Pettersen, Carmen L.
Maya of/ de Guatemala. Life and Dress/ Vida y Traje.
Seller ID: 1821
Guatemala City: Museo Ixchel de Textiles, . First edition (pp. 274) in Spanish and English. Large quarto (30 cm), pictorial dust wrapper, burnt orange publisher's cloth with gilt titles and decoration. Sixty fine watercolour plates, several folding; photographs and in text illustrations; two-page colour map of Guatemala, map of indigenous language regions. Richly depicts the variety of traditional costumes of the Maya Quiche of the Guatemala highlands. Pettersen, a trained and experienced watercolourist and a native born Guatemalan, travelled to the highland villages, at least sixty of them, where she painted local people who posed for her in their traditional dress. Unlike Frederick Crocker, whose interest was solely costume and who painted in the visages of his friends and others of whom he was not so fond, Pettersen's compositions portray handsome, dignified, actual people in splendid traditional finery. The text is as good as the illustrations, abjuring anthropological discussion, of which there is otherwise quite a lot, and focussing on 'the Indian in the clothes'. Pettersen observes of the boatmen at Santiago Atitlan who cross the lake, 'They paddle standing up in eight or ten men cayucos. The Maya is not a good waterman and few can swim. Many are drowned in squalls in midlake.' (One boatman is indebted still to my wife and daughter who, being good Canadians, paddled like Hell and bailed like the Devil during such a sudden storm which arose during their crossing of the lake.) Glassine peeling from dw as usual, a few nicks to the corners and edges; the contents and plates are Fine, a beautiful book.
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