By Michael Dietler

From the traditional close to East to modern day North the US, communal intake of food and drinks punctuates the lifetime of human societies. Feasts serve many social reasons, constructing alliances for battle and marriage, mobilizing exertions, growing political energy and fiscal merits, and redistributing wealth.

This choice of fifteen essays combines ethnographic and archaeological views to envision the cultural, fiscal, and political value of feasts, contemplating conventional and sleek practices from Africa, Southeast Asia, the close to East, Polynesia, New Guinea, and the Americas. Recording kinds and amounts of nutrition, education options, and numbers of members, the ethnographers offer a lot wanted behavioral context and theoretical framework for those difficult social interactions and try and hyperlink feasting practices to actual proof. The archaeologists study the destinations of roasting pits, hearths, and refuse deposits or the presence of specified decoartive ceramics and infer the ways that feasting traditions display social buildings of lineage, extended family, moiety, and polity.

As practices for organizing historic and smooth societies, feasts are in detail implicated within the techniques of social and cultural switch. This e-book makes those rituals extra available to archaeological research and interpretation.

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Additional info for Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics and Power (Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry)

Example text

Thus, these feasts should be minimally differentiated from daJ/y meals, and may only differ from them 10 terms of sizc Thesc characteristics kan Cfmmtent With what we currently knllW about generalized hunter/galh er 1 CJ,mmun~1 meals. Allh Iranitg'"1,':11'. t"'" th, tb, r h ... levcl or at Ihe Inlcr(ummumt 1,·\ 1 \rn. ,,,, fit h hOllschukl WCJllh "' \",111" .. -. "1\ I, h,," III I'll n t mm~~(l , th "th: n , h l\,L r ,",11\1\. \\ \ l, ,uh I'"' dll\ tU'" 1.

March embedded m nres de passage or life·crisis ceremonies, such as funerals; and 11 IS d~s fearure that often feJ1ders them archaeologically derectable as disrinct e"ems, tlloreover, the culillary narure of feasts generally necessirares rhe Use of contJmers for both preparation and consumption. Very frequenrly, over the paSt 10,000 years of human history ar least, a substantial portion of these COntainers has tended to be made of ceramIC or metal, whim preserve extremely welJ in the archaeologICal record even when broken.

1re symbolrcall On· . • 1Il . 1rchacol. md Ih,s later. ,boul . 'Par the mOme nt , illS 1111 . lncl dady meal, . cruCIal horh fO. nt. ",d Ihe diSCUSSIon shghtly and set reasts . r)' (0 broader IheorerieJI (Onlext by saying J few words aboul the emerglllg a nLh ropo. lnUmg of the nJrure of nlLlJI in general and ItS rcilllonsl "Plopol. ",hropolngy " J 'CJectlon of assumptions that connnlle lO underlie many ar. . tlly epiphenomenal aspect of the . w 0 I nlual supn,trucrure 01 SOCietY. ldhc~lve slIbslln •• 'C ") I"or the rn,lmll'nann' of SU(lal solldarllY (or '\y\lClll equlllbnum • In .

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