Craft Production in Complex Societies

Multicraft and Producer Perspectives

The study of craft production is a complex and challenging one that illuminates key aspects of the material, organizational, and ideological interests, values, and capacities of a given culture.

Many crafts are treated as separate, but are actually practiced concurrently and in close proximity to each other, facilitating crucial interaction. There is a need for a balanced evaluation of the roles of producer and consumer in craft production, and the importance of properly contextualized workshop excavations and the definition of the entire sequence of operation in documenting craft production both as a social and material process.

Craft Production in Complex Societies redresses the skewed conception and approach to craft production that have been shaped by studies focused on separate, single medium crafts, finished products, and the consumer. It presents case studies and regional syntheses from diverse geographical areas, time periods, and sociopolitical complexities that break important new ground in the anthropological study of the creative role and social identity of the producer and multi-craft production. It is expected to serve as a key reference in craft studies for many years to come.

Izumi Shimada is professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
List of Tables

Section I. Case Studies in Multicraft and Related Production
1. Multicrafting, Migration, and Indentity in the American Southwest
2. Middle Sicán Multicrafting Production: Resource Management and Labor Organization
3. A Community of Potters or Multicrafting Wives of Polygynous Lords?
4. Craft Production in Classic Period Oaxaca: Implications for Monte Albán's Political Economy
5. Classic Maya Elite Competition, Collaborations, and Performance in Multicraft Production

Section II. Regional and Diachronic Syntheses
6. Structures of Craft Production, Society, and Political Control: Late Prehistoric and Early Roman Temperate Europe
7. Multiple Crafts and Socioeconomic Association in the Indus Civilization: New Perspectives from Harappa, Pakistan
8. Co-Craft and Multicraft: Section-Mold Casting and the Organization of Craft Production at the Shang Capital of Anyang

Section III: Complementary Approaches to and Perspectives on Multicraft Production
9. Diachronic Change in Crafts and Centers in South-Central Veracruz, Mexico
10. It's All in a Day's Work: Occupational Specialization on the Peruvian North Coast, Revisited