Type: History
Pages: 4 | Words: 1003
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Mesoamerica practices mosaic cultural traits originated and shared by its indigenous cultures. Since early 7000 BC the domestication of beans, maize, chili, and squash plus the turkey and dog, grounded a transition from Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer tribal groups to sedentary agricultural villages organization. In this period, villages became socially stratified and developed into chiefdoms. This led to the development of massive ceremonial centers; a network of business routes for the exchange of luxury goods interconnected them. Mesoamerican civilization knew the basic metallurgy and the wheels, the technologies became unimportant culturally (Meso-America  906).

The expansion of Spanish empire to Mesoamerica in the sixteenth century initiated radical processes of political, economic and religious change. Independent Maya kingdoms, the Tara scans, the Aztec empire (with its client states), and other more distant polities, once linked through the macro regional economic web of the post classic period, forcibly incorporated into Spain’s transatlantic domain. The colonization process with its shocking political and economic demand and the disaster of foreign microbes met varied responses. Some native groups seized opportunities for gaining wealth and political power while others fled from the Spanish regime. The consequences of colonial processes included shifts in demography, regional settlement patterns, native economic strategies, community and household organization, ecology and land use (Kepecs and Alexander 2).

The Consequences of Colonial Processes

The fueling of the process was through disaster of foreign pathogens, extension of Spanish empirical sovereignty, and heavy-handed appropriation of native labor and resources. The events of the sixteenth century were the catalyst for the transformation of the native Mesoamerica social culture, political and economic patterns, not their obliteration. Understanding culture change in Mesoamerica is dependent upon understanding the emergency of chiefdoms and state in Mesoamerica, as well as their interactions with less complex intermediate area societies (Adams and MacLeod 442).

The Maya had a strong effect on their neighbors to the south east during the classic period, emanating principally from Copan and Quirigua. The two centers stimulated economic interaction with nearby settlements, thus, stimulating growth and the emergence of local elites. The emergent elites frequently emulated the iconography of power in use in Copan and Quirigua. This resulted in the geographic spread of specialized artifacts, design motives and, to some extent, religion. However, by the post-classic session the Maya frontier was an evanescent as the Olmec frontier, as local Intermediate Area societies established themselves in many areas (Adams and MacLeod 442).

Mesoamerica was one of the independent sites where humanity already evolved elsewhere as a socially organized and culture-building species that survived through nomadic hunting and gathering, developed unique and more complex approaches to transforming and subordinating external nature to its own life sustaining purposes. The product of this process became the part of Mesoamerican society, culture, and history. Its protagonists were self-conscious human subjects or agents who distinguished themselves and their fellows from the objects they made, and who related to matrices of value, meaning, and identity. The matrices were produced through cognitions, perceptions, and actions informed and articulated by language, which is a product of social process.

The archaeological, ethno historical and ethnographic records from Mesoamerica are replete with examples of commodity production and exchange that indicate the presence of commodity culture in a variety of societal contexts and with varying degrees of importance in the economic process. There also seems to be ample empirical evidence of the progressive importance, locally and regionally, of commodity culture in the Mesoamerican civilization process.

Despite power shifts, world systems reorganization process retains some parts of existing patterns, resulting in connections that grow increasingly complex through time. The final phase of the Mesoamerican world system fits this model. When the Spaniards arrived, they came face to face with a world that was entirely unlike the one they had left behind. The Spaniards witnessed many more international trade emporia in this new world. The goods, poured into the markets, came from the sundry parts of the Mesoamerican macroregion, and, more rarely, from its far ends, the greater southwest to the north, and lower Central America to south (Kepecs and Alexander 4).

The Olmecs as One of the Earliest Mesoamerican Civilization

The Olmecs are among the earliest Mesoamerican civilization. They influence all post-date San Lorenzo and the cultures. Civilization involves the highly organized political organization of the state.  Modern scholars powerfully disagree with the question on whether state organizations existed among the Olmeics. The Aztecs are the people who lived in Olman, also known as the Olmeca. Among the Early and Middle formative cultures of Mesoamerica, Olmecs of the Gulf Coast are different in several ways. Their most obvious accomplishments were in monumental stone sculpture. One of the prominent themes in Olmeic sculptures is leadership. The distinctive colossal heads are thought to be portraits of rulers who appeared, cut up in the circular niches on the fronts of monolithic tabletop thrones (Pool 10).

All of these cultural exchanges are the parts of the same long event.  The conquest marks are beginning. This is true because the people, who live in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica nowadays, have a culture almost resembling the one of the Spaniards. The culture governs them and directs them in their daily lives.  It assists them in understanding who they really are. It marks a sense of belonging to the members of the communities. It also provides solutions to problems. Culture also shapes a person.

Based on the La Frontera, the limits, the edges, the cultures, the food, and the unity and disunity between cultures are not the same. The Frontera is varied as geographically as the individuals that inhabit different regions are, as varied as the indigenous citizens who crossed in many centuries ago (Norma E. Cantu).

A series of replicas introduced to give insight into cultural paths for the regions in Mesoamerica suggest that people trajectories are the product of interaction between the agricultural diffusion and domestic effect of extensive technology in the Braudelian long-term, and inter-regional interactions in the Braudelian Medium-term. In most cases, Braudelian perspective of the long-term can give the population of each region the same starting point in socio-economic and cultural complexity (John Binliff).

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