Soc 222 midterm - Part 1 H istory of Sport Mesoamerica hip...

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Part 1 History of Sport Mesoamerica hip ball Native Americans lacrosse 1) Performing on the Court - Birthplace of first team sport w/ rubber ball was ancient Americas (1500 B.C.) - Rest of world was using wooden or leather spheres or focused on individual athletics - Rubber ball gave elastic and bouncing nature Putting the Game in Context - 1 st played on Gulf Coast of Mexico by Olmec -Mesoamerica’s first great civilization -found 1500+ courts Playing the Game - Aztec form -only buttocks and knees could touch ball -Ball was heavy, solid rubber, weighed 6-8 pounds - Suggestions of other ways of playing sport -ceramic images, painted wall murals, figurines -contestants wearing different combinations of attire and gear -also had varying objects (bats, sticks, manoplas (hand stones) The Meaning of the Game
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- Ball and movement of the court symbolize the movement of heavenly bodies in the sky - battle of sun vs. moon and stars , day and night, good and evil, life and death - Cult of fertility, agricultural communities depended on earth’s bounty (sun and rain) -Eg. decapitation in ballgame leads to streams of blood seen as watering the earth - Ritual activities were an attempt to impose order in the universe and benefit humankind Playing as a Team - Seeing oneself as a member of a group was common in society -personal sacrifice for overall good, following common rules, and bond members of a group into a functioning unit - Historian William McNeill - -group activities were integrating factors in human development - Mesoamerica, ritual and team sport credited with the regeneration of life and the maintenance of cosmic order. -showed strong power of group - 1 st evidence was eight ceramic figurines from El Openo. - Sculptures from San Lorenzo in Veracruz - Popal Vuh - Twin heroes (good forces) defeat evil forces (Lords of the Underworld) -Twin heroes represented often in sports - Middle Formation Olmec Site of La Venta has Offering Number 4 (group of figurines)
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- Many sports had performances, music, and decorations (ritual related) - Giant turtle symbolizes earth in Mesoamerican iconography - Ballgame major ritual activity in Mesoamerica until Spanish Conquest 1521 - Teams, rituals, rubber ball stayed constant throughout areas and time Performance on the Court - Ball courts were major commitments, either by community or an individual ruler - used primarily to the playing of ceremonial game of chance by two opposing teams -courts used for other uses such as fun, practice, pageantry, festivals, and drama - Diverse forms of game, linked with specific gods and played during rituals honoring them - Courts were also used for other sports such as wrestling and fighting Drama on the Courts - Ball courts also served as theaters or locales for theatrical events - Ball courts seen as entrances to the Underworld - Dark region where the hero Twins were called to play ball against the Lords of Deaths -reenactments of this game involved kings playing as ballplayers against weak captives, game ended with death of captive players. -
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Soc 222 midterm - Part 1 H istory of Sport Mesoamerica hip...

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