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The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico Paperback – 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 1st University of Texas Press ed edition (1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292776586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292776586
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A handsome addition to the recent literature on this Mexican phenomenon.... The photographs are magnificent.... This volume makes a valuable contribution to the study of both Mexican popular culture and the folk art it has produced. It may also be timely, as one of the interviewees laments the way U.S. Halloween customs are supplanting some of the traditional celebrations in urban centers such as Monterrey and the Federal District. (Hispanic American Historical Review)

About the Author

Elizabeth Carmichael is curator of the Latin American collections of the British Museum.

Chloë Sayer is the author of several books on Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By John R. Foulks on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
As an anthropologist who teaches classes on Mexico, I use this book often. The "day of the dead" in Mexico exemplifies, for me, the difference between the U.S. culture and that of Mexico. Just as other cultures might find our U.S. Halloween celebrations strangely at odds with normally conservative Judeo-Christian religious observance, this book illustrates clearly the almost unfathomable blending of pre-Columbian cults of death and sacrifice with Spanish-Catholic traditions. Starting with its origins in Mexico's ancient civilizations, the book discusses and illustrates this observance through modern times, and takes the reader vicariously to the areas of Mexico in which it is most enthusiastically observed. Sit down with a cup of chocolate' and some "pan de los muertos" (bread of the dead), and enjoy a book whose topic you might have thought too morbid for your taste, but which you will probably end up finding much more compelling than repulsive. Unfortunately for me (but better for the publishing company!), I am about to order my 3rd copy of "Skeleton at the Feast"--apparently the students to whom I loan it find it too interesting to return!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John R. Foulks on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
As an anthropologist who teaches classes on Mexico, I use this book often. The "day of the dead" in Mexico exemplifies, for me, the difference between the U.S. culture and that of Mexico. Just as other cultures might find our U.S. Halloween celebrations strangely at odds with normally conservative Judeo-Christian religious observance, this book illustrates clearly the almost unfathomable blending of pre-Columbian cults of death and sacrifice with Spanish-Catholic traditions. Starting with its origins in Mexico's ancient civilizations, the book discusses and illustrates this observance through modern times, and takes the reader vicariously to the areas of Mexico in which it is most enthusiastically observed. Sit down with a cup of chocolate' and some "pan de los muertos" (bread of the dead), and enjoy a book whose topic you might have thought too morbid for your taste, but which you will probably end up finding much more compelling than repulsive. Unfortunately for me (but better for the publishing company!), I am about to order my 3rd copy of "Skeleton at the Feast"--apparently the students to whom I loan it find it too interesting to return!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Guice on November 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book several years ago at the Museum of Mankind, in London. It was the book for the exhibition, which featured incredible paper sculptures of skeletons and demons.
I read every word of the book, and enjoyed the culture, history, and personal stories of these Mexican artists.
Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ana on October 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for anyone who is interested in history and traditions. It is well presented, with some photos, many not in color, but very good in providing information. It covers Mexican Traditions from as far back as they can be traced and shows where many of the things we see today originated from. It is a good source book and will aid in the understanding of the way Mexicans combine humor with religious traditions in a very respectable way.
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