THE EAGLE, THE JAGUAR AND THE SERPENT by Miguel Covarrubias

THE EAGLE, THE JAGUAR AND THE SERPENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A monumental survey of the Indian art of North America is a scholarly and fascinating result of Covarrubias' life work and an addition to a fine record that has produced similar archeological studies- Island of Bali and Mexico South. Preliminary to his comments on the various tribes, Covarrubias discusses theories of origin, basic time periods and the techniques and aesthetics of the different art types and media. The theories diffusion versus isolation and so forth are presented clearly and without bias though the author states he is perhaps more of a diffusionist than the latter. There is a liberalizing influence to his treatment of aesthetics and techniques, for he does not look upon Indian art as ""primitive"" but rather as the natural development from its own backgrounds and influences. Coming down to the main branches and the tribes within them , the coverage is broad and represents a laborious undertaking. It includes Eskimo, Aleut, Northwest Coast, Far West and Southwest, Eastern Woodlands, and plains Indians- a formidable array. Though points may be argued, perhaps omissions noted, the connections between art and life pre-historic, historic and modern- are quite thoroughly examined and the work is a fine interpretation of social and aesthetic values.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1954
Publisher: Knopf