The Modern Maya
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The Modern Maya : Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatan

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Description

Ancient Maya cities draw travelers 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 centered around the milpa (farm) and the cultivation of tropical forest products transformed by the effects of globalization and the necessity to labor 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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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 236.22 x 312.42 x 35.56mm | 2,267.95g
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 385 duotones, 1 map
  • 0292726937
  • 9780292726932

About Macduff Everton

Macduff Everton is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and Islands magazines. His many editorial clients include Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Life, LA Times Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Outside, Smithsonian, and Town & Country. His work is in the collections of many public and private institutions, including the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; British Museum, London; International Center of Photography and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musee de L'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland; and Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City.

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Table of contents

Foreword: Macduff Everton's Yucatan by Carter Wilson Acknowledgments A Short History and the Legacy of the Maya Forest An account of the ancient Maya and the collapse, or perhaps the slow crumble; in the field with archaeologists Anabel Ford and Scott Fedick, who find evidence that there wasn't an environmental catastrophe, and the legacy of the Maya Forest, a feral forest garden Introduction An account of the modern Maya: incidents of travel and friendship in Yucatan and how I met Charles Demangeat and Hilario Hiler; this book project now extends over four decades and includes important chapters in the lives of the Maya I. The Milpa An account of Dario Tuz Caamal, a Maya farmer, and his wife, Herculana Chi Pech; the Maya practice of growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, and hardwoods at their farm and home garden and agricultural traditions and ceremonies thousands of years old II. The Milpa and Cancun The continuing account of Dario Tuz Caamal and Herculana Chi Pech: his release from prison and finding work in Cancun; the immediate effects of NAFTA on the subsistence farmer in Mexico and the rising rate of depression and suicide in Yucatan III. Chicleros: A Season in the Jungle An account of Diego Jimenez Chi and Cornelio Castro Salazar, chicleros, who lived in the jungle along with their wives and children during the rainy season to bleed the chicozapote tree for the resin used to make chewing gum, and what happened when gum manufacturers supplanted the resin with petroleum products IV. Dona Veva and Alicia: Two Generations of Women An account of Genoveva Martin Kumul and her daughter Alicia and how Alicia grew from a girl in a jungle chiclero camp to becoming a bilingual teacher, as well as her marriage and children, and the effects of the Evangelical movement in Maya towns V. Xocen: The Saintly Cross of the Center of the Earth An account of the miraculous Saintly Cross of the Center of the Earth, the Caste War of Yucatan, and the Santa Cruz Maya; we attend religious celebrations in Xocen, talk with a Maya priest, and visit our friend Celso Dzib Ay and his wife, Maria Equilia May Tun VI. The Santa Cruz Maya An account of how Pablo Canche Balam and Marcelino Poot Ek introduced us to the sacred villages, talking crosses, fiestas, and celebrations of the Santa Cruz Maya; we witness the onslaught of development and tourism in their traditional lands and find a Talking Cross VII. Cowboys: Corn to Cattle to Corn An account of Eleuterio Noh Ceh, a corn farmer who became a cowboy and then returned to corn farming, whose children abandoned farming to find work in maquiladoras, making Maidenform bras and Jordache jeans, until the manufacturers found cheaper labor elsewhere VIII. Henequen: The Dangers of a Monoculture An account of Jesus Lopez Martinez, a henequen worker, and the henequen industry, which failed to remain competitive in a world economy, and the consequences of a monocrop Epilogue Glossary Suggested Reading Index

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Review quote

"Engagingly written and outstandingly illustrated ... Everton displays his outstanding eye for the social setting, his infallible ability to capture the architecture-ancient and modern-and his uncanny ability to build the contrast that only a lifetime can reveal ... At once a beautiful photographic tome as well as a vivid account of the Maya and critique of globalization and a culture in transition, Everton's sharp observational skills draw you into a story that is framed by his extraordinary visual images." Rezensionen

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