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40 | 2014
Représentations et mesures du corps humain en Mésoamérique

Representations and measurements of the human body in Mesoamerica
Edited by Danièle Dehouve and Véronique Darras

Completely immersed in and conditioned by the societies that house it, the body—a classic subject of anthropological study—is here broached in the context of a cultural region. Mesoamerica, which comprises the central and southern part of Mexico and various countries of Central America, has been defined by the presence of a series of cultural traits that can be tracked over the very long term, from the pre-Colombian period to today.
On account of the body’s inescapable presence in all social phenomena, one can consider that the representations and rituals that concern it are among the traits that define this cultural region. It is in this premise that the collaboration between Mesoamericanist archaeologists, ethnohistorians and ethnologists that gave rise to the present publication finds its meaning. Stemming from exchanges between researchers belonging to the LESC (UMR 7186), ArchAm (UMR 8096) and other laboratories, this issue is dedicated to the iconographic and ritual treatment of the human body from the pre-Colombian era to today. Reflections on past and present Mesoamerican societies enrich each other, doing so in relation to the major questions raised by comparative anthropology. A first series of contributions concerns the iconography of the body between 800 B.C. and time of the Spanish Conquest, and brings some methodological advances in dealing with ample material comprising varied representations of the human figure. The second series considers the body in the dynamic context of rituals and offers innovative reflections on body measurements and therapeutic rituals.
Contributors: Anath Ariel de Vidas, Danièle Dehouve, Brigitte Faugère, Olivia Kindl, Nathalie Ragot, Juliette Testard, Loïc Vauzelle

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