Juchitán is a colonial town that predates the Spanish conquest. Home to the indigenous culture of the Zapotec, a third gender known as muxe (MOO-shey) – said to derive from “mujer,” the word for “woman” in Spanish – has long flourished here. The muxe gender encompasses a range of identities that are between the male-female binary. While a muxe would have different labels to choose from in the U.S. – “trans woman,” “gay man,” “genderqueer” – “muxe” spans all identities between male and female here. The term is unique to the Zapotec.

Stemming from pre-Columbian societies that had “mixed-genders” outside of male and female, the muxes are analogous to other “two-spirit” identities in indigenous populations of North America. Muxes traditionally have the freedom to dress in women’s clothing, wear cosmetics and grow their hair long. They can be seen wearing the traditional Tehuana costume of the region, a two-part gown made up of a huipil – a shirt with colorful embroidery – and a long skirt that usually matches the top. Called muxes vestidas – “dressed muxes” – they participate in more traditional female gender roles, such as working as seamstresses, than do muxes pintadas – “painted muxes” – who dress in men’s clothes, but still pluck their eyebrows and wear cosmetics.

When asked why a third gender is accepted in Juchitán, the townspeople invariably point to “the matriarchy” of Oaxacan households – women handle the finances of the family, since they’re the ones who work as vendors in the marketplace, giving them more of an equal standing with men than elsewhere in the countryside. Many mothers would sooner force an unaccepting husband to leave the house than kick out a muxe child.

Location: Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico

Photographer: Shaul Schwarz

Photo by Kurt Severin. 

Ilha de Marajó (Marajó Island) is a coastal Brazilian island, located in the northeastern state of Pará, Brasil

The island was the site of an advanced pre-Columbian society, the Marajoara culture, which existed from approximately 400 BC to 1600 AD. The island has been a center of archaeological exploration and scholarship since the 19th century. The population lived in homes with tamped earth floors, organized themselves into matrilineal clans, and divided tasks by gender, age, and skill level.

The arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century was catastrophic to the indigenous population of the island; 90% died due to high mortality from Eurasian infectious diseases they lacked immunity against, which had become endemic in European and Asian cities.[9]

Between the years 400 and 1300, the Island of Marajó was occupied by approximately 40 thousand inhabitants who lived in a society characterized by maternal lineage. From childhood, the Marajoaras developed the art of clay modeling and production of the Marajoara pottery as well as the cultivation and handling of cassava. In the beginning of the adolescence, the marajoaras had their bodies painted and they used a ceramic thong decorated with traces referring to the genitals. 


The Norte Chico civilization (also Caral or Caral-Supe civilization) was a complex Pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now north-central coastal Peru. It is the oldest known civilization in the Americas, having flourished between the thirtieth century B.C.E.and the eighteenth century B.C.E. We know all this thanks to the archaeologists who study the rock-built cities they left behind, for the Norte Chico had no writing.

oberyn7156-deactivated20160910  asked:

Do you know the history og the Arawak/Taino people of Haiti ?? I can't find much information about them (but I know they existed especially in Haiti !?)

Hello, thank you for your question.

Yes, finding information on pre-Columbian societies in Haiti can be difficult.

There were indeed Taínos/Arawak people in Haiti. Estimates vary, but most believe that about 86% of population died within few decades of contact with the Europeans. By the 1560s, the Taínos would have largely disappeared from the island (especially in the Western shore, which is today Haiti). *Given that Hispaniola was among the first islands to be ‘discovered’ by the Europeans, the native populations were very deeply affected by the early encounters.

Studying the pre-Columbian history of Haiti is interesting in part because we get a sense of the ‘shared’ history of Hispaniola’s two countries. (You may be aware that Anacaona, a Cacique (chief) who was executed in 1502 (or 1504) by the Spaniards, is a very important historical/mythological figure both in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.)

Now, in terms of readings, most sources on colonial Saint-Domingue will give you an idea of what life looked like before and during the early years of Spanish colonisation. You can see our reading suggestions for this period here.

For more specific monographs, I suggest you look at Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus (1990) by Samuel M. Wilson and also, Caciques and Cemi Idols: The Web Spun by Taino Rulers Between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico (2009) by Jose R Oliver.

And finally, I strongly recommend you browse the pages of Island Luminous, a fantastic online resource for Haitian history. You can start reading about the Taínos/Arawaks here.

I hope this was helpful! Good day.


Coming up with acronyms for my research organization. Can’t say we aren’t trying to make the name fun, but we’re not succeeding either.

(PCASC) pre-Columbian Archeological Society of Canada

(MSAASC) Middle and South American Archeological Society of Canada

(CSMSAA) Canadian Society for Middle and South American Archeology

(CSPA) Canadian Society for pre-Columbian Archeology

(CAPA) Canadian Association for pre-Columbian Archeology 

I need help. PLEASE HELP

Mod Post: 11 March 16

Thanks to everyone who’s written in to us about JK Rowling’s new releases regarding “American magic”! We’re glad so many of you are still invested in this community, and we promise there’ll be new posts going up soon.

In the meantime, let this post serve as an official statement regarding the future of this blog, our headcanon, and how it relates and won’t to JK’s new releases:

We at American Wizarding have really no intention of revising ourselves to fit JK’s new canon. The reason is twofold:

One, it would involve re-writing literally everything we’ve come up with in regard to the schools and government, and that’s not something we’re particularly interested in doing. If that now makes this entire blog AU, we’re fine with that. We’ve enjoyed our thought experiments too much, and we’re pretty invested in them now. Since we’re under no obligation to please anyone but ourselves, that’s what we’re gonna keep on doing. We’ll integrate things that interest us and don’t contradict what we’ve got already, but we’re not gonna worry about the rest. (Our tongue-in-cheek in-universe explanation remains that it’s a successful campaign of misinformation orchestrated by the Department of Secrecy and Obfuscation).

The other reason is - and we say this with complete love and respect for JK Rowling and the world that she originally created – we feel that she hasn’t fully appreciated the breadth and complexity of American history and culture. She is coming to this narrative of the magic of the US as a Brit, and the view subsequently doesn’t feel authentic to us as Americans. What she writes about the US often feels like it doesn’t really take into account all that the country is. We’ve worked hard on reflecting America’s multicultural diversity and on exploring its triumphs and glories as well as its horrors and shames. JK’s view of the US doesn’t strike the right chords for us where all that’s concerned. For example - in the bits she’s released so far, she conflates all the pre-Columbian Native American societies into one homogeneous culture, and she seems to think that the only influential settlers from elsewhere were British Puritans. It’s a pretty flat and Anglocentric view of the US, and we think it leaves out a lot that’s worth exploring – not just for creative purposes, but also to combat the erasure that so many cultures suffer in the dominant narrative of American history. We truly hope that JK comes to realize the complexity of our nation and corrects some of these oversights, but until then American Wizarding is going to stay the course on our original mission. 

So… we’re sticking with the stories we want to tell. We’re grateful to JK for the foundations of the universe and the magical system we’re building within, but our derivative fiction has diverged from source quite a bit, and we’re okay with that.

We don’t mean for this to be antagonistic or aggravating to anyone, and we’ve certainly got nothing against anyone who *does* enjoy and want to play with the new canon. By all means, have fun! It’s just not all suiting what *we* want to do with these particular stories. If you’d like to join us for that, we’re more than happy to have you along. (And, as ever, we are happy to accept submissions from readers whose backgrounds and experiences differ from ours! We’re drawing outlines here, but there’s so much to be filled in, and so many voices worth including).

This is a playground for us – a place we go to create and explore. And the castles we build in the sandbox are taking the shape that we like best, and will continue to do so, regardless of what JK puts out. Again – if that means we’re AU, then we’re AU. No harm, no foul.

Thanks for reading!

–The Mods 

captivamoon  asked:

Since it looks like some already asked about 5 (WHICH WAS SO GREAT, OMG) I'd love a bit of 4, if you're still doing that meme. <3

Ok I’m doing a hybrid! Because #4 is “Parse and Bitty hook up at a kegster” but then the story veers off into Zimbits and Kent is like, “Okay, I’ll steer clear.”  Then time passes and Kent has his accident.  So this is actually during the time frame of the Whumpening (which actually has a slightly more dignified name now, “Ain’t Licked Yet”) where Bitty’s been added to Kent’s secret twitter and then Kent comes up and visits the Haus at Samwell, which will be a recurring event.

Keep reading