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Society for American Archaeology

Household Production in Chaco Canyon Society


Author(s): Melissa Hagstrum
Source: American Antiquity, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Jan., 2001), pp. 47-55
Published by: Society for American Archaeology
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HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTION IN CHACO CANYON SOCIETY


Melissa Hagstrum

The household is the most basic andflexible componentof humansocial organization.It is throughthe household that we can
understandthe Chaco phenomenonfrom the point of view of agricultureand craftproduction.Households strivefor autonomy
and self-sufficiency and they spread themselves thin to meet basic subsistence requirements.As a result, scheduling of agricultural and craft activities is critical to the success of the household. Craft technologies must be complementarywith agriculturalactivities;for example,pottery may be made during the heat of the day when agriculturaltasks are at a lull. The concept
of intersecting technologies suggests that technical knowledge, resources, and labor may be shared among crafts and other
activities. Chacoan households probably specialized in the production of differentcrafts including pottery,jewelry, basketry,
and other woven goods. Withinthe context of the Chaco regional system the mobilization of labor would have been through
obligatory work assignments that complementeddomestic autonomy in agricultural production and, as a result, would have
been organized seasonally.
El establecimientodomestico es el componentemds bdsico y adaptablede la organizaci6nsocial de los humanos.Por medio de
andlisis del hogar podemos comprenderel Fen6menoChaquefiodesde el punto de vista de la producci6n agricola y artesanal.
Los hogares se esfuerzanpor ser aut6nomos,y se dedican a muchas actividadespara satisfacer los requisitos bdsicos del sustento.Por esta ras6n la programaci6nde las actividadesasociadas con la agruculturay la artesania es critica al exito del hogar.
La tecnologias artesanales tienen que ser complementariascon las actividadesagricolas; por ejemplo, cerdmicapuede serfabricadaduranteel mediodiacuandoeltrabajo agrariosepausa. El conceptode tecnolog[asenlazadasnos sugiereque el conocimientos tecnico, recursos,y mano de obra pueden ser compartidoentre la producci6n de artesania y otras actividades. Es probable
que los hogares chaquenosespecializaronen la producci6nde varias artesanias, que incluyencerdmica,joyas, cesteria, y otros
articulos tejidos. Dentro del sistema regional de Chaco, la movilizaci6nde la mano de obra hubiera sido por medio de asignaciones corvees quefuncionaban a un lado de la producci6nagricola y, por eso, hubierasido organizadopor temporadas.

A lthough manyaspectssurroundingthecomplexityof the Chacoansystemremainenigmatic, we can be confidentthathousehold


laborplayeda key role in underwritingthe Chacoan
chiefdom, however defined (see Earle, Peregrine,
this issue). I am concernedin this essay with broadening ourunderstandingof Chacosociety by viewing complexityfromthe bottomup, thatis, fromthe
perspectiveof the household.The household,especially as it intersectswith family,is the most enduringunitof humansettlementandsocialorganization,
an organic, time-honored institution structuring
everydaylife and work (Johnsonand Earle 1987;
Netting1993).SincetheearlyNeolithic,mosthouseholdershavehad a handin each of two realms,food
producingand craftmaking.Relative autonomyin
the householdsubsistenceeconomyunderscoresits

effectiveness and longevity, enabling it to sustain


itself by accommodatingthe vicissitudesof its local
ecology andthedemandsof the sociopoliticalmilieu
in which it finds itself (Hagstrum1999).
Any discussionof theformandfunctioningof the
domesticeconomyneedsto includehouseholds(people who sharea dwelling)andfamilies(peoplewho
are kin but who may not live in the same house).
These definitionsallowus to understandhow households andfamilies (domesticgroups)organizetheir
livelihoodsas theyconductanannualworkcycle that
combines the complementarytasks of agriculture
andartisanryandwhichinterdigitateswiththepolitical economy (Netting et al. 1984). My focus on
Chacoanhousehold productionmeans addressing
the organizationof technology for farming,architecture,craft,andcooking.Here,I shalluse the term

