Scandals in the House of Birds: Shamans and Priests on Lake Atitlan

Overview

Based on a thirty-year span of fieldwork in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, Scandals in the House of Birds is a multivoiced epic of a sacred crime, and its tangled mythic, religious, and political ramifications. The Maximon, a wooden statue venerated since pre-Columbian times, is stolen from the local villagers, sent to a European museum, and finally returned decades later, largely thanks to the authors' intervention.
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Overview

Based on a thirty-year span of fieldwork in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, Scandals in the House of Birds is a multivoiced epic of a sacred crime, and its tangled mythic, religious, and political ramifications. The Maximon, a wooden statue venerated since pre-Columbian times, is stolen from the local villagers, sent to a European museum, and finally returned decades later, largely thanks to the authors' intervention.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Based on a 30-year span of fieldwork in the Lake Atitl<'a>n region of Guatemala, this volume weaves together the voices of the authors, villagers of the area, and their oral histories to tell the story of the theft and eventual return of the Maxim<'o>n, a wooden statue venerated since pre-Columbian times. Along the way the myths and religious and political ramifications of the crime are brought to light, and a portrait of the indigenous culture of the area emerges. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568860442
  • Publisher: Marsilio Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/15/1997
  • Pages: 397
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Acknowledgements
1 The Maximon Scandals 1
2 Stories of the Early Earth, I: The Ancients Who Made the Mam 4
3 1950-53: Stolen Masks 15
4 Stories of the Early Earth, II: The Finding of the Mam 29
5 A Sudden Interference 34
6 Stories of the Early Earth, III: The Making of the Mam 48
7 Rebels in Trouble 60
8 Stories of the Early Earth, IV: Husbands and Lovers 74
9 Episodes from the Life of Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy, Portrait of an Aj'kun, I 84
10 Stories of the Early Earth, V: The Devil's Food 96
11 Episodes from the Life of Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy, Portrait of an Aj'kun, II 108
12 Stories of the Early Earth, VI: The Black Monster Wars 125
13 Episodes from the Life of Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy, Portrait of an Aj'kun, III 136
14 The Mask's Return to Atitlan 156
15 How the Mask Went Back to Cofradia Santa Cruz 184
16 Understanding the Mam and the Martin in the Nineteen-Fifties 199
17 The Primer Mayor's Tale: I 221
18 The Primer Mayor's Tale: II 246
19 Understanding the Mam and the Martin in 1979 276
20 The Deities When Female, 1979 289
21 Contemporary Forms and Causes of Conflict: Change in Atitlan 1950-1990 307
22 The Terror and a Memorial to the Dead of Atitlan 339
The Cast: Principal Characters 365
Principal Tzutujil Maya and Spanish Terms Used in this Book 371
Selected Further Readings on Santiago Atitlan 385
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