People and Culture
Berrin, Kathleen. The Art of the Huichol Indians. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1978. Lovely, large photographs and text by a symposium of experts provide a good interpretive introduction to Huichol art and culture.
Castillo, Ana. Goddess of the Americas. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996. Here, a noted author has selected from the works of seven interpreters of Mesoamerican female deities, whose visions range as far and wide as Sex Goddess, the Broken-Hearted, the Subversive, and the Warrior Queen.
Collings, Peter R. The Huichol Puerto Vallarta. Available from the author in Puerto Vallarta (at Casa Isabel, 257 Allende, Puerto Vallarta, 48300, huicholbks [at] hotmail [dot] com), or antiquarian booksellers (such as Bolerium Books in San Francisco, CA, tel. 800/326-6353, www.bolerium.com). In a series of precious photos, gathered over years of living among them, the author details the life and rituals of present-day Huichol people.
Haden, Judith Cooper, and Matthew Jaffe. Oaxaca, the Spirit of Mexico. New York: Artisan, division of Workman Publishing, 2002. Simply the loveliest, most sensitively photographed and crafted coffee-table book of Mexico photography yet produced. Photos by Haden, text by Jaffe.
Lewis, Oscar. Children of Sánchez. New York: Random House Vintage Books, 1979. Poverty and strength in the Mexican underclass, sympathetically described and interpreted by renowned sociologist Lewis.
Medina, Sylvia López. Cantora. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992. Fascinated by the stories of her grandmother, aunt, and mother, the author seeks her own center by discovering a past that she thought she wanted to forget.
Meyerhoff, Barbara. Peyote Hunt: The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974. A description and interpretation of the Huichol’s religious use of mind-bending natural hallucinogens.
Montes de Oca, Catalina. Puerto Vallarta, My Memories. Puerto Vallarta: University of Guadalajara, 2002. A long-time Puerto Vallartan breathes life into the early history and old times in Puerto Vallarta as she remembers them, from her arrival as a child in 1918 to the present. Translated by Laura McCullough.
Palmer, Colin A. Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570–1650. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976. A scholarly study of why and how Spanish authorities imported African slaves into America and how they were used afterwards. Replete with poignant details, taken from Spanish and Mexican archives, describing how the Africans struggled from bondage to eventual freedom.
Riding, Alan. Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans. New York: Random House Vintage Books, 1989. Rare insights into Mexico and Mexicans.
Toor, Frances (1890–1956). A Treasury of Mexican Folkways. New York: Crown Books, 1947, reprinted by Bonanaza, 1988. An illustrated encyclopedia of vanishing Mexicana— costumes, religion, fiestas, burial practices, customs, legends—compiled during the celebrated author’s 35-year residence in Mexico.
Wauchope, Robert, ed. Handbook of Middle American Indians. Vols. 7 and 8. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969. Authoritative surveys of important Indian-speaking groups in northern and central (vol. 8) and southern (vol. 7) Mexico.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition