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Amerindian architecture

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    Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 00:29
The traditional Native American archtecture from both South and North America is an interesting field of study. This architecture has shown, and still shos a great variety of form, use, size, integration in landscape and material. Much of it has unfortuantely dissapeared but still we can see remnants of it, both at historical sites, but also remaining traditional archtecture that have survived until today.
 
Here is a couple of examples
 
Maya Pyramid, Chichen itza, Mexico
 
Machu Picchu, Peru
 
Artists rendition of how Cahokia Mounds appeared at its peak
Reconstruction of Cahokia in Illinois, USA
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 00:41
And a couple of examples of more small scale architecture
 
Wigwam from the Eastern Woodlands of USA and Canada
 
Apache wickiup, Fort Bowie
Apache wickiup, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Arizona, USA
 
Yanomami Shabano, collective house, Brazil or Venezuela
 
House in Ipatse village, Xingu National park, Brazil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 01:27
To speak about Amerindian architecture is as fuzzy as to speak about an Eurasian architecture.
If you wish we could talk about Inca architecture, about Mayan, Mapuche or Anazasi.
But putting all of them in a single label is ridiculous.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 01:50
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

To speak about Amerindian architecture is as fuzzy as to speak about an Eurasian architecture.
If you wish we could talk about Inca architecture, about Mayan, Mapuche or Anazasi.
But putting all of them in a single label is ridiculous.
 
Perhaps, but I just wanted to show some examples of archtiecture from the Americas. If someone want to go in to more details they can do so.
 
By the way, you have yourself opened threads that are similarly fuzzy, as you call it.


Edited by Carcharodon - 04 Jan 2011 at 01:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 11:10
Mapuche architecture, the traditional house called Ruca.

















The ruca has the fire at the center and the smoke leave the place through a chimeney open at the ceiling. The ruca is a house design to sleep. It is oriented from east to west with the door pointing to the east, the sunrise.

A movie that explains it.




If you haven't guessed as yet, I will tell you: the ruca is a TEMPLE. Not only a house, but a temple to the Mapuche cosmology.




Edited by pinguin - 04 Jan 2011 at 11:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 12:19
Now that everyone has exercised their penchant to "rip-off" images from the Internet, could anyone please tell me who's buried in Grant's Tomb?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 19:51
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


If you haven't guessed as yet, I will tell you: the ruca is a TEMPLE. Not only a house, but a temple to the Mapuche cosmology.

 
Yes, it is interesting this connection between architecture and cosmology. This is a recurring theme (with varying details ofcourse) in a lot of Amerindian architecture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 22:42
Just have to add this nice reconstruction (based on archaeological evidence and similarities with todays traditional architecture among some Xingu groups) of the precolumbian settlement Kuhikugu. It was a part of several settlements connected with broad ways and roads. The layout of the whole cluster of similar settlements mirrors the layout of the settlements themselves.
 
Kuhikugu, upper Xingu
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 23:16
Stonehenge is that you?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2011 at 23:41
About architecture, planning, landscape and cosmology, here are some interesting things about the moundbuilders in Illinois:
 
Quote Cahokia: Cosmic Landscape Architecture
 
Seen from high above, the Cahokia landscape had mythic dimensions. Stretching for six square miles, more than one hundred mounds rose from the earth with monumental presence. At the center lay four vast plazas, honoring the cardinal directions, to the north, east, south, and west. At their crossing the great Monks Mound towered more than a hundred feet in the air. At other points woodhenges (large circular areas marked off by enormous red cedar posts) enclosed large circular plazas or ceremonial areas.

A whole city aligned with the cosmos! The idea reverberates with expressive power.

