A seat at the table : a gendered approach to re-conceptualizing feasting practice

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2010-05

Authors

Prociuk, Nadya Helena

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Abstract

The currently popular approach to conceptualizing feasting practices in the archaeological record leaves little room for diversity in motivation or identity. At the moment, the only social actor given attention in the literature concerning feasting events is hypothesized to be a self-aggrandizing, elite-aspiring male. The narrow conception of who was responsible for feasts, and the reasons for holding them, shuts out the multitude of other standpoints and motivations which have the potential to broaden our understanding of these important social events. Through the intersection of the ancient Maya ritual ballgame, associated feasting, and gendered participation, I demonstrate the necessity of accounting for, and incorporating, a variety of perspectives and motivations when considering the feast as an important form of social interaction.

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