Rethinking Moundville and Its Hinterland

By Vincas P. Steponaitis; C. Margaret Steponaitis | Go to book overview

7
Moundville Palettes—Prestige Goods
or Inalienable Possessions?

VINCAS P. STEPONAITIS

Over the years the so-called prestige goods model has been highly influential in the study of middle-range societies. It was initially developed in the 1970s by Frankenstein and Rowlands (1978) and later was adopted by others trying to understand the origins and political economy of middlerange societies. In essence, the model presumes that chiefs acquire and maintain power by gaining control of the production and/or distribution of socially valued objects—that is, prestige goods—which are often elaborately crafted and made of exotic materials. The root of chiefly power, according to this model, lies in giving such objects away in order to attract followers, to cement alliances, or to inflict debt.

This model was applied to the Mississippian world by a variety of scholars (e.g., Peregrine 1991; Trubitt 2000; Wesson 1999), and to Moundville in particular by Welch in his seminal treatise Moundville’s Economy, which appeared in 1991. During the same year, I published a paper showing that the highest frequency of exotic items in burials coincided with Moundville’s emergence as a paramount chiefdom (Steponaitis 1991). Arguably, this finding was consistent with the prestige-goods model, and it led to a program of research that I have pursued ever since. This research involves various attempts, in collaboration with many other scholars, to determine the geological sources of these “prestige goods” and to trace their movements across the ancient American South (Gall and Steponaitis 2001; Steponaitis et al. 1996; Steponaitis and Dockery 2011; Steponaitis et al. 2011; Whitney et al. 2002).

Originally, I assumed that the mechanism of movement was the one posited by the prestige-goods model: gift-giving by chiefs. In recent years,

-121-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rethinking Moundville and Its Hinterland
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 324

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.