Ben A. Nelson, Paul R. Fish, and Suzanne K. Fish
This chapter reviews the evidence for Mesoamerican presence or influence in the U.S. Southwest. Objects, symbols, and practices of apparent Mesoamerican origin, especially in the Hohokam region, include copper bells, macaws, shell trumpets, and other similar objects. The explanations that archaeologists have proposed for such presence come down to agricultural displacement, trade, and coercive domination. The review shows that Mesoamerican connections are of several different kinds, suggesting that there may be several different explanations. One explanation that is strongly indicated is the acquisition by local leaders of distant objects and symbols of supernatural power in order certify their ritual competence.