Melissa Hagstrum * ResearchAssociate, Museum of New Mexico, Office of ArchaeologicalStudies, P.O. Box 2087, Santa
Fe, NM 87504
AmericanAntiquity,66(1), 2001, pp. 47-55
Copyright? 2001 by the Society for AmericanArchaeology
47

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48

AMERICAN ANTIQUITY

[Vol. 66, No. 1, 2001

"craft"broadlyto includearchitectureand cooking reachfor autonomydoes not negatethe importance


as well as pottery,lithics,textiles,andbasketry.I will of theirlinkswithkin,fictivekin,friends,neighbors,
examine differentcrafts and ways the farm family andoutsiders,all of whichforma crucialweb of relaintegratesits agriculturalandartisanalworkbecause tionships(Halperin1990), particularlyin marginal
I hypothesizethatdefiningthe crafteconomy in its environments.Nevertheless,autonomyaffordsthe
entirety,ratherthanpinpointingone single craft,is household flexibility in decision making and in
pivotalto understandingthe household'soverarch- scheduling,bothof which arevital to its persistence
ing role in the Chaco phenomenon. I propose to and its success, whetherin simple or morecomplex
examinethe varioustechnologiesthatwere central sociopoliticalarrangements.
to building, maintaining,and promotingwhat we
Domestic Self-Sufficiency
know as Chaco.I will treatthe vast containertechnology encompassingharvestbaskets and burden Focusing on the internalprocesses of the farming
basketsfor movingearthandstone for architecture, householdsharpensour understandingof self-sufpotteryfor feasts and daily cooking, serving, and ficiency as both goal and practicefor family mana lithicindustryincludingthebasicchipped agement, scheduling, and provisioningtransport;
stonetoolkit,toolsforarchitectural
construction,and particularly for farmers who are also artisans.
turquoisebeadornaments.My essay drawson com- Householdself-sufficiencyin termsof laborrequireparativearchaeologicalresearchfromthecentraland ments for farmingand craft activity is an effective
southernAndes duringthe time of the Late Inter- economicstrategy.Inaccomplishingtheregularand
mediateperiodchiefdomsby way of illuminatingthe recurringdaily, monthly,and yearly tasks, houseformandfunctioningof the Chacoanfarmer-artisan holds areremarkablyself-reliant:on ordinaryoccahousehold.Ethnographicresearchfrom these areas sions when they require extra work hands or
of the Andes complements the archaeological additionalwherewithalin the form of tools or aniinsights.A key concernhere is to extendourunder- mals, for example,householdersturnfirstandmost
standingof the ways householdsaccommodatethe frequentlyto family,thehouseholdsof theirparents,
organizationof complexity and hierarchyin their children, and siblings, because members of an
daily, seasonal, and annualcalendarsof domestic extended family usually help one anotherwithout
activities.
expecting any specific repayment(Lambert1977;
Twocaveatsareimportantto note.First,whatfol- Mayer 1977; Orlove 1974).
Because they cannotachieve complete self-suflows is my household-centeredreconstructionof
ChacoCanyonsociety, and second, it is not certain ficiency,householdsrelyon variousexchangemechthatChacohouseholdsnecessarilyhadthegoals and anismsforlaborandgoodsto obtainwhattheycannot
structurethatI am puttingforth.In the main, I am always supply themselves. Reciprocal exchange
while fulfillingimmediateneeds,also
talking about the domestic supportpopulationof arrangements,
Chaco Canyon-the great houses, as households, placefutureobligationson thehousehold'slaborand
may have been very differentfrom whatI propose. material resources. Farmers are loath to reject
requestsfor reciprocalagriculturallabor,for examThe Nature of Household Autonomy
ple, becausethey do not wantto breakrelationships
I shall focus on the internalprocessesof the house- thatmay havefuturebenefits.At the sametime,they
hold thatfosterits autonomyandrenderit a flexible arereluctantto committhemselvesto returnthelabor
componentof humansocial organization,an endur- becausetherequestis likely to come whentheyneed
ing solution to the problemsof production-agri- to work in their own fields, creatinghardshipsfor
cultureandartisanry(Bermann1994;Goody 1972a, them (Mitchell 1991). In difficultenvironments,for
1972b; Laslett and Wall 1972; MacEachernet al. example where rainfall is variable, householders
1989; Maclachlan1987;Netting 1989; Santleyand mustbe quickto changegearsfromcraftto farming
Hirth1993;Stanish1989;WilkandAshmore1988; activity and vice versa. The small domestic unit
WilkandRathje1982). Althoughthe goal of auton- meansdecisionscanbe implementedwithease,withomy underscoresthe household'sabilityto survive, out the rungsof bureaucracythatattendmorecomthisfundamentalaspectof domesticproductionis not plex working relationships such as guilds and
always obvious (Hagstrum1999). Thathouseholds workshops.

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Hagstrum]

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTION IN CHACO CANYON SOCIETY

HouseholdScheduling

49

theirown becauseof distinctecologicalconditionsOverthe shortand long haul in riskyenvironments, theirfields being situatedabove the altitudinallimit
farmer-artisans-bydefinition-must spreadthem- for growingmaize, for example, or the vagariesof
selves so thinto meetbasicsubsistencerequirements weather patterns as in the Southwest. Although
householdsareless likely to establish
thatchalkingupobligationson a regularbasisrequir- farmer-artisan
inconveand
possibly
at
some
future
ing repayment
outsidesocial relationshipsthroughlaborexchange,
nient time is to thwart their own scheduling they do maintaintradingrelationshipsyear to year
autonomyand their ability to complete tasks effi- withfamiliesfromothersettlementswithwhomthey
ciently.This aversionmay explainwhy farmer-arti- exchange crafts for produce,usually after the harsans seek assistancefirstfrom relativeswith whom vest is in (Ford 1972). These relationshipsmay be
they are in an everydaygive-and-takerelationship. understoodas insurancefor families who are less
Beyond that,they customarilyjoin forces with oth- thanself-sufficientin food production.
Thus, the natureof householdautonomyrenders
ers to accomplishsome task (such as mining clay)
in which everyone benefits at the same time the domestic unit highly adaptable.Scheduling is
(Hagstrum1989). In fact, Andean farmer-artisans chartedaroundfarmingresponsibilities,and group
fulfilltheircommunityobligations,suchas cleaning effortsarearrangedwhentheagriculturaltaskshave
ditchesor maintainingpublicbuildings,in muchthe been takencareof. The Chacoanhouseholdwas the
same way, by schedulingthese activitiesat a mutu- core of the staple finance system (see Earle, this
ally convenient time for everyone. It is precisely issue), providinggoods andlaborto the functioning
those reciprocalarrangementsthat claim a future of the chiefdom in ways that were consonantwith
obligation,possiblyjeopardizinghouseholdauton- the running of the household. Agriculturaltasks
seekto avoid wouldhavedefinedtheschedulingnotonly of houseomy andflexibility,thatfarmer-artisans
(see Belote and Belote 1977; Mitchell 1991). It is hold chores,includingcraftmaking,butalso housecritical to note that communal scheduling of, for hold contributions to the overarching corporate
example, building, maintenance,and repairmust structure.
accommodatehouseholdtasks,particularlytheagriThe Domestic Character of
culturalones thatarecentralin the domesticsubsisChacoan Craft Activity
tence economy.
Farmer-artisan
householdsarealmostcompletely To understandthe Chacoancrafteconomy requires
self-reliantin supplyingthe labortheyneed for their thatwe investigatethe characterof suites of crafts.
agriculturaland craftactivities.They are certainto My work in Andeanhouseholdshas inspiredideas
engage in more formalreciprocallaborexchanges, about the organizationof the craft economy that I
however,for such tasks as roofing a new couple's call complementaryand intersectingtechnologies
house,whichareendowedwithsocialaffectandthat (Hagstrum2001). Recentethnographicresearchhas
reinforcethe family's social ties and establish its highlightedfor me how analyticallycompartmensocial capital. Nevertheless,householdersseek to talizingcraftscan hinderourinquiries.As I watched
minimize outside obligations and claims on their farmer-pottersmove easily and opportunistically
laborresources,exceptas theymustfulfilltributeand betweenagriculturalandartisanaltasks,I wondered
as I amattempt- about the economic complementarityof different
corveelaborrequirements-although,
ing to show,thesedemandsarechartedat times that craftsin termsof scheduling,laborallocation,technical knowledge, and skill. One way of thinking
do not hinderdomesticfarmingtasks.
householdsarelargelyself-suffi- aboutthe organizationof the traditionalcrafteconFarmer-artisan
cient in the sense of supplyingtheirown labor,but omy centers on scheduling, labor, and farming
techthey are not self-sufficientin provisioningall the responsibilities.I use theterm"complementary
goods they need. For these households,craft pro- nologies" to refer to the ways differentcrafts may
ductionmay be an importantsupplementto agricul- complementeach other and agriculturalactivities
turalproduction.Oftenartisansbartertheirwaresfor daily and/or seasonally. On a daily basis, pottery
food andotheritems.Exchangein goods, therefore, may be madeduringtheheatof theday,say,for dryto supplytheirfamilieswith ing purposeswhereasbasketryor spinningmay be
enablesfarmer-artisans
the dietarystaples they may be unableto grow on interstitialcrafts,easily pickedup andputdownear-

