Archaeologist Sheds Light on Earliest Indigenous Groups in El Bajío
By Jon Sievert
At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (UUFSMA) service, archaeologist Albert Coffee discusses the pre-Hispanic history of this region of México known as El Bajío, with a special focus on migratory patterns dating back to the first settlers of this continent.
The causes and effects of migration patterns and the movement of large groups of ethnically diverse people are reflected in the faces and cultures of people throughout the country. Coffee places special emphasis on the ancient El Bajío culture that built and occupied Cañada de la Virgen and other ceremonial centers throughout the area. Art, architecture, religion, and long-distance trade will be addressed, as well as the connections to other cultural centers throughout Mesoamerica during the same period.
The Spanish first encountered the fierce, seminomadic hunters and gatherers and pyramid builders known as the Chichimecs when they arrived, but these were not the first or only cultural group to occupy the area. Before them there were the Chupícuaro, famous for their ceramic figurines depicting women with wide hips, geometric painted patterns, and cranial as well as dental deformation.
Coffee, who specializes in the cultures of ancient Mesoamerica, was invited to work alongside the official excavating team at the archaeological zone Cañada de la Virgen during the 2004 and 2005 field seasons. Since the site’s opening to the public in 2011, he has taken more than 6,000 people on his tour of Canada de la Virgen and other sites in the state of Guanajuato and throughout México. He has also given numerous presentations and classes at schools and institutions in San Miguel de Allende and was contracted to conduct an investigation of the legends, wisdom, and memories of the elders of the rancho communities located in the areas around the site. Additionally, he helped conduct archaeological surveys in the southern state of Oaxaca, where he was the director of a language center at a university on the coast near Puerto Escondido.
For more information about the UUFSMA, including our social action outreach, weekly discussion groups, social activities, and Care Team, join us any Sunday at 10:30am at the Hotel de La Aldea or visit our website at uufsma.org. Our Sunday morning children’s religious education program is on summer break until September 8.
“Migration of the Indigenous in the Bajío”
Sun, Sep 1, 10:30am
Hotel de La Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15, Centro