 
 
Cahokia figure 118
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A setting for mythic rituals. Majestic mounds and four plazas mark the cardinal directions, a reflection of the cosmos in the heart of the midwestern prairie.
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 05 Jan 2011 at 00:02
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Cahokia is a wonderful civilization
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Another thread that is proving a downright embarrassment. Outside the sheer opportunity for fancy, the elephant in this room is a simple one: the term Cahokia and "Mound Builders" are not synonymous. Setting aside the fru-fru what remains? What is presented here remains open not only to questioning but to serious disagreement among archaeologists. Even the popular press has gotten into the act giving it own summation:
 
 
The problem is that absent the penchant for illustrative art, there is no substance here or actual analysis. Instead we are treated to the usual stereotypical jabberwocky on "cosmos" and "civilization", and this flies in the face of the available literature--even a National Geographic pastiche goes unmentioned. Naturally there is also irony when it comes to what some say here and then contradict elsewhere. That there is an extensive bibliography is steadfastly ignored:
 
 
To introduce the book cited by Carch [Cahokia Mirror of the Cosmos] as serious topical research can hardly be called an architectural or archaeological analysis of "Cahokia" as early reviewers noted:
 
...the book as a whole seems curiously distant from the goings-on of ancient Cahokia. Only 25 of the 191 pages of text describe the archaeology of the site itself. The city was in decline by 1300 A.D. and abandoned by 1400, yet more than half the book covers events from 1672 to 1997. Thus the site is presented more as a very interesting ruin—a place important in many people's histories—than as the mirror of an aboriginal cosmos.
 
Stephen Lekson in American Scientist Nov-Dec 2002
 
Given the fact that Timothy Pauketat's study on Cahokia itself appeared in a Penguin Library edition in 2009 one wonders for what purpose all of these superficial gleanings that do little more than froth about the stereotypical with New Age undertones.
 
T. Pauketat. Ancient Cahokia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
 
More to the point, Pauketat addressed much of the malarkey attempted here in his very interesting monograph Chiefdoms and Other Archeological Delusion (2007).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 06:18
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Another thread that is proving a downright embarrassment. Outside the sheer opportunity for fancy, the elephant in this room is a simple one: the term Cahokia and "Mound Builders" are not synonymous.


Drgonzaga, take your pills.

As usual, you attacked a STRAW MAN. Who mentioned the Mount Builders? At least not me LOL
You are crazy, Drgonzaga. Take your pills.


Edited by pinguin - 05 Jan 2011 at 06:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 09:08
Pinguin, you joined the chorus and unless you do not read what is written--including that exclamation about "Cahokia is a wonderful civilization"--it becomes more than obvious that you are as unfamiliar with the literature and the breadth of study as your "partner" in scatological imagery.
 
Get thee to a library or at the very least JSTOR!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 09:12
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Pinguin, you joined the chorus and unless you do not read what is written--including that exclamation about "Cahokia is a wonderful civilization"--it becomes more than obvious that you are as unfamiliar with the literature and the breadth of study as your "partner" in scatological imagery.
 
Get thee to a library or at the very least JSTOR!


Take your pill, Drgonzaga. Otherwise, you will end confined like another guy that thought it was the smartest of all: Dr. House. LOL

Cahokia was a wonderful civilization. The most important pre-Columbian civilization in the Southern U.S.

If you don't know that, stay in Europe, your speciality.


Edited by pinguin - 05 Jan 2011 at 09:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 09:27
You are a bit loose in your geography as well, aren't you Pinguin? When was the last time you looked at a map for the location of Illinois? Talk with me once you can distinguish the niceties between Poverty Point (Louisiana) and the later Woodland Period as well as Hopewell and Adena. By the way, what is meant by Mississippian?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 10:14
Cahokians and mount builders,



Anazasi lived to the West




And the Iroquois to the North East


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 14:06
Pinguin, please stop embarrassing yourself as you pursue your usual myopea when it comes to Amerinds and the historical spectrum. You're in waters way above your head and yet insist on making the most foolish associations that only serve as evidence that understanding persistently eludes you. You are confusing generalizations for facts and totally disregarding the distinctions of terminology for an ephemeral homogeneity that is totally unprovable. Archeology of the past thirty years has essentially dismissed all of the hokum that generated all of those Wiki maps and you would do well to follow the synthesis and observations made here based upon contemporary findings:
 
 
It's superficial in the sense it touches upon introduction but it is sufficient in its overview to squash any and all of the pseudo-political relationships you wish to envision. Why you bring in the Iroquois and throw in the "Anazasi" defies reason altogether.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2011 at 21:26
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

. Outside the sheer opportunity for fancy, the elephant in this room is a simple one: the term Cahokia and "Mound Builders" are not synonymous.
 
