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Prehistoric figurine styles as fashion: A case from formative central Mexico

Abstract

Copyright © The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research 2015. Small, ceramic figurines used in household settings in Central Mexico during the first millennium bc were emphatically stylistic. Attributes cooperated to direct the viewer's attention to the style of the figurine, to how the figurine was made, and to the choices of makers and users from a range of alternative ways of making. This article draws on studies of modern fashion to develop a social interpretation of these patterns based on two collections of figurines, one from the Basin of Mexico and the other from Tlaxcala. The history of Formative figurine fashions is considered at multiple scales.

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