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Indigenous migrations: the emergence of Maya America

Migration A–Z

I

  1. James Loucky

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm598

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Loucky, J. 2013. Indigenous migrations: the emergence of Maya America. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Movement is integral to human life, a reality that is evident in how common narratives of migration are in the histories of most peoples and in a worldwide profusion of contemporary experiences. Geographic mobility, whether chosen or forced, is hardly recent for indigenous peoples (Clifford 2007). Certainly this is true for Mesoamerica, a vast isthmus with numerous pathways, where groups of people first moved south and thereafter extended and connected communities and cultures through trade and social relations. Economic and ideological links between Olmec, Maya, and Zapotec regions were possible only because of movement. Colonialism and sequential dictatorships entailed shifts in power and forms of control, but long-term and seasonal labor, forced uprooting and refugee movements have continued to this day. The scope of human movement and settlement has never been greater – geographically, demographically, and culturally – and the Maya play a major role in this unfolding drama.

Keywords:

  • indigenous peoples;
  • cross-cultural;
  • immigration;
  • Central America;
  • American borderlands