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50

AMERICAN ANTIQUITY

lier or laterin the day. Herepotteryand textiles can


be called complementarytechnologies. On a seasonal basis in the Andes, potteryis usuallymade in
dry weatherduringthe lull between harvestingand
planting,whereastextileconstructionmaybe undertakenin wet weather,pickedup andputdownpiecemeal fashion in between tilling and weeding. Here
potteryandtextilesarecomplementarytechnologies
again,but we see also how these artisanalactivities
complementagriculturalactivities.
Anotherway of conceptualizingcraftorganization I refer to as "intersectingtechnologies."This
termsuggeststhedifferentwayscraftsmay share(or
intersect at) technical knowledge, resources, and
labor.Forexample,knowledgeof clay andmudand
their drying propertiescharacterizesthe interface
between potterymakingandjacal for architecture.
Likewise, the knowledge of fire characterizesthe
interfacebetween potterymakingand the production of lime plasterfor architecture.Potterymaking
andthese architecturaltasks,bothusing earthproducts in differentcapacities, are intersectingtechnologies as they share technical knowledge and
resources. Pottery and cooking, moreover, are
pyrotechnologies,intersectingat the knowledgeof
fire.Similarly,knowledgeof chippingstone implements may intersectwith, for instance, preparing
blanks and drilling turquoisebeads (Earle 1994;
Feinman and Nicholas 1993). Finally, an understanding of the propertiesof stone underlies the
masonryconstructionof the Chacoangreathouses.
These intersectingtechnologiesmay sharelaborat
thelevelof theartisan,wherefemalepottersmayconstructjacal structures,as is knownin the Southwest,
and male knappersmay make turquoisebeads, as
Peregrinesuggests in this issue.
HoluseholdCr-afts
The level of technicalcomplexity of the Chacoan
craftsindicatesthatpottery,lithics,textiles,andbasketrywouldhavebeen madein householdcontexts,
albeitby specialists(Mathien1997; Peregrine,this
issue; Toll and McKenna 1997). Though they are
ingenious, there is nothing complex about these
industriesin termsof materials,toolkit,or technical
knowledge to suggest that they would have been
organizedabove the domestic level; the degree of
skill, moreover,evidentin Chacoanmaterialculture
appearssomewhatuneven(see Cameron1997;Toll
andMcKenna1997),andlikewisesuggestsa domes-

