Creating, Destroying, Transforming in Mesoamerica: The Modalities of Ritual Actions and their Inscriptions in Time

ImageRITMO light

ImageRITMO light
 This International Research Group (GDRI) joins together European, Mexican, and American partners, who reflect on the temporal dimension of ritual activity in past and contemporary Mesoamerican societies through a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective (incorporating archaeology, epigraphy, iconology, ethnohistory, ethnology, linguistics, and linguistic anthropology).

The project studies rituals that appear dissimilar, but who all generate change. These rituals include those linked to the manufacture of artefacts, life cycles, healing and conflict resolution, the inauguration of rulers or the transmission of responsibilities, installation and abandonment practices, and the reuse or reconversion of socialised spaces. Three main action categories – creating, destroying, and transforming – are observed, enabling the comprehension of transition processes and their temporal dimension. From an interdisciplinary perspective, these categories invite us to conjointly address the multiplicity of actions mobilized during rites, in particular those involving material and/or performative movement and speech, as the centre of our attention.


Main Funding



Funding Partners

Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
Université Paris 1- Panthéon-Sorbonne
Mesoamerica Center of the University of Texas at Austin
Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University
University of California, Berkeley
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (Ciesas)
Abteilung für Altamerikanistik und Ethnologie de l’Université de Bonn (UNI-BONN)
Università degli Studi di Napoli l’orientale
Sapienza, Università di Roma



Laboratories : LESC (CNRS/Université Paris Nanterre)et ArchAm (CNRS/Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

French coordinators : Valentina Vapnarsky (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) et Philippe Nondédéo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

International coordinators : Marcello Canuto, Flavia Cuturi, Nikolaï Grube, Rosemay Joyce, Olivier Le Guen, Alessandro Lupo, Tsubasa Okoshi, David Stuart

Scientific Commitee in France : Marie-Charlotte Arnauld, Dominique Michelet, Aurore Monod Becquelin Philippe Nondédéo, Perig Pitrou, Valentina Vapnarsky, Marie Chosson


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