Ayoquesco Zapotec


Date: 1970 | Size: 1 volume(s), 230 p.


From 1968-1970, the anthropologist Robert E. MacLaury conducted fieldwork on Zapotec (Oto-Manguean) language and ethnography at Santa Mara Ayoquesco de Aldama, Oaxaca. His masters thesis based on that research, "Ayoquesco Zapotec: Ethnography, Phonology, and Lexicon," was accepted at the University of the Americas in 1970.

Background note

After receiving his bachelor's degree in anthropology and Spanish at the University of the Americas in 1967, the cognitive anthropologist Robert MacLaury spent two years in Santa Mara Ayoquesco de Aldama, Oaxaca, studying Zapotec (Oto-Manguean) language and ethnography. His masters' thesis, "Ayoquesco Zapotec: Ethnography, Phonology, and Lexicon," was accepted at the University of the Americas in 1970.

Beginning in the late-1970s, MacLaury embarked on a study of color categorization in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, out of which grew the collaborative Mesoamerican Color Survey (1978-1981). A prime architect of vantage theory -- a model of categorization that that seeks to account for the active agency of the categorizer -- MacLaury received his doctorate in Cognitive Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989, and published the results of the Mesoamerican Color Survey as Color and Cognition in Mesoamerica: Constructing Categories as Vantages (Austin, Tex., 1997).

Scope and content

Robert E. MacLaury's "Ayoquesco Zapotec: Ethnography, Phonology, and Lexicon" was accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree in anthropology at the University of the Americas in 1970.

Native American Images note : Eighty black and white photocopy photographs of Zapotec Indians in Santa Maria Ayoquezco de Aldama, Oaxaca, Mexico from 1968-1970. Taken by anthropologist Robert E. MacLaury while conducting fieldwork for his thesis, the images reflect the social life and customs of the natives including clothing, utensils, daily activities and dwellings.

Collection Information

Physical description

1 vol. (230 p.)

1 vol. (230 p.)


Gift of the author, 2003.

Preferred citation

Cite as: Robert E. MacLaury, "Ayoquesco Zapotec," (MA Thesis, University of the Americas, 1970), American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Catalogued 2003.

Related material

Other materials on Zapotec language and culture are located in the papers of Elsie Clews Parsons (Ms. Coll. 29) and Paul Radin (497.3 R114), and in the work of Jaime de Angulo and Morris Swadesh included in the ACLS Committee on American Indian Languages Collection (497.3 B63c).

The ACLS Collections also includes a later work of MacLaury's, "Karuk color: the yellow-green-blue category of Northern California."

Indexing Terms


  • Masters theses


  • Indians of Mexico -- Languages
  • Indians of Mexico -- Oaxaca
  • Photocopies
  • Southwest Indians
  • Zapotec Indians
  • Zapotec language