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Grazing to Gravy: Faunal Remains and Indications of Genízaro Foodways on the Spanish Colonial Frontier of New Mexico

Abstract

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA). Understanding identity aspects of those labeled Genízaro during the late Spanish Colonial period of New Mexico benefits from finer-grained perspectives on what ranges and mixtures of practices persons bearing this casta designation may have performed while preparing cuisine. Materials from the northern frontier site of Casitas Viejas (LA 917) suggest that the closely related households of this fortified plaza may have departed from the less expansive culinary practices of colonial elites while drawing from their multiple social relationships at the various stages of production and consumption of foods. In other words, at different temporal and spatial scales, behaviors reflected in the material record refute historical notions about a creolized community that tried to diminish identity difference within the village. The goal of this work is to explore through the study of faunal remains some of the relationships between foodways and cultural identity in a manner that might assist in some disentangling of the sticky problems archaeologists face in interpreting traces of dynamic past situations of identity from a static material record recovered today.

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