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CriticasGonzalez Torres, a Mexican anthropologist with a doctorate from Mexico's Universidad Nacional Autonoma (UNAM) and some postgraduate studies in India, has published several articles and two books on the religion of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Here, she defines the religious traditions, concepts, and objects of the most important cultures that flourished in the region, as well as the archaeological periods in which they existed, from 1200 B.C.E. to 1541. As explained in a user's guide at the beginning of the dictionary, each entry includes a reference to the ethnic group of origin, as well as to its geographic location and the source of the information provided. As far as the definitions, the dictionary only features the most widely accepted meanings. Charts of the different archaeological periods and regions and symbols of the Maya and Nahua calendar, along with several maps and wonderful line illustrations taken directly from indigenous drawings and writing, provide valuable additional information. One need only peruse entries like "human sacrifices," "creation," or "sun" to realize that this is truly a fascinating work. Strongly recommended for academic and public libraries interested in Mesoamerican mythology.
—Sonia Merubia, University of Texas, Austin Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.