Fabiola Sanchez

Fabiola Sanchez

MA student


Andrea N. Walsh


Visual anthropology and materiality

I am Fabiola Sanchez, an anthropological archaeologist with a focus on Mesoamerica and a primary research interest in the Maya area and the Huastecas region. My research interests are in household and everyday life, symbolism, identity, gender, feminism, foodways and cuisine, craft production, textile production, space and place. I have been fortunate to have worked in ethnographical, archaeological and ethnoarchaeological projects in the Maya area (Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas) and among the Rarámuri in Chihuahua . Since 2005, I have been conducting research in collaboration with the Maya Lacandon community of Mensäbäk in Chiapas, Mexico, with the Mensabak Archaeological Project. My research has included the study of rock art, textile, cuisine and foodways, and craft production, intersecting with gender, identity, and symbolic representation and its results have been presented in conferences and published. Recently, I have been undertaking research in symbolism, identity, sacred landscape, textiles, and gender. I have worked in museums and galleries, where I have curated several exhibits, including “Lacandon Images: photography of Trudy Duby” presented in the Archaeological Museum of Bologna, Italy, and the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City. The most recent exhibit that I curated was “The Mayan Dress Code: Legacy and continuity in Chiapas, Mexico” presented in the Ferry Building Gallery and the Library of the University of British Columbia in 2018. These opportunities lead me to pursue studies in the field of anthropology.

My research proposal uses archaeology and ethnographic methods to investigate ancient and current Maya foodways and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in the Late Postclassic period and of contemporary Lacandon people from the Puerto Bello Metzabok community in Chiapas, Mexico. The aim is to understand how changes in political and economic landscapes impacted household production and consumption within specific cycles of time (individual and communal lifetimes from the Late Postclassic to contemporary times) and how contemporary transformations among present-day Maya Lacandon have impacted everyday food consumption and food sovereignty. I am also interested in how foodways and cuisine are related to migration and resistance during these cycles of time. Inspired by Dr. Walsh’s course Ethno-Graphic Novel, my research will apply drawing as part of my ethnographic research method. I am grateful to have Dr. Andrea Walsh as my supervisor on this wonderful academic journey.