LACUSL Speaker Series

potteryWhen Life Hands You Tɨkuee Iya, Make Ndute Tɨkuee Iya:
A Research Journey with Pottery and the Mixtec Language in Oaxaca, Mexico


Cheri L. Price

LACUSL Speaker Series

December 5, 2023
AGSL, UWM Libraries, 3rd fl

As a master’s student in archaeology, my focus was on the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, and pottery from the Formative period. In my thesis, I used ethnoarchaeology examples of pottery creation to explain processes for the samples that I had. I also did microscopic analysis on ceramics made in modern pottery communities and compare them to the samples from the Formative period (2000 B.C.- A.D 250). However, I was not able to visit Oaxaca and see pottery actually being made. Instead, I worked with an accessible collection and was provided the modern samples as well. Currently, in my PhD research, I was fortunate to receive FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) grants to study Mixtec, one of the indigenous languages spoken in my region of focus, Oaxaca, to better understand how the language influences the potters and their view on creating pottery. It was my hope that I could conduct ethnoarchaeological research in order to get at questions of production and how language could possibly influence the potters and their view on creating pottery. As you will see, sometimes research does not always go as planned.

Cheri Price is a doctoral student in the UWM Anthropology department, where she focuses on anthropological archaeology. Her area of focus is Mesoamerica, specifically, Highland Mexico. Currently, she is working with a ceramic collection from the Amalucan site in Puebla, Mexico for her dissertation.