The Mythology of Mexico and Central America

by John Bierhorst

The Mythology of Mexico and Central America Synopsis

In a framework different from the other two Bierhorst mythology volumes, the Mexico and Central American volume provides complete translations of 20 'basic myths' of this region and shows how they have influenced the artistic, literary, and political life of modern Mesoamerica. Bierhorst introduces readers to myths from the Aztec and Maya of pre-Columbian times to the Indian groups that survive today. In a new afterword, Bierhorst discusses how in the late 1980s and 1990s, native mythology has been recast to shed light on themes placed in the foreground of public consciousness - democracy, cultural pluralism, religious freedom and environmentalism. Mythology energizes native politics from the high-profile political activisim of the Zapotec Indians against the World Trade Organization to the Nobel Prize winning Quiche Maya activist Rigoberta Menchu. Efforts to demystify the region's mythology include the criticism and investigation of the legend of Juan Diego and the ever-popular Virgin of Guadeloupe. The book includes a glossary, pronunciation guide, notes, bibliography, index, maps. and photos.

The Mythology of Mexico and Central America Press Reviews

Should serve as a road map to the cultural wealth of Mesoamerica....Bierhorst has provided unique stories that will delight his readers. He draws us easily through myths of creation and destruction, of the quest for corn, of wise heroes who come to us as elders and defiant little boys. By remaining faithful to the simplicity of the telling he preserves the power of images that continue to keep alive centuries of cultural heritage. * The New York Times Book Review *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780195146202
Publication date: 1st July 2002
Author: John Bierhorst
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 272 pages
Categories: Folklore, myths & legends, Regional studies,

About John Bierhorst

John Bierhorst is the author, editor or translator of more than 40 books on American Indian myths, tales and poetry, for adults and children. Six of his books have been ALA Notable Books. Bierhorst has received positive blurbs from the NYTBR, Kirkus and Library Journal for the original Morrow edition. He is the editorial advisor for the Smithsonian Series of Studies in Native American literatures, editorial associate for The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Expanded Edition, and editorial consultant for Encyclopedia of North American Indians.

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