EVERYDAY LIFE OF THE MAYA by Ralph Whitlock

EVERYDAY LIFE OF THE MAYA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Whitlock's essay is hardly less remote than Coe's The Maya (adult, 1966) though, of course, the organization--with chapters on food, crafts, the army, and the priesthood--is more accessible than Coe's preoccupation with problems of dating, and the black and white illustrations here are well chosen and situated to illuminate the text. Occasional unfortunate word choices may mislead younger readers (""They liked large families. The attitude was perhaps instinctive. . .""), but on the whole such tricky matters as duplication of names and regional variations are explained without compromise or condescension. Whitlock marshals a tremendous amount of detailed information on agriculture, domestic life, and religious ceremony (the discussion of the Mayan calendar is, by contrast, kept simple), and his striking use of supporting visual evidence from murals and paintings throughout is a telling antidote to the vagaries of pseudo-science. In all, a useful reference and source for those who want to pursue the Maya more intensively than yon Hagen's popularized Search for the Maya (also adult, 1973) permits.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 1976
Publisher: Putnam