Look Close, See Far: A Cultural Portrait of the Maya

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9780807615898: Look Close, See Far: A Cultural Portrait of the Maya

Look Close, See Far uses photography and essays to create a cultural portrait of the Maya Indians.

Respected scholars introduce these indigenous communities of Central America and their ancient and complex spiritual, cultural, artistic, and architectural traditions. One hundred stunning black and white photographs document the remaining fragments of this disappearing society and present a record of the world they inhabit through images of the people, the natural environment, and the historical artifacts of the Maya communities.

The ancient Maya left behind evidence of their great prowess in mathematics, astronomy, and architecture, as well as enduring written and oral histories revealing intricate political and social hierarchies and a rich spiritual system. The Maya never truly disappeared, but their society went through many transformations, including the dramatic changes that followed the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. As outside pressures encroach, the Maya strive to maintain their cohesiveness and protect their local traditions and languages. Their cultural and spiritual identities are fundamentally intertwined with the land from which they and their ancestors have coaxed their livelihood for generations, and the survival of the Maya groups is endangered by the degradation and disappearance of their ancestral landscape.

These striking images and illuminating descriptions of the evolving Maya and their unique worldview will intrigue readers interested in cultural and spiritual studies, travel, archaeology, and photography. The intimate and sensitive portraiture draws readers into the heart of the forests and villages in which the Maya have been rooted for generations. 100 b/w photographs.

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About the Author:

Bruce T. Martin, a native of Natick, MA, has traveled throughout the Maya regions over the course of fifteen years collecting the images used in this book. His work has been shown at numerous galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and Central America. Dr. Allen J. Christenson of Brigham Young University and archaeologists Shoshaunna Parks and Dr. Patricia A. McAnany of Boston University contribute enlightening essays on the past and present of the Maya and their culture.

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