[Vol. 66, No. 1, 2001

tic organizationof production.We shouldnote that


fine craftsmanshipis not contraryto householdspecialization(see Cameron,this issue, for a discussion
of well-craftedprojectilepoints). In fact, given the
characterand schedulingrequirementsof different
craftsin the economy,it is probablethathouseholds
engaged in a number of crafts simultaneously.
Althoughthis point is controversial,I suggest that
the architectureof the greathouses may have been
producedby thehandsof householdlaborersin obligatorylaborassignments,directedby specialists.
Long ago, Anna Shepard(Kidderand Shepard
1936) dispelled the notion that each Southwestern
householdproducedits own pottery,andmorerecent
work(Hagstrum1995;Mills andCrown1995)illustratesthatpotterywas made by householdspecialists usually aggregatedby community.In fact, the
relatively high degree of exchange in pottery
throughoutthe Southwestpoints to householdspecialization (Shepard 1956). The pottery found in
canyoncontexts,thoughappealingaesthetically,does
not exhibit complicatedmanufacturingor painting
techniques.Thefamouscylinderjars,mostlylocated
in a single cache in PuebloBonito (Judd1954;Toll
1990), are a simple form to construct,and skill in
theirdecorationis not uniform.These pots, though
ritually important,were not made by specialists
attachedto ceremonialpersonnelbutratherby household potterswho may also have been ritualspecialists (see Spielmann1998).
Holusehold Specializationi

Craftspecializationcomes in manyconfigurations,
fromhouseholdto workshop(Costin1991)andfrom
independentto attached(Brumfieland Earle 1986;
Earle 1981). Specializationin Chacoancraftmanufacturecertainlyexisted (Mathien 1997; Toll and
McKenna1997),butit was undertakenin household
settings by independent specialists-those who
worked to supportthemselves ratherthan having
been supportedby elite individualsor institutional
patronsas we see in theAndes.Whilehouseholdselfsufficiency is a goal among agriculturalists-and
mayseem to contradictthefactof specializationthat
integratesmembersof a society-households can
never achieve complete autonomy,so the goal of
self-sufficiencyandthe practiceof specializationdo
coexist in traditionalsocieties.
Whatdoes householdspecializationlook like'?It
is a form of craftproductionthattakes the rhythms

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Haqstruml

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTION IN CHACO CANYON SOCIETY

51

tery because there are no co-occurringagricultural


responsibilitiesduringthe warm, dry season from
Junethroughtheendof September(Hagstrum1989).
Despitethe sexualdivisionof laborin the Southwest,
potterymakingusuallyinvolvesotherfamily membersin ancillarytasks-mining andmixingclay,carryingpots in andout of the sunto dry,andgathering
fuel for firing(Wright1991).
Lithics, on the other hand, were probablyproduced household by household to fulfill domestic
demandfor everydayimplements,includinghammers,knives,scrapers,abraders,millingequipment,
projectile points for the hunt, farming hoes, and
buildingaxes and saws (Judd1954). Sourcingindicates that proportionallythere was an enormous
amountof high-qualitychert importedinto Chaco
fromthe ChuskaMountains,probablybroughtin as
part of the communal gatherings held in Chaco
Canyon(Cameron,this issue). In households,lithic
tool productionrepresentsa complementarytechnology, freely picked up and put down, barringthe
loss of rhythmin knapping,drilling,or abrading.
Textiles and basketryare, by contrastto pottery
SchedulingRevisited
time-intensive,andthese
andlithics,extraordinarily
Comprehendingthe organizationof Chacoancraft craftswere undertakenby each householdto fulfill
productionrequiresconsiderationof the seasonality its own needs and the requirementsof obligatory
of craftscheduling.Worldwide,the bulk of pottery contributions,particularlyof burdenbasketsused in
construction(Wills2000). Like lithics,
producedduringthe year is undertakenduringthe architectural
techwarmseason (Arnold1985), althoughpots may be weavingandbasketmakingarecomplementary
made occasionallythroughoutthe year and stock- nologies, workedas householdchores and responpiled for firing when the weather is auspicious sibilitiespermitted.
In conceiving Chacoancraft manufacture,it is
(Hagstrum1989).Textilesandbasketryexhibitseasonalityonly insofaras procuringplantresourcesis wise to considerboth the householdcontextof proconcerned, and lithic manufacturelacks seasonal duction and the characterof complementaryand
considerationsaltogether,exceptperhapsin thepro- intersectingtechnologies,includingfarming,cookcurementprocess.Stonewas likely gatheredoppor- ing, and domestic architecture.Agriculturaltasks,
tunisticallyas part of other activities-during the though seasonal, representthe central scheduling
hunt,the gatheringof clays forpotteryandplantsfor issue aroundwhichtheothertechnologieswereorgabasketry,or the tripto visit family andfriendsresid- nizedin complementaryways.It was householdproducers who formed the basis of the Chacoan
ing elsewhere.
IntheSouthwest,thepotteryproductionsequence corporatestrategy,providingthe goods and labor
is generallyundertakenduringthe growing season thatwere the cornerstoneof the phenomenonas we
between May and September(Blinman, personal know it.
communication).Aside fromthe concernaboutdryThe Mobilization of Household
ing pots, wood would be driestin May, before the
Goods and Labor
onset of the monsoonseason.This schedulingissue
means thattherewas probablya gendereddivision If Chaco had been a corporatechiefdom, as proof laborin settlementsof potterswherewomenwere posed by Earle and Peregrine(this issue), then the
the potters and men the farmers,primarily.In the mobilizationof goods and laborto supportinstituAndes,by contrast,bothmen andwomenmakepot- tionalspecialistsandactivities-including elaborate

