The author's elegant prose, at times raw, and peppered with colorful vignettes exposing the many foibles of fieldwork, makes for pleasurable and engaging reading. Perhaps more importantly, Feinberg's work represents a significant theoretical contribution to the study of ethnic identity in Oaxaca, a topic of considerable anthropological narration. It demands a thorough reexamination of the very ways in which we study and write about indigenous "culture" by looking at how Mazatec identity is constructed through a host of intersecting metacultural discourses, including those of its ethnographers. While based on regionally specific ethnographic material, I highly recommend Feinberg's book not only to anthropologists, but also historians and others interested in critical theory and identity formation, as well as cultural and historical representation. (Ronda L. Brulotte The Americas
About the Author
Benjamin Feinberg is Professor of Anthropology at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.