AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: COMMODITIES AND COMMUNITIES: CONSTRUCTING IDENTITIES AT CACAO, INDIGO, AND SUGAR PRODUCTION SITES IN THE EARLY REPUBLICAN PERIOD OF EL SALVADOR
Author: HOLLY BROOKENS   
Date/Time: Sat., 2:30 PM
Co-Author(s): HOLLY BROOKENS 
Abstract: This study will analyze how cacao, indigo, and sugar industries shaped the expression of laborer’s identity in the architecture of ceramic assemblages as well as landscapes of the Río Ceniza Valley of western El Salvador during the Early Republican period (1825-1900 A. D.). The turbulent Early Republican period in El Salvador was a time of nation building, the dynamic effects of which are shown in episodes of warfare, economic booms and busts, and political discontent. Cacao, indigo, and sugar were goods that circulated both locally and globally at this time, linking diverse social group through their construction of the cornerstones of the budding state’s economy. Cacao agriculture was framed by indigenous Pipil knowledge, techniques, and skills, which had the potential to present opportunities for laborer self-determination. In contrast, indigo and sugar agriculture was predicated on semi-industrial production schemes solidly controlled by wealthy, land-owning, creoles and ladinos. These contrasting frameworks for the social organization of labor operated during a time when the Salvadoran state became increasingly connected to the global market and European goods transcended community, ethnic, and class boundaries, re-forming the expressions of exclusion and incorporation. By analyzing both the materials and the areas for the framing of identity within three distinct agricultural production regimes, I will try to uncover how workers circulated among a diverse group of people and constructed their identity within a creolized context.

Program Number: 4-0775
Session Title: THE ARCHITECTURE OF IDENTITY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN SAMPECK (Illinois State University) 
Chair(s): ELIZABETH SCOTT  
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