of domesticactivity;it fits in withfarming,cooking,


childcare,weavingand spinning,and all the chores
that keep a house running.Unlike workshopcraft
specializationwhereproducersspendallof theirtime
at workon theirmetier,in the household,craftspecializationis only a partof whatthehouseholderartisandoes.Archaeologically,
householdspecialization
must be inferredfrom the entire assemblage of a
givencraft(CostinandHagstrum1995).Takeceramics for example:household ceramics can be standardizedin form anddecorationandthey may lack
intensivelaborin eitherconstructionor decoration,
because household specialists are self-supporting
(Hagstrum1985), workshopceramics can also be
standardizedin form and decoration,but they are
morelikely to be laborintensivein constructionand
decoration,because these specialistsare supported
by elite or bureaucraticpatrons(Hagstrum1986).
Ceramic specialization, unlike weaving or
stonework,is seasonal,and this means that during
dominateshousethepotteryseason,pottery-making
hold activity.

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52

AMERICAN ANTIQUITY

[Vol. 66, No. 1, 2001

constructionsandceremonies,amongotherthingsfacturein Chaco Canyon(e.g., Toll and McKenna


would have been centralto the functioningof the 1997),butpeoplein thecanyonprobablywouldhave
Chacoanchiefdom(Earle,thisissue).Thehousehold had to contributemuch, if not most, of the staple
of the "ChacoHalo"mayhavebornthe bruntof this productsnecessaryto maintainthe politicalhierarsupport.The leadersof Chaco,however,wouldhave chy. Stapleproductsarebulky,heavy,can spoil, and
assessed their demands of the household around do not travel far (D'Altroy and Earle 1985). The
issues of domestic autonomyin agriculturalpro- onus of agriculturalsupport,therefore,likely fell on
duction.Thus,it seemsplausibleto suggestthatthere the shouldersof bothmen andwomenin the canyon,
was markedseasonalityto the household'scontri- while a faircontributionof the potterywas funneled
bution, in obligatorylabor and materialcontribu- into Chacofrom furtherafield.
tions, to Chaco'spoliticalcore. This centralcore of
I suspect that basketrymanufacture,including
Chacoandecision-makinghad to be extraordinarily mats,sandals,andcontainers(see Judd1954),could
sensitiveto the rhythmsof householdcropandcraft have occupieda substantialportionof the canyon's
femaleresidents'time. Basket-makingeasily would
production.
have fit into the intersticesof all the otherdomestic
SurplusProduction
activities. Political demand for goods may have
Thatthehierarchicalphenomenonof ChacoCanyon includedthe basketbearingthe staples,or the conmay have occurredduringan environmentalmaxi- tributionof baskets for architecturalconstruction
mumpointsto the abilityof leadersto extracta sur- could have been conjoined with obligatory labor
plus from the general populace (Sebastian 1992). assignments,where each man was responsiblefor
