The Nahua calli of ancient Mexico: household, family,

The Nahua calli of ancient Mexico: household, family,

The Nahua calli of ancient Mexico: household, family, and gender It is simply untrue as far as we can yet tell that there was ever a time or place where the complex family was the universal background to the ordinary lives of ordinary people. Peter Laslett, Family & Household in Past Time, 1972 A neolithic, complex household from Ancient Mexico (1540): 13 people, 4 generations, 5 marital units Simply an old widow Married Married head of household Married Married

one year ago Married Married one year ago Married Married Married Male 10 years of age, not married Married Female, 20 years old, not yet

married Competing theories of family history (regarding co-residence) Evolutionary, 4 stages: Foragers: co-residence not limited to family or kin Neolithic, agriculturalists: compound multi-family Ancient to early modern: complex, extended family Modern: nuclear family High mortality simplified family structures in the past (Peter Laslett, 1972): It is simply untrue as far as we can yet tell that there was ever a time or place where the complex family was the universal background to the ordinary lives of ordinary people. There once was a place, where the complex family, the classical family of Western nostalgia, was the rule. Nahua agrarian villages, early 16th century

universal early marriage (<13 years female) high mortality (e0 <20 years) Household system: joint, complex, or compound? Gender relations: parallelism & symmetry or hierarchy & subordination? Source: The Book of Tributes S. L. Cline (1993) Census listings made by Aztec scribes, writing in Nahuatl, according to prehispanic conventions (translated by Cline). Morelos: Quauchichinollan E Mexico City $ Morelos

Museo de Antropologa, Mexico City: Here is the home of one named... ...transcribed translated microdata Nahua population and land register Darkened faces = dead Lines are used to connect kin rather than to separate households Codex Santa Mara de Asuncin, ~1550 Cemithualtin (those around a patio): the importance of kin Nahua households (cemithualtin): those who live in a house people who live in only one house those from a patio, etc.

99% live with kin: 47% as spouse or children of head; 52% as extended kin of head. 1% have no kin ties with the head (3 orphans, 20 servants and 1 [Indian] slave). Table 1. Explicit and inferred kin relationships with 19+ occurrences Huitzillan and Quauhchichinollan villages, circa 1540 Relationship Frequency (total n = 2,486) child 596 mother-in-law spouse 316 brother-in-laws spouse head 315 sister-in-law brother 158 daughter-in-law brothers spouse 88 nephew

son-in-law 77 brother-in-laws child brother-in-law 76 sisters child sister 67 mother grandchild 56 cousin brothers child 51 niece 40 38 37 36 34 33 33 26 19

19 Household and family definitions Household classes with only 1 conjugal family: nuclear: pa, ma, &/or child extended: some non-nuclear, unmarried kin Household classifications for 2+ conjugal families: Joint - families connected by kin of same sex, under single head Complex - tangled, intricate, diverse, multiple Compound - fusion, blending or amalgam of parts; hierarchy 5 conjugal families, 4 generations, 3 married brothers, 2 widows, 1 unmarried woman and a boy Simply an old widow

Married Married head of household Married Married one year ago Married Married one year ago Married Married Married

Male 10 years of age, not married Married Female, 20 years old, not yet married Table 2. Multiple households were the norm among rural Nahua Household type Households (Percent) Simple 13.4 7.2 No children 1.9 0.5 Children 11.5 6.7 Extended 13.4 10.1

Upward 1.9 1.0 Downward 0.3 0.2 Lateral 6.7 4.9 Combinations 4.5 3.9 Multiple 72.1 81.1 Upward 0.3 0.3 Downward 15.1 14.6 Lateral 26.3 26.6 Combinations 30.4 39.5 Polygamous 1.0 1.6 Total (n)

312 2,486 Illegible (n) 3 17 Individuals Nahuatl sense of joint differs from classic definition of family historians: Joint - families connected by kin of same sex, under single head They pay the tribute jointly. They all produce what they eat jointly. Their wives make it jointly. They just do their tribute together. They just share the tribute. They just do it jointly. He just feeds them all as a unit. All of them do the tribute jointly. They just produce his tribute jointly. The different houses Icnocalli (casa humilde)

humble house Coloti calli (choa) hut or hovel Totecujo calli (hermita) hermitage Xacalli (casa paxija) Straw house aa ie xacalli (choa) another kind of hut Sahagn, Cdice Florentino, ~1580 Colotic calli: It means it is unpretentious, a lowly house. Commoners house (choa o cabaa) 14 meters square Sahagn, Cdice Florentino, ~1580

