I Am Rich Potosi: The Mountain That Eats Men

Overview

The magnificent mountain of Potosí in Bolivia yielded more silver than any other mountain or region of the world. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries this wealth flowed through Spain into Europe and played an important role in the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and trade with Asia. Yet the grueling work of extracting the silver was left to the indigenous population of the Andes, who were enslaved by the Spanish and died by the thousands on the mountain.

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The Monacelli Press, 1999. Hardcover First Edition. Fine/Fine. NO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING OR PRIORITY SHIPPING AVAILABLE FOR THIS BOOK. Brand new book, crisp and clean. Gift ... quality. NO REMAINDER MARK!! Still sealed in factory plastic wrap. Read more Show Less

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New York, NY, U.S.A. 1999 Hard Cover NEW/NEW in Mylar Cover 4to-over 9?"-12" tall 158093028X multiple copies may be available.

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Overview

The magnificent mountain of Potosí in Bolivia yielded more silver than any other mountain or region of the world. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries this wealth flowed through Spain into Europe and played an important role in the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and trade with Asia. Yet the grueling work of extracting the silver was left to the indigenous population of the Andes, who were enslaved by the Spanish and died by the thousands on the mountain.

Today, Potosí maintains this unique culture, based on its epic history. Approximately eighteen thousand miners still work in or around the mountain, searching for trace amounts of silver and tin. Inside the mountain, miners worship their devil, who is represented as a sexually potent Spaniard, lord of the mineral realm. Photographer Stephen Ferry has made many trips to Potosí to document this ongoing drama. His color images describe this world, which echoes back to the birth of modern Europe yet is one of the poorest places in the Americas.

The text by Eduardo Galeano illuminates the complexity of the intersection of ancient rituals and the grandeur of the mountain and complements Ferry's powerful portrait of this fascinating area. Ferry's photographs are divided into four sections: the miners' carnival; work that still takes place in and around the rich mountain; major institutions of civic life in the city of Potosí; and the festival of Esprit?, in which miners sacrifice llamas to the devil within the mountain to appease his thirst for blood so that he will not take their lives with accidents or illness.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Freelance photojournalist Ferry has made numerous trips to Potos , the magnificent Bolivian mountain that has yielded more silver than any other mountain region of the world. In the 16th and 17th centuries, this wealth went to Spain and Europe at a tremendous cost to the indigenous population: Indians were enslaved by the Spanish and died by the thousands in the mountain. Today, approximately 18,000 miners work in the mountain, living in one of the poorest places in South America. These photos reveal their life and work. With an introductory text by the eminent Uruguayan historian Eduardo Galeano and excerpts from Ferry's own journal, I Am Rich Potos illuminates the complexity of cultural intersection and the grandeur of the mountain. These beautiful, full-page photographs provide both a historical record and a passionate denunciation. Recommended for large public, academic, and specialized collections.--Sylvia Andrews, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580930284
  • Publisher: The Monacelli Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.09 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Ferry is a freelance photojournalist based in New York. He is a member of the Gamma-Liaison Agency and has spent the last ten years traveling on assignments covering social change and historic events throughout the world. Ferry studied Latin American culture and history in college, and has continued to concentrate on the region. Since 1991 he has returned yearly to Potosí.

Eduardo Galeano is an eminent Uruguayan historian of Latin America. He has been extremely influential as an exponent of Latin American popular culture and history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2004

    The miners of Potosi

    I thought Stephen Ferry's look at the miners in the context of the 500th year anniversary of the Spanish conquest was insightful. By looking at the effect the conquest had on this mountain's past and the current lives of the descendants as opposed to the usual anniversay scenes he summons a well balanced idea of cause and effect. He obviously has passion for this story and tenderness toward the conditions that yeild the people towards their daily work. Although this book is a general look at the people living there, the spirit of their sensiblity transcends with beautiful color and light in each photograph. The book is beutifully printed the quality is a superb 10.

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