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Monday, October 29, 2018 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Announcing the Final Examination of Ms. Angelica N. Costa for the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology


Date: October 29, 2018

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Room: HPH 409M


Thesis title: Fashioning Society: The Use of Facial Adornments for Social Identification in Late Postclassic Tlaxcallan, Mexico


In pre-Hispanic Central Mexico, communities frequently practiced various forms of embodying social identity through the use of facial adornments. Ornaments were placed in the ears, nose, and lips to materialize aspects of both self and collective identity. Important characteristics, such as age, gender, status, kinship, and ethnicity can be better understood through analysis of facial ornaments recovered from archaeological sites. Recent research at the Late Postclassic (AD 1420-1521) city of Tlaxcallan has provided insight into how facial ornamentation varied within the central highlands of Mexico. Typological analysis of ornaments and figurines recovered at Tlaxcallan and comparative examinations between Tlaxcalteca and Aztec historical documents has provided evidence to support varying embodiment practices between these groups. Despite their shared Nahua identity and close proximity, the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs chose to emphasize significantly different aspects of identity within their own social hierarchies. The persistent conflict and varying political organization between these communities is reflected in their embodiment practices. Thus, these objects have the potential to reveal how larger sociopolitical interactions can affect local collective identities. Through this I provide a better understanding of how the Tlaxcalteca and the Aztecs chose to distinguish themselves within this relatively small region in central Mexico.


Outline of Studies:

Major: Anthropology


Educational Career:

B.A., 2014, University of Central Florida


Committee in Charge:

Dr. Sarah Barber

Dr. Lane Fargher

Dr. Brigitte Kovacevich

Dr. Michael Callaghan


Approved for distribution by Sarah B. Barber, Committee Chair, on October 11, 2018.


The public is welcome to attend.


Howard Phillips Hall: 409M


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tlaxcallan Thesis and Dissertation UCF Anthropology Mexico