Author(s): RUTH FAUMAN-FICHMAN (University of Pittsburgh) 
Abstract: From the Early to the Late Postclassic periods in Mexico (AD 1150-1521) and into the early Colonial Period after Spanish Conquest, the enemies of the Aztec Empire from the never-Aztec-subjugated domain of Tlaxcala used their “power of no” to perhaps both parties’ advantage. Protohistoric accounts put the Tlaxcaltecas as linguistic and ethnic members of the successive wandering Nahua groups that entered the Central Mexican highlands. With some differences, Tlaxcaltecas share a similar migration mythology as the Aztecs. Both before Aztec imperial organization (AD 1438) and after, elite power struggles among these groups were legion. Both Aztecs and Tlaxcaltecas used the propaganda machine for their own political purposes. The Aztec Empire declared a trade embargo against Tlaxcala and engaged in “flower wars” that did not conquer Tlaxcala but provided captives for Aztec sacrifice. Strategic polities that bordered Tlaxcala were exempt from tribute because they conducted war against the Tlaxcaltecas on behalf of the Empire. On the Tlaxcala side, power was negotiated through affinal relationships with some-time Aztec rivals and competitors. But Tlaxcala’s official marginalization and role in the circulation of goods and development of imperial power is unclear. Maintaining the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, Tlaxcala played a pivotal role in the conquest of Mexico by Cortes. This paper will attempt to analyze rural settlement and regional settlement data and material artifacts to compare proto-historic accounts and archaeological findings for a more nuanced development of data and theory on pathways to power.

Program Number: 3-0355
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 10:15 AM-12:00 PM
Organizer(s): LAURA LEVI (University of Texas-San Antonio), SONIA ALCONINI 
Chair(s): LAURA LEVI (University of Texas-San Antonio)  
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