Mimbres Lives and Landscapes

Edited by Margaret C. Nelson and Michelle Hegmon

Mimbres Lives and LandscapesMimbres Lives and LandscapesMimbres Lives and Landscapes

“Mimbres” means “willow” in Spanish. Centuries ago, the area in the Deming Plains in the Chihuahuan Desert of southwestern New Mexico earned this name “because of its rich streamside vegetation,” write the editors of this beautifully illustrated book. Archaeologists studying the region transferred the place-name to the archaeological traces of its one-time residents, and then scholars, art historians, and museum experts began referring to the exceptional black-on-white pottery discovered there as “Mimbres,” a style that has captured international renown for its beauty and intricacy. In their introduction the editors write, “But this convenient transposition of label from place to pottery to people has long misled scholars and the public about the history and identity of the people.

“Words matter. Labels for people matter very much. We know this in our contemporary world, and it applies to the past as well. Throughout this book, we are careful to ask who these people were, what they did, and how they changed over time, without assuming that they had an identity as ‘Mimbres people.’ And by asking who they were, we are drawn to the question of who their descendants were. That is, who were the makers of ‘Mimbres’ pottery in relation to contemporary Native peoples?” write the co-editors.

“Nelson and Hegmon are to be congratulated for bringing together leading researchers to produce a top-flight synthesis of current knowledge of the Mimbres Tradition,” says Bill Lipe of Washington State University.

Find out more and purchase Mimbres Lives and Landscapes by visiting the SAR website (opens in new browser window).

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