A central issue in Annette Weiner's theory of inalienable possessions is the meaning of objects. This chapter provides a critique of conceptualizations that view objects as repositories of fixed, preexisting meaning from perspectives of practice theory, performance theory, and cognitive sciences. It examines how inalienability and associated meanings are created, negotiated, and contested. Data from the Classic Maya site of Aguateca provide an example of how symbolic objects and their perceived inalienability became points of reference and contestation among the ruler, other elites, and non-elites.
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