Anthropology and Latin America

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Breath on the Mirror: Mythic Voices and Visions of the Living Maya

Dennis Tedlock

This remarkable book lets readers hear Maya myths as they are told today in the mountains of Guatemala. First published in 1993, Breath on the Mirror is now available only from UNM Press.

"A fascinating literary and anthropological excursion into the mental universe of the modern Quiché Maya and their forebears. The stories and myths so compellingly recounted here turn our own world upside-down and remake it in the Maya image. Reading this, one can understand why and how Maya culture has survived five centuries of oppression."--Michael D. Coe, Yale University, author of The Maya


Dennis Tedlock is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Research Associate at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. He and his wife, noted anthropologist Barbara Tedlock, were awarded Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2006 by PEN New Mexico.


"It hurls us, willing or not, into the deep well of Mayan thought. . . . offers not a catalogue of myths or their elements but a living interaction between narrator and listener. . . . a seamless blend of myth, history and ethnography. . . . It flows from a deep knowledge of the Mayas, ranging from their origins across their long history and down to today. . . . Breath on the Mirror is as close as you can come to the way stories are told and experienced, by the storytellers, their listeners and the ethnographers."


New York Times Book Review

5.5 x 8.25 in. 260 pages 1 halftone, 9 drawings, 2 maps