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Prehistoric Macaw Breeding in the North American Southwest
Paul E. Minnis, Michael E. Whalen, Jane H. Kelley and Joe D. Stewart
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Apr., 1993), pp. 270-276
Published by: Society for American Archaeology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/281969
Page Count: 7
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The scarlet macaw (Ara macao) was an important prehistoric trade item in northern Mexico and southwestern United States. Paquime (or Casas Grandes) in northwestern Chihuahua has been assumed to have dominated or even monopolized the macaw trade. This conclusion is a result of the fact that Paquime is the only site with evidence of substantial macaw-breeding facilities. Two recent archaeological projects in Chihuahua indicate that macaw production was not limited to Casas Grandes. Furthermore, the political relations of production for these ritually and economically important birds differed depending on whether or not the producers were part of the complex polity centered at Casas Grandes.
American Antiquity © 1993 Society for American Archaeology