Unfinished Conversations: Mayas and Foreigners Between Two Wars

Paul Sullivan, Author
Paul Sullivan, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-394-57803-3
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Although their first uprising in 1847 was put down, Maya Indians were hunted in the forest by Mexicans who burned their crops and ambushed families well into the 20th century. A mix of history, travelogue and ethnographic field research, this episodic narrative throws into sharp relief a people who now live in peace but who believe a future apocalypse is possible. Yale anthropologist Sullivan shows how the Mayas and foreign intruders--soldiers, merchants, spies, diplomats, tourists--teetered between menace and friendship, betrayal and reconciliation. He juxtaposes Mayan poems, prophecies and conversations, as well as old photographs, maps and eyewitness testimonies. Sexual banter, love and romance among the Mayas make for interesting observations here. (Nov.)
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