Thefavorableecologicalconditionsindicatethatthe supplyinghis own burdenbasket.
The makingof woven goods, in additionto cloth
householdcouldhave generatednot only morefood
thanit neededto ensureits survival,butalso thatthe and cordagefor rabbit-furand turkey-featherblandomesticunit did not have to strugglemightily for kets,wouldalsohavecomplementedhouseholdtasks
its existence,therebygrantingmoretimeforthecraft dailyandseasonally,andmayhavebeen undertaken
productionrequisitefor underwritingthe chiefdom. by both women and men, based on the knowledge
As was truefor the InkaandAztec cases-empires we gain from ethnographicstudies (Judd 1954).
Whereas cloth was a critical tributegood for the
to be sure and vastly more complex than Chacothe householdwas the fundamentalunitof food and Inka, to clothe the militaryand to cloak the paracraft production.It follows that assessments for mounts in sumptuaryfabrics,it is less clear to me
obligatorymaterialcontributionswere addedto the what the role of cloth as obligatory contribution
household'sproductionof its own subsistencebase. might have been duringChacoantimes. NevertheIn complex sociopoliticalformulations,households less, given the ceremonies and displays that must
workedharderandlongerto satisfytheirobligations havebeen an integralpartof the canyon'ssocial calto the political economy. If there is discomfortin endar(see Earle,Renfrew,thisissue), we canbe suscomparingChacoto theInkaandtheAztec,one need piciousthatclothorgarmentsmayhavebeenexacted
only follow Netting's(see especially1989 and1993) of households.
workon householdsthatindicatesthatthissocialunit
Theproductionof ornaments-particularlyof the
formsthe basis of supportfor the politicaleconomy symbolic and prized turquoisebeads-was likely
in both simpleandcomplexsocietiesirrespectiveof the provinceof men who probablyworkedthe stone
whenotherobligationspermitted.Beadmanufacture
time frame.
utilized men's intersectingknowledge of chipping
Scheduling,Once More
stone, abradingstone, and drilling stone. Though
Along with agriculture,potterymakingwas largely turquoisebeads were recoveredin limited settings,
a seasonalactivity,and in many ways, it is not sur- the majorityof them coming from two individual
prisingthatonly about50 percentof the potterywas burials,theirproductionwas diffuse (Mathien,this
made in the canyonproperfor it would have com- issue). As Windes(1992) andPeregrine(this issue)
peted with farmingresponsibilities,as mentioned suggest, bead manufacturewas undertaken"nearly
above. Lack of appropriatewood fuel for firing is universally"in contexts throughoutthe canyon, in
the oft-citedreasonfor the level of ceramicmanu- kivas, pithouses, rooms, and plazas (see Mathien

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Hagstrum]

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTION IN CHACO CANYON SOCIETY

53

1984, 1997,thisissue).Theuniversalcontextsof pro- the greathouses -andkivas themselves.


