chapter  4
26 Pages

East Meets West: Hierarchy and Elites in Pueblo Society

WithSteadman Upham

The original and preferred definition of the word refers to a body of religious officials ordered by rank and jurisdiction. Hierarchical societies are thus related to or controlled by a religious hierarchy. Ideas of political elites and sociopolitical hierarchies are often associated with Marxist anthropology, but such notions of political power can be found in the writings of the earliest social philosophers. Problems with the analogical framework inspite of, however, the short answer fails to identify why some Southwestern archaeologists are so vehemently opposed to the use of the generic terminology and the analytical framework that seeks to describe power relations in past Pueblo societies. The claims for political complexity among the Pueblos rest on the relationship between political authority and the possession or control of power necessary to enforce cooperative decision-making. Some archaeologists have argued that among the Pueblo, leaders have authority without power.