The Modern Maya by Macduff Everton
Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatán (William & Bettye Nowlin Series)

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Ancient Maya cities draw travelers from all over the world to Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. But while tales of the “Maya collapse” give an air of mystery to the ruins, modern Maya still live in communities across the Yucatán, where they strive to maintain their culture and way of life despite centuries of political, social, and environmental disruption. Photographer Macduff Everton has spent more than four decades living and working among the Maya. His 1991 book on the modern Maya provided a superb photo-essay and ethnographic record of the Maya during a time of critical change and globalization. In this book, he masterfully updates his portrait of the modern Maya, while investigating the effects of NAFTA, tourism, the evangelical movement, world trade and maquiladoras, racism, sexism, and drugs on Maya communities.

Combining splendid photography of ancient Maya sites and modern Maya communities with an illuminating narrative, Everton takes us into the homes and lives of farmers and chicle gatherers, ranch hands and henequen workers, as well as the Mayan-speaking urbanites who work at the resorts on the Riviera Maya. His long acquaintance with the Maya allows him to tell dramatic stories of how individuals and families have seen a way of life that was centered around the milpa (farm) and the cultivation of tropical forest products transformed by the effects of globalization and the necessity to labor for wages. At the same time, Everton also reveals the amazing adaptability of the Maya, who hold onto the essence of their culture despite all the destructive pressures from the outside world.


About Macduff Everton

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Macduff Everton is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and Islands magazines. His many editorial clients include Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Life, LA Times Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Outside, Smithsonian, and Town & Country. His work is in the collections of many public and private institutions, including the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; British Museum, London; International Center of Photography and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musée de L'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; and Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City.
Published March 1, 2012 by University of Texas Press. 368 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Travel. Non-fiction

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His respect for the 4,000 year history of the Maya suffuses the entire project, but the book's real treasures are the authentic voices of the people Everton meets and befriends—such as Don Celso, who played a Mayan in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.

Apr 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Modern Maya: Incidents of...

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