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The American Society for Ethnohistory Spanish Contacts and Social Change on the Ucayali River, Peru Author(s): Thomas P.
Myers Reviewed work(s): Source: Ethnohistory, Vol.
21, No.
2 (Spring, 1974), pp.
135-157 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 04-07-2012 18:20 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive.
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For more information about JSTOR, please contact . Duke University Press and The American Society for Ethnohistory are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Ethnohistory. SPANISH CONTACTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE ON THE UCAYALI RIVER, PERU1 by ThomasP.
Myers Universityof NebraskaState Museum ABSTRACT Archaeological evidence from the Ucay ali River suggests that large communities, probably with a complex social organization, were characteristic throughout the prehistoric period.
In contrast, Steward and M6traux suggest that large communities were the unstable product of the missionary period.
Re-examination of the ethnohistoric sources indicates that large, stable communities were in fact characteristic of the mainstream Ucayali tribes at the beginning of the historic period but that they collapsed with the precipitous population declines caused by Spanish diseases.
Tribes on the major tributaries probably had smaller communities; but only the tribes most remote from the mainstream were characterized by the kind of one house communities which Steward and M6traux believed to be characteristic of the Peruvian montana as a whole. Archaeological research carri...

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