||Archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography in the Maya lowlands all point to a remarkable, near continuous movement of people. This ebb and flow of humanity occurred at multiple geographical scales and implicated populations of variable size. There are wholesale abandonments of communities, vast residential construction programs signaling the resettlement of large populations, and compelling tales of far-flung migrations. There are also the more subtle indices of pilgrimage revealed by the dedicated objects gracing the stairways of shrines and abandoned temples.
In this paper I will explore how the circulation of people through the lowland Maya landscape has never been a simple matter of historical expedience nor a purely ritual act set apart from everyday pursuits. Rather, it should be considered one of the central ways that affiliation was both practiced and experienced. In effect, movement quite literally produced the space and substance of social life.