Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mexico South: The Isthmus of Tehuantepec

Covarrubias, Miguel, Mexico South: The Isthmus of Tehuantepec, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1954.

Available online.

Reviewed in the American Sociological Review © 1947.

Reviewed in the American Anthropologist © 1947.

From the book-cover:
”The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a bottleneck of jungle and brush shared in equal parts by the states of Vera Cruz and Oaxaca, separating rather than uniting four important states – Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas – from the rest of Mexico. It is the true natural frontier between mountain chains that run down the Continent and break into low hills with narrow passes that have been, since the days of Cortes, a focus of interest, oft-renewed, as a means of communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.” Thus Covarrubias. The means by which he has evoked the very nature of that region are geography, ethnology, anthropology, archaeology, history, economics, plastic arts, literature, music, folklore, religion, food, drink, sexual customs, and a dozen others. The result is a brilliant evocation of an entire civilization, throwing light upon the history and culture of all Mexico.

No comments:

Post a Comment