Table of Contents
Gender, ‘Earthly Names’ and the Life Course in Ancient Mexico.
Debate: Condition of Nahua Women
Nahua gender relations over the life course: assymetry, hierarchy, subordination
1. Gender and ‘earthly names’ among the ordinary (rural) Nahua at contact: “a linguistic thicket”
“Ordinary women…we don’t even know their names.”--Blanco, 1991The Nahua Naming Ceremony
Naming Ceremony (Florentine Codex)
The Midwife Bathes the Newborn Babe
Earthly Names Ceremony differs for boys and girls
And as she washed it all over, its hands, its feet, she gave a talk to all...
The naming ceremony began at sunrise… and concluded with a banquet
From classic texts, elite names: few female names, fewer names of ordinary people
Source: The Book of Tributes by S.L. Cline (INAH, v. 549)
Museo de Antropología, Mexico City: “Here is the home of one...named…Cuilol”.
Cline on authenticity of censuses
A census recorded in glyphs(Santa Maria Asuncion, Harvey)
Names in a Tlatoani Family
4 most common names for each sex. What are the differences?
Common names 6th-10th most frequent by sex
Frequency of Common Female Names
2. Marriage: early age, unequal condition
Early marriagein Nahuatl censuses
Inequality of marital condition:fewer never married females, more widowers, concubines, etc.
Female names are affected by marital status
Male names also vary by marital condition
3. The household: neither patri- or matri-lineal, but cognatic and women always subordinate
Inequality in the household:females are spouses, not headsfewer females as offspring
4. Widowhood is a female conditionwidowers quickly remarry; widows do not (cannot?)
5. Nahua life course: strictly gendered (Codex Mendoza, 1540)
Conclusions: earthly names of ordinary country-folk
Author: Department of History
Home Page: http://www.hist.umn.edu/~rmccaa
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