The Modern Maya: Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatan

The Modern Maya: Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatan

Hardback William & Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture

By (author) Macduff Everton

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  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 236mm x 312mm x 36mm | 2,268g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Austin, TX
  • ISBN 10: 0292726937
  • ISBN 13: 9780292726932
  • Illustrations note: 385 duotones, 1 map

Product description

Ancient Maya cities draw travellers from all over the world to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. But while tales of the "Maya collapse" give an air of mystery to the ruins, modern Maya still live in communities across the Yucatan, where they strive to maintain their culture and way of life despite centuries of political, social, and environmental disruption. Photographer Macduff Everton has spent more than four decades living and working among the Maya. His 1991 book on the modern Maya provided a superb photo-essay and ethnographic record of the Maya during a time of critical change and globalization. In this book, he masterfully updates his portrait of the modern Maya, while investigating the effects of NAFTA, tourism, the evangelical movement, world trade and maquiladoras, racism, sexism, and drugs on Maya communities. Combining splendid photography of ancient Maya sites and modern Maya communities with an illuminating narrative, Everton takes us into the homes and lives of farmers and chicle gatherers, ranch hands and henequen workers, as well as the Mayan-speaking urbanites who work at the resorts on the Riviera Maya. His long acquaintance with the Maya allows him to tell dramatic stories of how individuals and families have seen a way of life that was centred around the milpa (farm) and the cultivation of tropical forest products transformed by the effects of globalization and the necessity to labour for wages. At the same time, Everton also reveals the amazing adaptability of the Maya, who hold onto the essence of their culture despite all the destructive pressures from the outside world.

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Review quote

"This past March, the University of Texas Press published another book on the subject called The Modern Maya: Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatan, in which Everton updates his portrait of the modern Maya and looks into the effects of racism, tourism, drugs and globalization on their communities. Everton's splendid black-and-white photographs paint a picture of a struggling people, working on the land in rural areas of the Yucatan peninsula, but finding joy in a sense of family and culture." - Mail Online, 30th Sept 2012