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Toyah Mitotes: Archaeological, Ethnographical, and Residue Analysis of a Texas Feasting Economy, 1350-1600 CE

By Crystal Ann Dozier


The proto-historical period of Texas, 1350-1600 CE, is crucial to understanding the changes and challenges of the following colonial period. This dissertation explores and expands the archaeological and ethnohistorical literature to understand the socio-economic behaviors of indigenous Texans within the Terminal Late Pre-Hispanic Period, particularly in terms of feasting activities. Within the Terminal Late Pre-Hispanic in central and south Texas, the archaeological manifestation called Toyah has perplexed archaeologists, especially in the emergence of first locally-produced pottery in the region during this period. This work presents the archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence for feasting within the Toyah tradition, which includes increased evidence of inter-regional trade, large communal cooking features, and Spanish colonial reports of mitotes or feasts. Feasting is explored as a global perspective as a common, prosocial human mechanism to deal with increasing population pressures. Through ethnohistorical and ethnographical research, the ethnographic parameters for understanding ritual, medicinal, and recreational use of psychoactive materials, common among feasting societies, among the diverse groups represented in the historical period is explored. This work recommends multi-scalar analysis of ceramic residue to understand the nuances of cooking technology during the Toyah Phase

Topics: archaeology, Texas archaeology, Toyah, feasting, indigenous psychoactive substances
Year: 2019
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