All-in-all I was very impressed by this sweeping history and intrigued and entertained by the play of gods and men and several of the smaller folk-stories within the greater framework. I recommend this book to those interested in mythology, history, and folk-legends. Sep 01, Sergio Troncoso rated it it was amazing Shelves: My favorite section was the last third of the book, beginning with Aztecs Ascendant.
These myths and legends were mesmerizing to read because names I knew--Coyoacan, Azcapotzalco, Michoacan, Tenochtitlan, Xochimilco, Tlatelolco-- took on a new meaning and context with these stories suffused with history. I was filling in a knowledge I have always been thirsty for, that of my ancestors and Mexico. Feb 24, Rebecca Hill rated it it was amazing Shelves: If you are interested in the myths and legends of any culture, this book should be at the top of your list!
David Bowles goes through the history of Mexico, reaching back to its furthest myths and bringing them all into one book - from their creation story through the conquest by the Conquistadors. Mexico has some fascinating myths, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. Through the pages of this book, I was able to travel through a country I have never visited, and gain some insights into their culture. From the beginnings, journeying through the land of the dead, and then of course the glorious heroes and heroines who fought to save their people - I could NOT put this book down!
Some of the stories held me a little more than some of the others, but this chronicle was well done.
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Told in chronological order, the rise and fall of each of the nations who roamed, cultivated and dwelt, and eventually fell is told. The gods are brought forth and explained in such a way, that a high school student who is looking to find information on this civilization would do well to start here. Understanding the myths and legends behind each of the cultures of this world, is one way of unlocking who the people are today.
Each culture, each country has their own legends to fall back on, but the mighty warriors of Mexico have been preserved, passed down from generation to generation.
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Get to a bookstore and reserve your copy today! You will not be disappointed with this book at all! Easily broken down, this will allow for lighter reading, or for those who choose to power through, you can read through the entirety within four to five hours. May 22, Raul M rated it it was amazing.
This narrative of the history of Mexico -- the land and her Indigenous -- does not rely on empirical data, nor on the biased interpretation of European invaders. Rather, it's told through the sacred and heroic lore recorded by the Aztecs and the Maya, which has survived via word-of-mouth and in writing. The text goes so far as to lament the loss of many such myths notably under the heels of conquistadors. I commend the author for his efforts in researching what has been preserved, condensing i This narrative of the history of Mexico -- the land and her Indigenous -- does not rely on empirical data, nor on the biased interpretation of European invaders.
I commend the author for his efforts in researching what has been preserved, condensing it, and presenting it in a reader-friendly format. The tales are divided into seven sections, and each begins with a "Convocation" that gives an air of reverence and invitation.
Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico
The final section, while the most tragic, contains my favorite stories in this collection. I believe these won me over due to how they revealed the experience of both calamity and bravery among the native peoples, in a manner I'd never before known. As I'd long recognized the girl Malinalli by a whole other name, only gradually did it dawn on me where her story was going; plus, I appreciated discovering the likely roots of a popular Borderlands folk legend.
Keeping track of the multiple Mesoamerican names of characters and places was a challenge for me, but this is where the Glossary at the end offered some aid. I was struck to notice, in the more ancient tales, ideas such as "twinning" that I'd already read about in this same author's Young-Adult novels also based on Maya and Aztec myths. I was fascinated to learn of the various races of proto-humans -- created and destroyed, one after the other -- along with dwarves, sorcerers, changelings, merfolk, even deities prone to mortality.
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Oct 30, stormie rated it really liked it. This is a beautifully written collection of pre-colonial Mesoamerican myths and tales, some of which I was not familiar with at all--and others that I was not familiar with enough.
If you are in need of a thorough introduction to a pantheon that's often overshadowed by our western fascination with Greco-Roman mythology, look no further than Bowles' book!! Nov 06, Stephanie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I do love me some learning about ancient cultures! Though human beings tenaciously gain a lasting foothold in a sea-ringed world, conflict and toil persist.
The narrative continues through early pre-Columbian history and on through the Mayan and finally the Aztec empires as Bowles adds threads from Mayan, Toltec, Mixtec, and other Indigenous folklore traditions. From deep cenotes to frost-covered mountains, there are few hopeful or happy endings to be found.
Rather, the specters of death, violence, vengeance, and blood sacrifice are ever present, which may turn away readers with less stomach for gore, though the mayhem is rarely gratuitous. Though an index is sorely needed, students of folklore will find a rich trove to mine here. From deep cenotes to frost-covered mountains, there are few hopeful or happy endings to be found.
Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico by David Bowles
Rather, the specters of death, violence, vengeance, and blood sacrifice are ever present, which may turn away readers with less stomach for gore, though the mayhem is rarely gratuitous. Though an index is sorely needed, students of folklore will find a rich trove to mine here. A needed and worthy addition to any folklore collection.
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