By Mary W. Helms
Ancient Panama provides intensity to our realizing of the political and non secular elite ruling in Panama on the time of the ecu conquest. Mary W. Helms's examine significantly expands wisdom of the distribution, volume, and structural nature of those pre-Columbian chiefdoms.
In addition, Helms delves extra deeply into decide on features of historic Panamanian political platforms, together with the connection among elite pageant and mainly prestige, using sumptuary items within the expression of elite energy, and the function of elites in neighborhood and long-distance trade networks. In an important departure from conventional pondering, she proposes that the quest for esoteric wisdom used to be extra very important than fiscal alternate in constructing long-distance touch between chiefdoms.
The fundamental facts for the learn are derived from sixteenth-century Spanish documents by means of Oviedo y Valdés, Andagoya, Balboa, and others. the writer additionally turns to ethnographic facts from modern local humans of Panama, Colombia, tropical the US, and Polynesia for analogy and comparability. the result's a hugely leading edge research which illuminates not just pre-Columbian Panamanian elites but in addition the character of chiefdoms as a particular cultural type.
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Ancient Panama: Chiefs in Search of Power by Mary W. Helms