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Maya Yucatán: An Artist's Journey Hardcover – Illustrated, October 30, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
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"Before ever setting out on my adventures in Yucatan I did not know that I was preparing to walk a spiritual path in that ancient country. Before going there I had not taken much account of my yearning to seek out sacred places. But in Yucatan I discovered this longing for wandering among the people and landscapes of the peninsula. I eventually understood that there was an invisible spirit world of the Maya that animated their stories, their ancient ruins, and all their works from two thousand years of civilization in that ancient land." - from Maya Yucatan"
From the Inside Flap
These spectacular images document the beauty of the ancient sites of Yucatán and the enduring character of the Maya people still inhabiting the region.
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With photographs of ruins, contemporary scenes, and archaeological sites and an accompanying text that is variously history, travel-like observations and vignettes, social description and commentary, and archaeological report, Hofstetter discerns signs of the long perdurance of the Mayans and illuminates sources of their culture.
An art professor in California who is also a filmmaker whose work has appeared on National Geographic Television and the Discovery Channel, Hofstetter is particularly suited for this lesson of intertwined factors on how to read the present existence of the Maya. Alternating photographs of ruins of monuments and nearby present-day buildings and persons especially carry the author/photographer's point. A few photographs--such as one where a farm animal stands beside remains of a monument--which might otherwise seem unusual juxtapositions, in this work highlight the Mayan's natural, routine access to their roots and contemporary way of life. Contemporary homes of earthen walls and thatched roofs little different from classic Mayan residences yet with solar panels and other features of modernity also especially bring out the author's perspective.
Hofstetter's book imparts a fresh, multifaceted perspective on the perennially fascinating Mayans. One enjoys the intriguing expert photographs of age-old ruins as much as the knowledgeable and observant update on their culture in today's Central America.