From Library Journal
Editors Woodward (geography, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) and Lewis (geography, Univ. of Sheffield, England) have produced an unusual survey authored by 11 international scholars. The history of mapmaking is usually approached Eurocentrically, with the possible addition of Arab and Chinese cartographers. However, the expanded definition of "map" employed in the "History of Cartography" seriesA"graphic representations that facilitate a spacial understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world"Aallows the inclusion of artifacts made by the traditional or indigenous societies of Africa, the Americas, the Arctic, and Oceania. These unexpected and exceedingly rare sources are as varied as petroglyphs from Southern Africa and Australia; an inscribed moose antler purportedly made by Sacajawea, who accompanied Lewis and Clark; Aztec codices; Incan "quipus"; and Marshallese "mattangs" (stick charts). The map format of Western cultures is sterile when compared with the representational concepts of shamanistic traditional societies. "Cartography becomes less of a gridded stage on which life takes place and more a model of how the spiritual world and physical world interact." The well-documented and authoritative text is enriched by numerous illustrations, including 24 color plates, and an extensive bibliography and index. Academic and larger public libraries will want to acquire this for its unusual content.AEdward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Sys., Ft. Pierce, FL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
Although they are often rendered in forms unfamiliar to Western eyes--as decorations on ceramic and textiles in the Andes, symbolic codes in the shields of the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea, lukasa
memory boards among the Luba of central Africa, geohistorical screenfolds made by the Mixtecs, or toas from the Lake Eyre region of southern Central Australia--maps have existed in most indigenous cultures. In this first book-length attempt to document traditional cartography outside the Western and Asian civilizations, contributors from a broad variety of disciplines investigate the roles that maps have played in the wayfinding, politics, and religions of these diverse societies.