Cahokia belongs to one of the cultures (Mississippian) in a group of cultures often referred to as Mound builders.


Edited by Carcharodon - 05 Jan 2011 at 21:34
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And by the way, Dr G, why not contribute something substantial to a thread instead of trying to find things to critizise? Do you not have any interesting examples of Amerindian architecture that you want to share your knowledge about with us others here?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 03:39
The purpose behind the mesoamerican pyramidal structures:
 
 
 
You get what you ask for Carch...so don't blame me!


Edited by drgonzaga - 06 Jan 2011 at 03:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 05:54
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

And by the way, Dr G, why not contribute something substantial to a thread instead of trying to find things to critizise? Do you not have any interesting examples of Amerindian architecture that you want to share your knowledge about with us others here?


Of course he doesn't care. By the way, this is the purpose of the tower of London... Confused


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 06:59
As to be expected, the Pinguin can not even get his historical facts in line nor even construe a proper analogy. However, rather than acknowledge incontrovertible fact he evades even his own topic! If we are discussing architecture then we must consider purpose and usage given the fact that utility and function are integrally related. And such even applies to the earthen mounds attached to his jabberwocky since archaeology revealed that unpleasant fact long ago and at "Cahokia" to boot. Of course, all of these pretensions are solely possible through total unfamiliarity with the existing literature, the book to read:
 
T. Pauketat. Cahokia. Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi (New York: Viking Press, 2009).
 
What amazes me is the fact that illustrations clipped for this very thread are those that appear in this cited title. Nor was the recognition of human sacrifice a novelty even then and strictly associated with Cahokia since earlier mounds had revealed such even prior to the digs at Cahokia between 1967 and 1971.  However, such should be no surprise since repeatedly the idyllic portrayals of the "noble savage" as inhabitants of Eden pursuing rustic simplicities in balance with Nature are exploded time-and-time again (for example the Maya and the surprise given by Bonampak, then the Inca and the role of certain promontories associated with the Sun--but hey those affected by heavy doses of Rousseauitis seldom learn).
 
Psst, Pinguin, you had best read up on the origins and purposes of the Tower of London aka the White Tower and the distinction of the Keep with referencee to the "Bloody" Tower (just 1 of 21). Furthermore, with all the blather about cosmogony and all the rest the correct analogy within an European context would be a cathedral! Obviously neither you nor Carcharadon get it in your reckless abandon to ignore stark reality.
 
Of course, all of this would not have been possible were it not for the abandonment of original terminology [in this instance ceremonial centers] in the pursuit of PCism and false inclusion. Heaven help anyone who even brings up the reality behind these pyramidical constructs.


Edited by drgonzaga - 06 Jan 2011 at 07:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 07:55


Yes, a Cathedral would be closer to the equivalent of a Aztec sacrifice pyramid, than the tower of London. Particularly in an Auto de Fe. However, most of those religious acts, equivalent to the Aztec sacrifices, were made on the main squares rather than at the cathedrals
Amen,






Edited by pinguin - 06 Jan 2011 at 07:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 09:22
You still miss the principal point, Pinguin...ritual sacrifice and the appeasement of the gods! European societies had long ago intellectualized this primal urge (ergo cathedrals and churches or earlier the burning of laurel leaves at public altars as a substitute for animals); and one has to recognize this fact to understand the degree of horror held by the Europeans in their encounter with the Aztecs. To go on-and-on about pyramids as "architectural wonders" (which they are not in terms of that art in dealing with forms and function) and blindly ignore the rationale for their existence is utter foolishness.
 
PS: An auto de fe was not a ritual sacrifice in the least but instead a criminal punishment and thus an execution. Once again the attempt at analogy falls flat. 
 