Icnocalli (casa humilde) the unpretentious house, or the house of the humble orthe poor. Sahagn, Cdice Florentino, ~1580 Excavated residences those of one patio M.E. Smith, Archaeological Research (1992) those of one patio note grouped ground-level houses M.E. Smith, Archaeological Research (1992) Table 3a. Headship designation by frequency of occurrence. District identities of households and head freq 165 47 39

25 20 6 6 1 1 1 2 1 Key Explanation H Here is the home of ...; Here is ....'s home. R Here is the householder named ... S Here is the home of some people... The household head is named... or The head of the household is named... or The householder is named... T The tribute payer is named... . illegible m migrant (Here are some people who...came from afar) G one who governs (tlatoani); one named ... is in charge b one who belongs to the tlatoani g Here is the one who guards things for the tlatoani n Here is a nephew... C Here is a tribute collector...; ...tribute boss

a Here is a goodly maiden... Table 3b. Headship designation by order of appearance in district: Here is an altepetl named Huitzillan (H1-H41): GbH.HHHHHH.HHH.HHH.HHHHHHHmHmH.HHHHm.HHHH Quauhchichinollan people (Q1-Q66): GgRSSSSSSSSTSSSSSHHHHHSSSSRSSSSSSSHSTTTTSSTT.TTTTTT.T TTTTTTT.T.TTT District illegible (Q67-Q135): GHRRRRRHHRR.RRRRRR.RRRHHRRRRRRRR.RSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH HHHn.HHHH.mHHHHHHHHH Tlacochcalco

(H#1-H#18): HHHHHHHHHHCHHHHHHH Coloteopan (H#19-H #35): GHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH District illegible (H#36-H#62): GHHHHHHHHHHH.HHHHHmHHHH.HHm Xanyacac (H#63-H#72): CHHHHHHHH ...cenhuitzco

Key: Here is... H - Home R - Householder S - Some people; household head T - Tribute payer m - migrant (H#73-H#139): SSSSRRRRRRRRRRRRR.RRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH.HHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHH.HHHHHHa Gender relations: parallelism & symmetry or hierarchy & subordination? Situs: Tenochitlan (Mex. City) or the countryside?

Parallelism, symmetry and complementarity with less hierarchy? Or patriarchy: subordination, domination, and submission? Evidence: Widows, just a little old woman. Married women in the household (Table 4). Household H-38: 9 people, 3 generations, 2 widows Widow 10 years ago Married household head Boy 7 years old Married Girl 1 year old

Married Married Single 15 years old Widow 4 years ago Table 4. Position of married individuals in rural Nahua households was strongly structured by gender Relationship Head Spouse Son/daughter Other kin: Brother/sister Brother/sister-in-law* Son/daughter in law Brother/sister-in-laws spouse Father/mother Father/mother-in-law Other

Not related: Total married (includes 2nd wives) Male 306 1 36 323 98 63 75 14 3 8 62 11 677 Female 1 309 75 285 26 106

36 38 3 8 68 11 681 Rules of household headship (inferred), the 3Ms: 1. Male (311 of 315 households) 2. Married (97%) or recently widowed (3%). 3. Most sons resident (or the eldest son resident). The Codex Mendoza: life at age 13 and 14 years 13:

Boys Girls 14: married unmarried Marriage (at 15) 15: Child Brides and Patriarchy in Ancient Mexico Codex Mendoza, 1540 1540 vs 1990 Persistence of Mexico profundo? Pre-hispanic survivals? Virilocal stem families? Residence around the paternal home?

