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Environmental worldview and ritual economy among the Honduran Lenca

Dimensions of Ritual Economy

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1485-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-546-8

Publication date: 6 May 2008


This chapter examines the historical relationship between Honduran Lenca worldview and how ecological resources are managed through ritual practice. The way in which the Lenca conceive of the biophysical environment is an active process of meaning-making that takes place through their interaction with the environment. The Lenca codify this relationship in the compostura, a complex set of ceremonial performances linked to economic practices that mediate human needs and desires with those of the ancestors who animate the landscapes surrounding households and communities. Through an examination of contemporary, historical, and archeological cases in western Honduras, this chapter explores how ritual economy shapes, and is shaped by, environmental worldview.


Christian Wells, E. and Davis-Salazar, K.L. (2008), "Environmental worldview and ritual economy among the Honduran Lenca", Christian Wells, E. and McAnany, P.A. (Ed.) Dimensions of Ritual Economy (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 189-217.



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