Moiety specific wood selection in funerary ritual for the southern proto-Jê
De Souza, JG
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Reason for embargo
Identification of wood charcoal associated with earth ovens at a southern proto-Jê mortuary complex in Misiones, Argentina, are discussed in relation to a dual social structure. A distinct difference in form between the ovens in the east and west follow a pattern of asymmetry that manifests at multiple levels across the mortuary landscape. The asymmetry reflects a dual social structure that is the precursor to the moiety system employed by modern Jê groups. In the moiety system all people, things, and phenomena are assigned to a moiety in an all-encompassing classificatory system. The identification of charcoal as Jacaranda sp. in the western earth ovens matches the moiety associations and suggests a specific use of resources within ritual determined by the dual social system. The results have implications for understanding southern proto-Jê social formation, ritual practice, and resource management, as well as providing a cautionary note for the consideration of cultural formation when designing research questions and methodologies.
We wish to thank the Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultyral y Museos del Gobierno de la Provincia de Misiones, Ruth Poujade and Julia Argentina Perié for granting us permission to carry out investigations in ElDorado, Misiones. Research was supported by grants from the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE 7853-05) and the University of Exeter Exploration Fund (2008). Logistical support was received from the Department of Culture of the Municipality of ElDorado.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 11, pp. 237 - 244