Now what is even more amazing is the steadfast reluctance to understand that it was these pyramids themselves (and the rationales that drove their construction) that explain the dissolution of these societies. If they represent anything it woul be little more than impressive symbols of exploitation by the elite over the gullible mass. When fear rules decadence is the consequence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 11:53
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

You still miss the principal point, Pinguin...ritual sacrifice and the appeasement of the gods!


You are the Straw Man, drgonzaga. Therefore, of course, you are the one that misses the main point. This was a thread about Amerindian architecture but, of course, you had to troll it.

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


 European societies had long ago intellectualized this primal urge (ergo cathedrals and churches or earlier the burning of laurel leaves at public altars as a substitute for animals); and one has to recognize this fact to understand the degree of horror held by the Europeans in their encounter with the Aztecs.


Your favorite people are the Europeans, of course. that's why you understand them.
In my case, I think the horror of the Spaniards with respect to Aztec cruelty is nothing more than a extreme case of amnesia and hypocresy.


Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


To go on-and-on about pyramids as "architectural wonders" (which they are not in terms of that art in dealing with forms and function) and blindly ignore the rationale for their existence is utter foolishness.


Certainly, there are more interesting things in Aztec architecture than just pyramid. In my oppinion, the pyramids are the boring part.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


PS: An auto de fe was not a ritual sacrifice in the least but instead a criminal punishment and thus an execution. Once again the attempt at analogy falls flat.


That just a play with semantics. If you consider that criminals, prisoners of war and political enemies where also killed by Aztecs in theirs human sacrifices party, you would notice there wasn't much difference between both executions. Even more, like the Aztecs sacrifices, the Autos de fe were performed in a religious environment, with the invocation to God, a mass and the convinction that fire with clean the sins of the poor victims.

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


Now what is even more amazing is the steadfast reluctance to understand that it was these pyramids themselves (and the rationales that drove their construction) that explain the dissolution of these societies. If they represent anything it woul be little more than impressive symbols of exploitation by the elite over the gullible mass. When fear rules decadence is the consequence.


If you care so much for the morality of architecture, why people doesn't pull down the Tower of London, the Colliseum or even the China wall?

This discusion is out of topic: let's go back to architecture.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 22:44
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

You still miss the principal point, Pinguin...ritual sacrifice and the appeasement of the gods!
 
Well if one burn someone in the name of God this is indeed also a form of ritual sacrifice to the Gods, or to the one and only God. The difference is that European churches was not usually used for the burning itself, but they were made for transmitting the ideology that lay to the ground for the burnings.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Now what is even more amazing is the steadfast reluctance to understand that it was these pyramids themselves (and the rationales that drove their construction) that explain the dissolution of these societies. If they represent anything it woul be little more than impressive symbols of exploitation by the elite over the gullible mass. When fear rules decadence is the consequence.
 
As the churches also represents the exploitation of elites over gullible masses. Here the masses were rallied for the doings of the potentates of the church and other people of power. Here people were rallied for war and carnage.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 22:46
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The purpose behind the mesoamerican pyramidal structures:
 
 
 
You get what you ask for Carch...so don't blame me!
 
I mean something new, some picture or some results we have not seen hundreds of times?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 23:16
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

You still miss the principal point, Pinguin...ritual sacrifice and the appeasement of the gods!
 
Well if one burn someone in the name of God this is indeed also a form of ritual sacrifice to the Gods, or to the one and only God.
Actually no it isn't. But then you don't understand anything do you? You're just interested in maligning Christians.
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As the churches also represents the exploitation of elites over gullible masses.
No they don't. In fact the medieval churches helped the process of leavening elites by providing channels for upward social mobility, as well as being the chief providers and organisers of charitable works. The civil structure of medieval Europe represented the exploitation by elites of subjected masses, but not the church structure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2011 at 23:25
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

No they don't. In fact the medieval churches helped the process of leavening elites by providing channels for upward social mobility, as well as being the chief providers and organisers of charitable works. The civil structure of medieval Europe represented the exploitation by elites of subjected masses, but not the church structure.
 
Rationalize how much you want. If you do not want to see the opressive structures in the christian churches you will not see them, regardless of how much evidence you will see.
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