ductionsuggestthatthe technologyof beadproducAnotherform of corvee labor,cooking for ceretion was relativelysimple andwidely available.
monies and celebrations,was probablyfeminine.
Turningto themobilizationof labor,laborassign- Again, it was the householdand family thatwould
ments would have complemented the dictates of have accommodatedthe absence of women fulfilldomestic autonomyin agriculturalproduction,and ing theirtributeobligations.In this case, who carthus would have been organized seasonally. The ried out the work in corporatekitchens was likely
household, itself, would have accommodatedthe highly flexible, left to the extendedfamilyto decide
schedulingof laborrequirementsandthe absenceof so thatnursingmothersandwomenwith smallchilits membersfulfilling theirobligationsto the Cha- drencouldremainin thehousehold.Earle(thisissue)
coan political economy. In Peru during colonial suggeststhatceremoniesweregrandpotluckevents,
times, andpresumablyduringthe reign of the Inka, and his scenario obviates the need for women to
men andwomen left theirhouses and communities leave home to preparefor celebrations.Regardless,
to fulfill their labor tasks as documented by the requisitecookingresponsibilitiesfell to the Chacoan
Huanucovisita (inspection)(Ortizde Zu'niiga
1967, housewife.
1972). Fromthis report,it is clearthatthe extended
Summary
family-grandparents,aunts,anduncles-took over
the runningof the householdandthe mindingof the The householdis the basic unit of social and ecochildrenwhen the potters,whetherthe man or the nomic organizationthroughwhich we can underwomanof the household,were workingfor the state standthe Chacophenomenonin its totalityfromthe
at ceramicworkshopinstallations.In the Chacoan point of view of agricultureand craft.Because the
case, Peregrine(this issue) builds an argumentfor householdwastheunitof agricultural
productionand
matrilocalgroupscomprisingthe foundationof the decision making,schedulingarose as the predomicorporatepoliticalstrategysuchthatwhenmenwere nant issue managedby the householdas it accomawayfromthehouseholdor the compoundforhunt- modated its farming, craft, and obligatory
ing or for fulfilling labor obligations, groups of responsibilitiesduring Chacoantimes. Except for
women would have kept the domesticscene intact. the massive scheduling of labor coordinationfor
To my mind,the most strikingevidenceof labor buildingthe greathouses, greatkivas,andcorporate
mobilizationis the architecturalconstruction,man- constructions,the householdstrovefor autonomyin
ifested archaeologicallyby ChacoCanyon'smonu- all its affairs.That it was unable to be completely
mental great houses, exhibiting thousands of self-sufficientis a fact of life, if only for acquiring
man-hoursof work.Thismasculinelaborwas likely matesanddealingwiththevicissitudesof the Southsuppliedby householdsandcoordinatedby special- western environment.Still, the goal of self suffiist architectsandengineers.Menwouldhavehadthe ciency predominatedthoughit did not precludethe
intersectingtechnologicalknowledgeof stonework- organizationof specialistproductionin craftmanuing from makingtheirtools, ornaments,and build- facture,particularlyof potteryfor which economies
of scale operate.Ritual specialiststoo were houseing theirown houses.
labor
for
architecture
would
have
hold
artisans,buttheywere also farmersandfathers,
Mobilizing
entaileda massive schedulingoperation.The scale mothersandcooks-all of the roles thathouseholdof mobilizationduringtheheightof Chacomusthave ers assumedin theirdaily lives to outfittheirfamibeen impressive,coordinatingscoresof households lies and to run their households. Chaco operated
throughoutthe canyonandin the supportingregion throughthe idiom of thehouseholdandits functions
beyondthe canyonas well. All schedulingthrough- were phrasedin kinshipterms.
out Chacorevolvedaroundagriculturalproduction,
and these scheduling considerations would have Acknowledgments.Specialthanksto CathyCameronandWolky
includedlabormobilizationfor corporatearchitec- Toll for invitingme to participatein the Organizationof Producture.Inthiscasetheremayhavebeena kindof house- tion Symposiumof the ChacoSynthesisProject.I am gratefulto
and
as well asTimEarle,PeterPeregrine,ColinRenhold count that allowed leaders and architectural Cathy Wolky
frew,SteveLekson,TomWindes,PeterMcKenna,andJoanMathspecialiststo organizelaborfor procuringtimbers, ien for enlighteningdiscussions.Thanksare due Eric Blinman,
stone, water,earth,andplasterandfor constructing CathyCameron,Tim Earle,WolkyToll, andthe reviewersof my

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54

AMERICANANTIQUITY

paperincludingJohnKantnerandTimKohler,all of whomcommented on an earlierdraft.Errorsof fact and interpretationare


mine.

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ReceivedAugust 10, 1999; AcceptedDecember 16, 1999;


RevisedApril 14, 2000

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