Fieldwork among the Maya: reflections on the Harvard Chiapas by Evon Zartman Vogt

By Evon Zartman Vogt

Fieldwork one of the Maya is a private chronicle of the Harvard Chiapas venture, written via the guy who initiated it in 1957 and guided it via thirty-five years of in depth ongoing learn. starting together with his formative years in New Mexico and insights into how and why he grew to become an anthropologist, Vogt strikes directly to describe the most important good points of the Chiapas venture, which was once a long-range ethnographic software to explain systematically, for the 1st time, and to research the Tzotzil-Maya cultures of the distant highlands of Chiapas. The aim was once to appreciate how those modern Mayas are relating to the prehistoric vintage Maya and the way their cultures are altering as they confront the trendy global. holding a fragile stability among the technical and the non-public, Vogt reviews on alterations in anthropological kinds and techniques, describes in shiny phrases (often funny, occasionally poignant) the day by day lives of the researchers and their informants, and depicts truly the fun, the rewards, and the risks encountered within the box through social antrhropologists.

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We were without our winter wood supply at the Vogt Ranch, and our livestock were dying of hunger. Since the snow level covered the grasses and even the sagebrush, the sheep could only browse on pinyon and juniper, plants that will only sustain them for a few days. My father decided that he must try to move all of the twelve thousand sheep on the ranch into lower elevations toward the Saint Johns, Arizona, area to the west. " Since our house was heated only by fireplaces and a cookstove, forty degrees below zero required an enormous amount of wood.

And I recall bursting with pride later on when my father praised my work and responsibility to some visitors at the ranch. I also felt that I had become a "grown up" in two weeks' time! When weather conditions improved, we were able to hire a farmer in Ramah to bring the rest of our winter wood supply. But my father's efforts to save the livestock did not fare well. Paths were formed through the snow by dragging logs with horses, and baled alfalfa was strewn along these paths to entice the sheep to move toward lower elevations.

Although the volume is intended mainly for the anthropological profession, I have attempted to keep the style nontechnical enough so that others interested in anthropology and the cultures of the Southwest and southern Mexico can also enjoy the book. Page xi Acknowledgments I am deeply indebted not only to the many students and colleagues in the United States and Mexico who worked with me on the Harvard Chiapas Project, but also to our Tzotzil-speaking friends and colleagues who accepted us so gracefully in their home communities in the Chiapas Highlands over the years.

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