The ties that bind: Social cohesion and the Yucatec Maya family

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This analysis of unstudied census materials and Maya-language notarial records explores the nature of Maya familial organization and identity in colonial Yucatán, Mexico. At the intersection of the two primary units of Maya society, the community and the patronym-group, existed the extended family, which was formed through marriage alliances within largely endogamous communities between strictly exogamous patronym-groups, expressed as a multiunit patriarchal household of about ten members, and given cohesion by community and patronym-group identities and by familial participation in working and owning property. Marriages may have been later, and separate newlywed households less common, than previously suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-381
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Family History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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