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Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Time Event
5:52p
Whew ... that took a while ...
Well, that certainly took a long time to get through ... not due to the writing or subject matter, mind you, but all the "distractions" of late. Frankly, there have been dozens of nights when I'd hoped to sit down with this book, but ended up passing out at the keyboard instead, so I'm glad that over the past few nights I was able to get some reading time in!

This book is the third part of the North/South/Central American myth series by John Bierhorst ... The Mythology of Mexico and Central America ... which takes a very different tack than the previous two. Whereas its predecessors went tribal region by tribal region through a geographical area, this takes "themes", ranging up to "Nation-making" in how the various myths have been used to foster national identity in the various Central American states (perhaps most blatantly in the Mexican flag). It lacks the detail of the other books myth-to-myth, but provides much more cultural context ... no doubt due to the much better documented histories of the Aztecs, Maya, etc. in the region.

Again, if this "is your thing", this would make or an interesting read, as would the whole trilogy. I had one "aha" experience in this, with the history of the Virgin of Guadalupe (who is Tonantzin, the Aztec "Mother of the Gods" re-cast as a Catholic Mary), the info on which was certainly "worth the price of admission", but then again I'm always looking for factoids on how the Xtians co-opted the Old Gods!

While I am still plowing through Voices Of The First Day (which has, admittedly gotten much better once I cleared the first section), I think my next "main read" is going to continue in the Native American vein and move into Dhyani Ywahoo's book on Cherokee spirituality, Voices Of Our Ancestors, which looks to be a pretty straight-forward peek into a particular tribal tradition. As I've noted, I have a slug of books from 10 years ago that I still need to plow through, so I'm hoping to get back to reading at least a book a week for a while now. I probably have a half-dozen titles on Native American subjects to read, so we'll see how long my interest keeps up ... I've also been eyeing some Sufi books and some hefty cosmology/physics tomes!


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