Or transformations? The world Mexico has lost: extended families are now rare But family and kin ties remain important 1540: 4 lateral extensions, Only 1 complete conjugal family 3 incomplete (2 widows+children) Married head of the household Male, 8 years old Widow this year Married Girl, 1 year old

Boy born this year Married Married three years ago Single Male 20 years old Male, single 10 years old Male, already dead Widow, 10 years

ago Female, single 15 years old 1990, 450 years later: An example of a patrilateral household from rural Morelos (5 conjugal unions) Married head of the household 50 years old Son 15 years old Married 48 years old Daughter 10 years old

Son 22, free union Daughter 5 years old 21, free union Son, 2 years old Daughter 22, free union Daughter months of age 25 Unin free25 libre,

union aos Daughter 2 years old Daughter 14, free union 29 free union 19, free union 16 free union (not kin) Table 5. Household Composition in Rural Morelos, 1540 and 1990,

and in the Federal Republic of Mexico, 1990 Relation to Head Head Spouse Son or Daughter Other kin Not related Total % N (sample size) 1540 1990 Rural Morelos % % 13 20 13 16 24 54 49 6 1

4 100 100 2,503 1,633 1990 Republic % 19 16 53 7 5 100 801,981 Conclusions 1. Nahua households were large (ave. = 8) and

complex (75% contained two or more conjugal families) 2. Mortality, rather than braking, accelerated the formation of complex families. 3. Of greater importance than mortality were social constraints: Nahua offspring formed new households after the birth of a child, not simply with marriage. Conclusions, social flexibility: 1. Marriage norms and family forms are social constructions and are highly plastic, even in ancient Mexico. 2. Marriage age (including informal unions) has increased greatly over the centuries, from as little as 13 years in rural Morelos five centuries ago to as much as 22 years by 1930, and 24 by 1990. 3. Likewise, complex families have declined from 75% to 15% in 1930, and 6% in 1990. End Museo de Antropologa, Mexico City:

Here is the home of one named... ...transcribed translated microdata Table 1. Explicit and inferred kin relationships with 19+ occurrences Huitzillan and Quauhchichinollan villages, circa 1540 Relationship Frequency (total n = 2,486) child 596 mother-in-law spouse 316 brother-in-laws spouse head 315 sister-in-law brother 158 daughter-in-law brothers spouse 88 nephew son-in-law 77

brother-in-laws child brother-in-law 76 sisters child sister 67 mother grandchild 56 cousin brothers child 51 niece 40 38 37 36 34 33 33 26 19 19

Table 2. Multiple households were the norm among rural Nahua Household type Households (Percent) Simple 13.4 7.2 No children 1.9 0.5 Children 11.5 6.7 Extended 13.4 10.1 Upward 1.9 1.0 Downward 0.3 0.2 Lateral 6.7 4.9 Combinations 4.5 3.9 Multiple 72.1 81.1

Upward 0.3 0.3 Downward 15.1 14.6 Lateral 26.3 26.6 Combinations 30.4 39.5 Polygamous 1.0 1.6 Total (n) 312 2,486 Illegible (n) 3 17 Individuals Table 3a. Headship designation by frequency of occurrence. District identities of households and head

freq 165 47 39 25 20 6 6 1 1 1 2 1 Key Explanation H Here is the home of ...; Here is ....'s home. R Here is the householder named ... S Here is the home of some people... The household head is named... or The head of the household is named... or The householder is named... T The tribute payer is named... . illegible m migrant (Here are some people who...came from afar) G one who governs (tlatoani); one named ... is in charge

b one who belongs to the tlatoani g Here is the one who guards things for the tlatoani n Here is a nephew... C Here is a tribute collector...; ...tribute boss a Here is a goodly maiden... Table 4. Position of married individuals in rural Nahua households was strongly structured by gender Relationship Head Spouse Son/daughter Other kin: Brother/sister Brother/sister-in-law* Son/daughter in law Brother/sister-in-laws spouse Father/mother Father/mother-in-law Other Not related: Total married (includes 2nd wives) Male

306 1 36 323 98 63 75 14 3 8 62 11 677 Female 1 309 75 285 26 106 36 38 3 8

68 11 681 Table 5. Household Composition in Rural Morelos, 1540 and 1990, and in the Federal Republic of Mexico, 1990 Relation to Head Head Spouse Son or Daughter Other kin Not related Total % N (sample size) 1540 1990 Rural Morelos % % 13 20 13

16 24 54 49 6 1 4 100 100 2,503 1,633 1990 Republic % 19 16 53 7 5 100 801,981

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