Transformations in Mapoyo burial practice since the eighteenth century are documented in archaeological, ethnographic, and historical evidence and correlated to the ongoing process of contact. In this article we discuss the postcontact history of the Mapoyo, as manifested in attitudes of aperture and resistance that emerged under different historical conditions and that are clearly expressed in the distribution and modes of burial practice. Funerary remains serve as indicators of the changes in cultural response to the contact situation, and as such they have played an active role in the definition of ethnic identity through time.

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