Login Join | Donate | Annual Meeting | Career Center | SAA News | Marketplace | Contact   Search
  Gender in Middle Range Societies: A Case Study in Casas Grandes Iconography Minimize

Christine S. VanPool and Todd L. VanPool


Gender analyses have provided useful insights into the social organization of the people anthropologists study. Here we demonstrate how Casas Grandes gender roles influenced other aspects of Casas Grandes worldview and social life. Medio period (A.D. 1200–1450) iconography depicts differences between males and females. Gender roles were not only defined by their proximity to males and females but to birds and serpents. Furthermore, Casas Grandes cosmology was based on gender complementarity that combined the productive, reproductive, and ritual activities of men and women within a single system. The development of social differentiation was tied to this system, indicating that gender complementarity and the accumulation of productive and ritual power into a limited group of women and men may have been an important factor in the development of social hierarchies in many Middle Range societies.


Durante el período Medio (1200–1450 D.C.), la iconografía de la cultura Casas Grandes incluyó una distinción entre lo masculino y la femenina. Los papeles sexuales fueron definidos no solamente con imágenes de hombres y mujeres sino también con imágenes de pájaros y serpientes. Las imágenes indican una cosmología que incluyó papeles complementarios para los sexos. La producción, la reproducción, y las actividades rituales de ambos sexos se combinaron en una sola sistema intelectual. Ambos sexos participaron en los rituales, los hombres sirviendo como shamanes y las mujeres vigilándoles.